"Well there's the race layer as well. Indian woman are marketed to by companies selling skin lightening products, hair straighteners or in ways to make us as sexually repressed as possible so that we are pure and clean slates for our husbands. When I was a freshman in college someone told me I needed to get back to my initial shape when I entered college because, as an actor, I would be getting off the bus in New York City and competing with every other black woman for the same role. I'm not black. My first agent said to me, "I have to figure out how to market you as something other than the pretty woman who can sing." - Pallavi Sastry is a actor and filmmaker.
"When I first got out of Grad School I had a job and was working with this dude. His previous job was cleaning the decks of a ship. So I taught him everything I knew and then he got promoted and became my boss. I realized then that the only way I was going to be able to control the future of my career and get ahead was if I became an entrepreneur. I made a promise to myself that before I was 30 years old I would start my business. My success has a lot to do with my smile. I'm friendly, I smile and then people want to talk to me." - Laura Mignott is the co-founder and managing partner of Digitalflash and she just launched The Reset, a five star podcast sponsored by Bose.
"I wish I could have voted. If younger people could have voted the outcome would have been different. In my High School we had a mock trial and Hillary won. Our generation is next to vote and we have hope. After the next four or eight years we will have a chance to change and fix things. We are more progressive and we are more hopeful." - Arianna O'Hara
"When I was a sex worker, I was outed by Governor Chris Christie and the NJ District Attorney. They accused me of being a Madam and published a map to my home. It was terrifying - but because of that experience I am a formerly incarcerated sex worker and a role model and spokesperson for not just the Trans community but for all women." - Ceyenne Doroshow is the author of "Cooking in Heels" which she published with the help of the Red Umbrella Project.
"Now when I go running I feel myself tensing up if I pass a bunch of male construction workers - just bracing myself for some rude comment. But really, I didn't become aware of gender discrimination until I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. It is a very machismo culture there and I couldn't go out at night by myself and really had to think about what clothes I wore on the street. To protect myself I learned how to avoid eye contact. When I came back to the United States I read Sheryl Sanberg's book Lean In and realized that women are viewed differently in the workplace." I also became aware that I wasn't making eye contact with men and had to unlearn the protective habit I had developed in the DR." - Susan Stine is a Returned Peace Corps volunteer and Programs Assistant at the InterAmerican Foundation.
"My mother, because she was lighter skinned, managed to buy a house in an all-white neighborhood in Indiana - she wanted me and my sisters to integrate into the white schools. On the night of our house warming party our neighbors, who turned out to be Klan members and not the brightest people, burned a cross into their own yard and nearly lit both of our houses on fire. My teachers said that "Negro" students weren't smart. My mother, like Michelle Obama, taught us, "When they go low, we go high". Then I won the 6th grade Math contest. Oh they hated that and hated that I went to Harvard. If we weren't an all female household I think they would have killed us." - Judy Gabbie just returned from serving in the Peace Corps in Mexico.
"Nobody ever asked me if this is what I wanted to be. Being a woman is just my reality. But I have been ignored, maligned, and abused because I was a girl and now a woman and that has made me so aware and sensitive of oppressed people everywhere." Takiyah Nur Amin, Ph.D is an assistant professor of Dance studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
"I am visibly Muslim because of how I dress, but I think about how this is different for Muslim men. Sometimes this means I am asked questions ,which is ok, but sometimes it results in insults. An Uber driver threatened to shoot me. When I got in the car I said, "Good Morning." And he said, " Are you going to shoot me?" and then said, "Oh,I better get my gun." Then he started leaning over like he was going to take something out of the glovebox. I made a joke and diffused the situation somehow." - Abrar Omeish is a student at Yale University.
"The longer I work in politics , well really the older I get, I understand how it feels to be chronically underestimated. And I say that knowing I come from a place of privilege. There are so many undocumented women in this country busting their asses in the shadows every day. I know there are a huge number of additional barriers for them, for women of color, for many others being unseen and underestimated." - Kate Hansen works for the Global Strategy Group.
"One of my roles in the Obama Administration was to be a lead advance person for Secretary Hilda Solis. She wanted another Latina on her team she could promote and trust, and that position propelled me to where I am today." - Patty Padilla is the Executive Director of Global Events for the UN Foundation.
"I know what it's like to always walk into a classroom and be the only woman and the only woman of color." Ngozi is a civil engineer and started her company Fitwork.co to empower networking among women. "I have a unique perspective. I know if I hadn't been the only woman, the only black woman walking into those rooms wouldn't have impacted me the same way. I'm glad I had that experience - it gave me direction and inspired me to create my own company."