VP Harris is blazing a path for women of color in leadership, finally

Jaqueline Flores, Reporter

Almost one month ago, former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election.

Even more important, Kamala Harris made history as she is set to become the first female, Black and South Asian vice president-elect.

I believe this country has needed a female leader to show that there are no limits in what women can achieve or become. 

New York marketing executive Wendy Salz is one of several women who spoke with NPR four years ago after Hillary Clinton lost her bid to become the nation’s first female president. When Biden and Harris won this year’s election, she was so overjoyed that she screamed, sobbed and cheered.

I voted for Hillary Clinton when she ran for president in the 2016 election. Aside from various personal reasons to vote against Donald Trump, I was excited to participate in what I thought was a much needed change for our country.

As a woman, it was a huge disappointment that she didn’t win the election because at the time, it felt that this necessary change was possibly a lifetime away.

Since then, I’ve continued to wonder why it seems impossible to have a female president.

Landry Irumva, Associated Students California Lutheran University Government senior senator and president of the College Democrats, said it’s long overdue for America since all these developed countries have female leaders. “We were just lagging but I am happy that it’s happening now.”

“[Harris] is one of the most qualified people to take the job, she’s served on all three levels of government, local level, stage level and the federal level,” Irumva said. “She’s my role model.”

Over the years, Harris has shown she has what it takes to be a leader, can’t wait to see what she has to offer for our future as a vice president. 

In a Forbes article, Alia Daniels, cofounder of the Global Queer Digital Media Network Revry said, “It’s a kind of beautiful, full circle moment for the story of America, because I think women, and more specifically Black women, have done so much work—and are sort of the backbone of this country—without the acknowledgement of the work that we’ve done.”

As a Latina woman, I am filled with joy that we finally have a woman of color as a vice president. 

It is important to have diversity in leadership because it creates awareness of the multicultural country that we live in.

In the same Forbes article, Colleen Ammerman, director of the Gender Initiative at Harvard Business School cited research that has shown how female role models and mentors, as well as mere exposure to portraits of female leaders, can help encourage women to speak up, stand up and perhaps achieve more. 

“The images of leadership and power that we see are overwhelmingly white and male. Sometimes we don’t even quite notice that until we see something different,” Ammerman said.

With Biden and Harris coming into office in 2021, it not only provides representation for millions of women and young girls across the United States, but it also shows many other skeptical Americans that women can also get the job done.

“Protecting our democracy takes struggle,” Harris said, speaking from a stage outside the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware. “It takes sacrifice. But there is joy in it. And there is progress. Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future.”

Although we are all celebrating this big news, the work that has been done does not stop there. We need to take into consideration how much more we can progress as a country, especially by electing more female leader role models. 

“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last — because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities,” Kamala Harris said in a tweet.