Albright was a mentor and model for many generations of women.

After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in political science, Sahana Dharmapuri was unhappy with the job she had accepted.

Albright was a mentor and model for many generations of women.

She felt pressured to find work through her Middle East studies and public policy.

On her lunch break, Dharmapuri looked through a newspaper and found an ad that featured a section of Madeleine Albright's speech on the efforts to reach peace between Israel & Palestine. Dharmapuri took the entire page with her to Washington, D.C. to search for a job.

It was the beginning of a career that Albright influenced, starting with her history-making role as the first female Secretary for State and continuing through the decades she spent teaching, mentoring, and speaking to women. This week, Albright's death due to cancer prompted American women to reflect upon the 84 year-old diplomat's profound influenceon them 25 years after Bill Clinton appointed her as the United States representative to the World.

"She broke the ceiling. She brought people with her, whether they were near her or distant, and she said, I can do it too.'" Dharmapuri, director at Our Secure Future, a foundation that aims to increase women's involvement in international affairs, said.

Albright's journey and identities as a mother, child refugee, and wife gave women a new vision of their lives.

Bowles stated, "Her entire story, we should repeat it over and over." She broke down the stereotypes that continue to hinder women's careers today.

Albright was also known for bringing many women into politics and policy work, sometimes without ever meeting them face to face.

Virginia Kase Solomon, CEO of League of Women Voters, stated that "One of my earliest memories really is seeing this woman. She was small in stature, but a heavyweight regardless." "She was a strong woman who could compete with any man in the room.

Candace Waterman, Candace's healthcare executive at the time that Albright was elected secretary of state, looked up to Albright as an example of a woman who could "function in a man’s world without losing her own mind."

Waterman is now the president and CEO at Women Impacting Public Policy. She said Albright and Condoleezza Rice, many years later, showed women that they can influence public policy.

Waterman stated, "At every juncture more and more barriers fall." Waterman said, "Sometimes it is brick by brick and not by a bulldozer."

Some women felt that Albright should not be viewed as an icon because of her "first" status, without taking into account her decisions as secretary and her continued involvement in party politics.

Albright's support for harsh sanctions against Iraq under Saddam Hussein's rule, and her strong backing of Western interventionin Kosovo have been criticised. Others are still offended by Albright’s suggestion that all women have a duty of support Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary.

Albright made a joke about women who don’t help one another at a rally for Clinton supporters on the eve for the New Hampshire primary.

Albright used this phrase frequently throughout her career. However, she usually explained that it was a criticism of women who fail to support each other's professional goals. In a column she wrote for The New York Times, she apologized for applying the phrase to politics. She maintained that a woman would prioritize gender equality in the Oval Office and asked younger generations for advice from "this aging feminist".

She wrote that "when women are empowered to take decisions, society benefits." They will raise issues, pass bills, and invest money in projects that men might ignore or oppose.

This goal also motivated Albright to continue her involvement in a program that focuses on leadership skills for students at Wellesley College, her alma mater. Stacie Goddard is the director of the Albright Institute.

Albright encouraged young women to be comfortable speaking up in public, especially when they are in a room dominated by men. Goddard stated that Albright was a major influence on women with impressive careers in politics and international policy who were invited by students to speak.

Goddard stated that "even now, this field isn't populated by many women." "I have met women who spoke about her intentionality in working with women in these positions, helping them, and mentoring them."


 

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