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Broad Influence

Exactly a century ago the first woman was elected to national office; 32 years ago we got the first female Supreme Court justice; and 23 years ago women got their own bathroom off the Senate floor. With more than 100 women serving in Congress today, they make up more than 20 percent of the Senate body and have finally achieved a "critical mass" of representation in American politics.

Representation, though, is hardly winner-take-all. According to Jay Newton-Small's Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works, women are better at consensus building and more able to avoid ego-driven decision making, but they also report feeling more likely to default to apologies, self-consciousness, and a greater aversion to risk. In any case, it's clear that their presence and influence in Washington has reached a tipping point that affects not only the inner workings of government, but also how Americans more broadly live and work.


Jay Newton-Small
Correspondent, TIME
Fellow, New America
Author, Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works

Alex Wagner
Analyst and contributor, MSNBC

Bernadette Meehan
Dean and Virginia Rusk Fellow, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
Former Spokesperson, White House National Security Council

Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani
Host, Huffington Post Live