I’m glad our leaders are becoming more diverse


Erin Lee

Female politicians like Michelle Steel (left), Kamala Harris (center) and Young Kim have all made strives toward becoming gender parity in the U.S. political system.

Tyler Pak, Editor-in-Chief

Kamala Harris makes history.

In the weeks following Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump for The White House, you’ve likely seen some form of this headline.

Biden’s pick is a historic one — Harris is slated to be America’s first female, Black and South Asian vice president.

Though I may not agree with all of her policies, it’s great that our nation finally has a female vice president. I’ve already heard stories about how she has inspired my generation, but with all the attention on her, it’s easy to miss the bigger picture.

In this same election season, two Korean American women from our community — Young Kim and Michelle Steel — have joined the U.S. Congress.

Rather than focusing on Harris’ individual accomplishments, I’m going to try viewing the bigger picture: the start of a long-awaited movement.

Kim and Steel have joined the 3.8% of Asian Americans in Congress.

Data from RepresentWomen, a non-profit organization trying to achieve gender parity in political offices, shows that women make up 51% of the U.S. population, yet they hold only 24% of the Senate and 27% of the House of Representatives.

And obviously, 0% of U.S. presidents.

But now we’re witnessing the start of a shift in the political landscape. The leaders whom we’ve elected to represent us are actually beginning to look like us.

This is just the start of something new. Who knows? Maybe in four years, we’ll see a woman running the show in the Oval Office. I’m excited about that prospect.

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 14 print issue as the preface to the “Wonder Women” special section, which can be read here.