President Donald Trump surprised politicos and pundits alike by his choice to lead the Republican National Committee. He didn’t choose one of his influential business friends. He didn’t choose a seasoned politician. He chose a mom from Michigan – an outsider to Washington, D.C. – to become the second woman to take charge of the RNC.
I may have seemed like an unlikely choice. After all, not many men would’ve chosen someone who, just three years ago, was a stay-at-home mom. I was named chair of the Michigan Republican Party in 2015, and I worked hard alongside colleagues and volunteers to turn Michigan red. We succeeded in making that happen, delivering Michigan to then-candidate Trump in 2016. It was the first time in decades that our state voted red.
The President recognized our hard work, and I came to Washington. My story is just like those of countless other women who, while underestimated, defy expectations and deliver results.
Since joining the RNC, we have raised record-breaking amounts of money, engaged more voters than ever before and invested millions of dollars into our data and digital operations. I’ve traveled more than 100,000 miles across the country to meet with our supporters, and I’ve seen the energy of our grassroots efforts first-hand.
I didn’t do this alone.
At the RNC, we’ve had more women in leadership roles this cycle than ever before. We work together every day to support President Trump’s agenda – an agenda that empowers American women everywhere. We believe that all issues are women’s issues, which is why we fight for the policies that make it easier for women to live, work and raise families. We fight for lower taxes so that we can start our own businesses. We fight for quality child care and safer neighborhoods so that we can raise our families. We fight for economic growth so that we can work.
Our field team and volunteers help us engage Americans on these important issues. Women make up more than half of our 8,600 Republican Leadership Initiative fellows — our most active volunteers who grow our party’s reach in their communities. We recently launched a video series to highlight our field team’s female staff in targeted states. These political directors, state directors and field organizers are the ones driving our party to victory.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has made history for its women in leadership roles. Kellyanne Conway became the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign, helping put Trump into the Oval Office.
Now, women have senior-level roles all across the Trump administration – from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen; from Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon; from Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
A number of women also serve as spokespeople for his administration: Sarah Sanders at the White House (the first mother in the job), Heather Nauert at the State Department, Sarah Flores at the Justice Department, Dana White at the Defense Department and Liz Hill at the Education Department, to name a handful.
They are women who have charged forward, undeterred, to serve their country and give back to their community. I encourage more women to do the same. Get involved in your community, and step up to make the changes that need to be made. Encourage friends and neighbors to join your cause, and reach out to women who want to help. Run for office, and fundraise without fear of asking for support; you simply don’t get what you don’t ask for. Be fearless and bold as you step into the public arena. Most importantly, believe in your message first, so that others will believe in you.
We women are not easily deterred. History proves that time and again, we do what it takes to get the job done. As we recognize the accomplishments of the women who came before us, let’s not forget that women everywhere, every day, are making our country better. There are millions of American women standing with them today, and we’ll be there to celebrate each other’s success tomorrow.