Women Of Our Future: Women In Politics With Rebecca Joseph

Interviewee: Rebecca Joseph

Interviewer, Editor, Graphic Designer: Pat Sevikul



Hello! My name is Rebecca Joseph, and I’m a 16-year old junior residing in the Bay Area, and I am the founder of Women in Politics.


Aside from politics, I’m an avid hiker and baker. I absolutely love exploring the beauty that is California and whether that means going to the beaches, hiking in Yosemite, or even just strolling through San Francisco, my community never ceases to amaze me.

And now with the holiday season upon us, I have an excuse to bake cookies every other day and listen to my favorite Christmas playlist!


How did you first become interested in politics?

I never dreamed of getting involved in the political scene as a child, not because my household was apolitical, but rather because I never saw it as a tangible career path.


Growing up I could always remember listening to NPR in the car, and my family sitting down to watch the presidential debates, but due to the lack of representation, the political world seemed unreachable to me. It was not until I joined my school’s Speech and Debate team in my first year of high school that propelled me into the political field, and I truly became interested in politics. I truly owe my political aspirations, and my confidence to pursue the path to my Speech and Debate teacher who always believed in me, and showed me that I should too.


Tell us about Women in Politics!

Women In Politics strives to make politics a more tangible career path for girls. At its core, the WIP is a community of girls supporting each other and the younger generation in this relatively homogenous field.


Women In Politics was born in the first few months of the pandemic after I stumbled upon Girl Genius, an organization aimed to inspire girls to go into the STEM field. I was inspired to find a space similar to it, but for politics instead, and after creating a baseline of what the organization would be like in May of 2020, I immediately did what any 14-year old girl would do at the time: I posted a TikTok video. Although my personal video did not go viral, Nik the Tutor, a standardized test tutor on TikTok, reposted it and the video amassed over 100k views. Women In Politics received over 100 applicants within 3-days of the organization’s founding. Now, over a year later, our amazing team has allowed the Women In Politics mission to flourish and I can’t wait to see what we will do.


How has founding Women in Politics shaped your worldview?

Women In Politics has not only widened my perspective, but has also allowed me to meet some of the most powerful women I know. Each person that is on our WIP team or a part of our community has given me hope for a future filled with women leaders.


What has Women in Politics accomplished and what does it hope to achieve in the future?

Women In Politics has released 19 magazines and 12 podcast episodes. I am so proud of our team for allowing WIP to grow in the past year. Currently, we are planning on branching out to more in-person events. We are also in the midst of publishing our Children’s Book this March which can be used through the “One-School-One Book Program”. Additionally, with the Speech and Debate initiative, we hope to reach more students, who don’t have access to the program.



What do you hope your followers gain from Women in Politics?

I hope the Women In Politics community will gain the same thing I have from them: a family. The core value of WIP is building a community of girls across the globe who can support each other on their track to the political field. Through this amazing team and community, I have found some of my greatest friends. I hope that every girl can find the same comfort in our team, and regardless of what they plan to accomplish later in life they will always know that they have a seat at the table.


Why does representation matter and why is it important that we have women’s voices in leadership positions?

For most girls politics is not a tangible career path, but by having representation we show girls that they can take on that path. Regardless of your political stance, when Kamala Harris became the first women vice president, we proved to girls around the globe that a future as our country’s leader can be real for her. When we have strong workers and leaders who come from diverse backgrounds, we send the message to hundreds of kids that success is not limited to one specific type of person.


Not only does representation empower those who have traditionally been denied a voice, but it also encourages all of us to learn about people we might not understand, or who are different from us.


Not only does representation empower those who have traditionally been denied a voice, but it also encourages all of us to learn about people we might not understand, or who are different from us.

- Rebecca Joseph


How does the lack of representation of women in politics reflect and impact our society?

Lack of representation is truly detrimental to our progress. Diversity brings diverse ideas and innovations that would otherwise not see the light of day.


I’m currently reading Elizabeth Warren’s memoir, “Persists” which talks about the pregnancy discrimination that was very prevalent in the 1960’s and 70’s. Due to the lack of women in the political scene at the time, the issue was not addressed until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in1978. Although we can always try to see situations in other people's shoes, we will never be able to truly walk their path and make decisions that will allow us to move forward without their input.


Although we can always try to see situations in other people's shoes, we will never be able to truly walk their path and make decisions that will allow us to move forward without their input.

- Rebecca Joseph


What message would you like to give to young girls going into politics?

Women are too often told that they can’t -- that they’re not good enough or that they don’t belong. My message is yes, you can. Yes, you are good enough, and yes, you deserve a seat at the table. I am blessed to have been raised by two resilient women, my mother and grandmother, who have taught me the power of persistence because yes, the road to success may be difficult as a woman, but that does not mean it’s impossible.


Women are too often told that they can’t -- that they’re not good enough or that they don’t belong. My message is yes, you can... Yes, you are good enough, and yes, you deserve a seat at the table. Yes, the road to success may be difficult as a woman, but that does not mean it’s impossible.

- Rebecca Joseph


 

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