In 1998, Marie Wilson founded The White House Project, an organization committed to helping women become active leaders in the White House, as well as in the business and public sectors. Gayle talks with Marie, who co-created Take Our Daughters to Work Day, about the progress women have made in politics and Marie's hope for women running in future presidential elections.
A native of Georgia and mother of five grown children, Marie says she made her way into politics more than 30 years ago as the first woman elected to the Des Moines, Iowa, city council. Today, women are showing up in all leadership areas of business and politics, Marie says, and her organization hopes to increase that number.
While The White House Project helps women in all areas of life, Marie says the organization's primary focus is on the White House. "I never thought I would see a presidential election with a woman and an African-American man and a white man who came out of poverty at the top of the [Democratic] ticket," she says. "We can choose who we want in this race, but boy, is it good that we have three candidates who represent the struggles that this country has in terms of gender, race and class."
Voting for a woman for president based solely on gender is not something Marie recommends. She says if there were more than one female running for president in the 2008 election, the playing field would become more level and gender wouldn't weigh so heavily. "What we would love is if there were four women running," she says. "When there are enough women, then we can choose the woman we want based on agenda."