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San Francisco made history as the first city in the United States to have women in three top spots at the same time. When Joanne Hayes-White climbed the ladder to fire chief, San Francisco became the largest fire department in the world led by a woman. What makes this even more astounding is the fact that women weren't even allowed to be firefighters in the city until 1987!

Chief Hayes-White knows almost every one of her 1,800 firefighters by name. "I try to lead by example," she says. "I try to be a role model. ... I think it's wonderful when a little girl can see a woman firefighter. It sends a great message that if you work hard, you can achieve your dreams."
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FROM: Eight Women Oprah Wants You to Know
Published on October 17, 2005

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