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In speech, Murray encourages Washington state women to keep up the fight

Murray: “…One thing I’ve learned over the course of my career is that once we’re in the room—we can make a real difference."

Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke at a symposium hosted by the Women in Business Leadership Initiative (WIBLI), an organization the Seattle Chamber of Commerce launched after a roundtable with Senator Murray in order to support Washington state women leaders and help close the gender wage gap. In her speech, Murray emphasized the importance of women’s economic opportunity to the broader economy, the difference women can make by running for office and leading in their communities, and the momentum across the country to make progress for women in today's workforce.

Today’s remarks were part of Murray’s continued effort to help women and families gain economic security:

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s prepared remarks:

“I have talked to women all over Washington state in rooms like this. Women who are making a difference in their communities, leading businesses, balancing eight dozen different responsibilities, and doing all of this in spite of the unique barriers that far too many of us still face.”

“There is a growing understanding that when women succeed, it not only helps women—it helps families and our economy as a whole. And also that to make sure more women have the opportunity to succeed, we need to update our policies so they reflect the workforce we have today—not the workforce we had fifty years ago.”

“I’ve always felt when you see something happening that you don’t like, you can say ‘oh, no, that’s really a shame,’  or you can say ‘I’m going to change that.’ I've always been on the 'I'm going to change that' side of things. I decided to run for the U.S. Senate after, like so many women across the country, I watched the Anita Hill hearings in 1991. I saw a panel of male Senators grilling the woman in front of them and being so dismissive—and I thought, where are all the people who would ask the kinds of questions I have? I saw a group of friends that same night. We were talking about the hearings, and I said, ‘I need to run for the Senate. They need someone there who would say what I would say.’”

“…we have a lot to do to make sure our policies work for women and families in today’s economy. I’ve talked to so many women in Washington state and across the country who are still, in the 21st century, earning less than their male coworkers. And that means they’re having a harder time paying off their student loans, making mortgage payments, and supporting their families.”

“You know, when I had just gotten to the Senate, I invited a group of constituents for coffee—I still do it every week. And I encouraged the young women there to consider running for office. One of them looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to wait and see if you succeed, and then I’ll think about it.’ That certainly weighed heavily! And it’s been an important reminder for me over the years."

"...Every additional step you take to make your voice heard, as a mayor, a state Senator, or a CEO—not only helps bring more women to the table today, it also shows the next generation they can step up and make sure their values are being represented, too. That brings me to my next point—which is that one of the most important ways we can expand opportunity for women is to help each other succeed.”