Today—after 227 years, 57 campaigns, and 44 men, the United States has elected a 45th man, Donald Trump, as president. At a time when gender lines are blurrier yet perhaps more relevant than ever, when we've elected someone as president who's harassed and insulted women throughout his career, women-centered colleges are still forging more women leaders than any other kind of educational institution.
If you want to be first—-the first woman president of the United States, or the first anything else—you should consider coming to Mills College. Colleges like Mills have produced leaders at a rate that far outstrips other institutions. Members of Congress, CEOs, and other leaders in business and politics disproportionately hail from historically women’s colleges as compared to those who graduate from much larger and gender-integrated schools. Graduates of women’s colleges earn PhD’s at higher rates than those from other institutions. More than half of the black women who pursue advanced studies in the sciences attended colleges like Spelman and Bennett. Moreover, in an era of climate change and technological revolution, colleges made for women produce more science, math, and pre-med majors per capita than other institutions.
Why are women’s colleges so good at enabling women to become intellectual, business, and political leaders? Because we’ve adapted to what students and their families demand while preserving an atmosphere in which women are challenged, celebrated, and central. We’re more diverse racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically than other institutions. Our students are more curious, engaged, and socially conscious, and they’re supported by inclusive communities and direct access to faculty. They learn to communicate in ways that empower them to take on the most daunting issues and problems ahead of us. And they take on challenges like recovering from sexual assault and fighting gender discrimination with the kind of ferocity that only women who are sure of their worth and potential can muster.
If you want to be first, visit a women’s college near you. I encounter the kind of people I want to be first every day at Mills.