2015 Honoree

Kristen Soltis Anderson

Republican strategist and pollster

“I am a firm believer that all issues are women’s issues…I do think we need more women’s voices in public office to address these challenges and think that this means making sure more women are ASKED to run!”

Who inspires you the most?

Women who do brave things. Elise Stefanik, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, was brave enough to put her name on the ballot and made history in the process. That inspires me.

What do you now know about yourself that you wish you knew ten/fifteen/twenty [depending on age] years ago?

I wish I had more confidence in myself! It is so easy to doubt yourself and be your own worst critic. I wish I’d been more willing to be bold and take risks.

Fill in the blank: You can never have enough _______.

CONFIDENCE!

What City best describes your personality?

Probably Washington, DC. It is a city that is very traditional and conservative, but is also very vibrant. It is filled with impressive and intelligent people who I admire.

What gets you through even the toughest days and what are you most grateful for?

My husband. He’s my best friend and is always my rock when things feel like they are out of control!

What socio-political women’s issue do you care about the most? Do you feel that women are typically presented fairly in the media? Why or why not?

I am a firm believer that all issues are women’s issues. We will all have to deal with the consequences of things like a very high national debt, instability around the world, etc. I do think we need more women’s voices in public office to address these challenges and think that this means making sure more women are ASKED to run!

Although there is supposed to be a separation between Church & State, religion still seems to govern many political decisions regarding women – abortions, birth control, etc. –usually from men. What is the best approach to shift power over women’s bodies to women?

I’m a woman and I’m also pro-life. I think one of the most pro-life things you can do is support programs that prevent unplanned pregnancy: evidence based sexual health education programs, and making effective contraception available to everyone who wants to take responsibility. I think education is one of the most important things that can give someone more power over their own lives and bodies.

What is your best read? Favorite character you would most like to be?

Love in the Time of Cholera remains one of my favorite books. I have to say, however, I’d most want to be Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books. A great literary heroine who is unafraid to embrace being a nerd!

What will it take for women to be viewed as equal to men? Are sexist jokes problematic, and how do you feel about people’s view that women should just “lighten up” about them?

I think more and more strong female role models in fields like science and engineering is so important. If we want to ensure women can earn the same as men, we need to ensure women are thriving in the high-paying STEM fields!

What was your best decision to date? Worst decision?

Best decision was deciding to marry my husband! I don’t mean that to sound antiquated; I think that life is a team project for all of us, and the people we invite to be on our team – friends, colleagues, partners – is a huge factor in our success. My husband has been an incredible partner and I’m so lucky we found each other. My worst decision would probably be the decision to wait so long to start my own company. I doubted myself for too long, but as soon as I took the leap, the opportunities flowed in like never before.

Within the past few years, social media has exploded. How can women use it to market themselves without seeming narcissistic?

I think women can use social media to tell their own stories and tear down boundaries. It’s perfectly acceptable for a woman with a doctorate who is at the top of her field to want to share with the world the beautiful sunset she just saw, the interesting article she just read. Social media lets us be in charge of telling our own story on our own terms.

Write a fortune you’d like for all women to receive in a fortune cookie.

Fortune favors the bold.

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

Predicting the future! At least, that’s what I’d hope. That would be appropriate for my professional career in polling!