Kim Campbell made history as the first female prime minister in the history of Canada. Here’s what she says about what she says about being powerful and being a woman in today’s world.
“In high school I was elected the first female president of the student council, which made me realize that I could be involved in politics in other ways. Local government is a great way of cutting your teeth in politics -- you know your constituents and your decisions have an immediate impact. People yell at you, but you don’t need thick skin; you just need perspective.
“After several years of local politics in British Columbia, I became Canada’s first female minister of justice and minister of defence. (Soon) I was running for the leadership of my party (the now-defunct Progressive Conservative Party), it was high-stakes poker. Political reporters are some of the most conservative people I’ve met. I had two things against me: I wasn’t from a big city, and I was a woman. They treated me like, ‘We didn’t make you. Where did you come from?’
“Female leaders are still seen as an anomaly. But we’re often excellent leaders, so I tell young women to go for it. There are sacrifices and compromises in politics, but they are in any job, whether you’re a man or a woman. And having a profession to return to helps.”