Three fearless women who are standing up to the patriarchy appeared on the first panel at the Women in the World Texas Salon in Dallas on Monday night. These women don’t take no for an answer. They fight to change the system, break barriers and overcome the status quo. They are the perSisters.
Zainab Salbi, author, media commentator and the founder of Women for Women International, led a discussion with U. Renee Hall, the first female chief of police in Dallas, Amy McGrath, retired Marine Lt. Col. and fighter pilot who is now running for Congress in Kentucky, and Dr. Jen Welter, the first woman to land a coaching job in the NFL. Salbi pointed out that each of them had risen to the top in what are extremely male dominated professions — law enforcement, the NFL and the Marine Corps. Particularly with the NFL, which Salbi noted “is as male as you can get,” Welter talked about what it took for her to break through.
Welter, who is also the first woman to ever play on a professional men’s team, said, “I was one of the best females to football in the world for a very long time,” but noted that if someone would’ve asked her if she’d ever get the opportunity to coach in the NFL, “I would’ve told you, ‘no, it’s not possible.'” She continued, saying, “There was nobody I could look at and say, ‘I want to be her when I grow up.’ Welter said that little girls can now look up to her as an example for their dreams. Welter also added that “I was championed by very strong men. And part of that is because, if there are no women in the room, a man has to open the door for you. It’s not that a woman wouldn’t have, but in my situation, they couldn’t because there was no one there.”
Watch the full interview above.