I grew up an only child in a very unconventional household that contained my mother, her mother and two of my mother’s unmarried sisters. Four Italian Catholic women. I call them South Jersey’s version of the Golden Girls, wearing the housecoats with the snaps and everything. I was taught to be self-possessed, respectful, decorous, patient, kind and generous—wonderful, positive attributes that serve you well in life. But I was also taught to be a little self-denying, even as some women would find that shocking, wondering why is that a positive attribute?
To be part of a team or a household where other people’s interests and needs share space with yours requires skills best formed early in life, particularly for an only child who is otherwise spoiled. It has served me well, whether at my company or working in the legal and consulting professions, and certainly in managing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and working in the White House.
I was taught to be a very strong, independent and freethinking woman without ever hearing the words feminist or Republican or liberal. I appreciate that so much, to have not been fed labels and taught definitions, but instead to have been given the foundation upon which to develop my own strengths to my best and highest use throughout my educational, professional and maternal endeavors.
Conway founded her consulting firm, the Polling Company, in 1995 and became Trump’s final campaign manager in 2016. She is counselor to the President.