Those who have heard me speak or have read my books will recognize this quote, “There is a place reserved in Hell for women who do not help other women.” I refer to it often because it embodies so much of what I believe about women lawyers and their responsibilities to one another.
The woman responsible for those words died recently. Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, was a force, who never forgot where she came from and who had supported her. In response, she reached out helping hands to so many people in her life — especially women.
I met Secretary Albright a few years ago and discussed her famous quote with her. She completely understood the applicability of her words to the legal profession. She and I lamented the still-existing practice of some established women lawyers to pull the ladder up after they have reached the top. Known as the “Queen Bees,” they have done so much harm to the progress of young women lawyers. As I have written recently, the only good news is that most of them are retired or will be retiring soon. I hope that ends the reign of their negative influence.
Here is the link to an article written about Secretary Albright from someone who knew her well and benefited from her kindness and her support. It is worth the read.
I am thankful for the life and example of Madeleine Albright and the inspiration she was to my work. May she rest in peace.