Janet Reno

“Yes, I’ve been cussed at, fussed at and figuratively beaten around the ears, but after eight years in this job, after seeing America, I know two things… I have never believed so strongly in this nation’s future, in the righteousness of its ways as I do and I have never believed so strongly that we must continue to fight so that the law issues from all of the people and not just some.”

On this day in 1993, Janet Reno was confirmed by the United States Senate, swearing in the next day to become the first female Attorney General in the history of the country. She kept the position until 2001, making the length of her service as Attorney General second only to William Wirt.

As with anyone involved in politics, Janet Reno and her stance on number of issues may not necessarily align with yours. Even so, we can respect the work that she did, continuing the progress of having powerful women in significantly influential positions. Women like Janet Reno, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice can serve as great role models, not only for young girls, but also young women considering a career in politics.

And on point with the quote above, these young women need to maintain a hopeful outlook for the future. They need to see that, despite all the challenges, they must “continue to fight.” It’s not about the number of times you get knocked down; it’s about the number of times that you get back up. Persevere, stick to your guns, and work together to achieve our common goals.

That’s the key. It’s not about flash or maintaining appearances. It’s about getting the job done. As Reno also put it:

“I’m not fancy. I’m what I appear to be.”