December 10, 2019

Duckworth Discusses Women in Leadership & Family Friendly Policies at Politico’s Women Rule Summit


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today participated in a panel discussion titled “Women, Workforce and Reinvention” at Politico’s Women Rule Summit. Duckworth discussed challenges she has faced throughout her career, as well as legislation she has introduced to help make it easier for families to raise children across the country. A photo of Duckworth speaking at the event is available here.

Key quotes:

  • “My daughter just turned five a couple weeks ago. She’s starting to say things like, ‘Oh, that’s a boy color, that’s a boy game.’ I tell her, ‘Whatever color you want is your color.’ We have to start responding to this very early and we have to be consistent. Because if she’s starting that now, how long before she says: ‘That’s a boy job or that’s a boy skill or that’s a boy subject?’”

  • “When I started flight school, I was one of only two women for that entire year. The instructors would come to us and ask, ‘Do you know of any women who would apply to flight school?’ Women make better natural pilots, but nobody applies. The women in the military aren’t applying because they just don’t think of themselves as pilots.”

  • “We are certainly not close to 50% representation of women in the House or the Senate. Just getting into the House and then getting into the Senate was tough. Getting male voters to vote for a women is tough. You have to find who you are and bring your authentic self forward.”

Senator Duckworth has been a strong advocate for women and families during both her service in the House and Senate. In May of this year, Duckworth introduced a package of bills to make workplaces more family-friendly, improve childcare services, make it easier for low-income and middle-class families to obtain diapers for their children and close loopholes that prevent many educational support staff from being able to take medical leave through the Family Medical Leave Act.

Last October, Duckworth’s bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act to provide nursing mothers with private, clean and accessible lactation rooms was signed into law after passing both the House and Senate overwhelmingly. In 2018, Duckworth became the first U.S. Senator to give birth, which led to a historic rules change to make the Senate friendlier for working parents by allowing all Senators to bring their infant children onto the Senate floor, if necessary, during votes while their children are under the age of one.