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Show up and take action even before you think you’re ready, says Rep. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher

United States Congress
Published Last updated on This article is more than 2 years old.

This story is part of How We’ll Win in 2019, a year-long exploration of workplace gender equality. Read more stories here

Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D-TX) worked as a lawyer for 12 years before running for office. And she’s already broken her share of glass ceilings—when she made partner at her firm in 2015, she was the first woman to do so. Frustrated by the government’s response to Hurricane Harvey, which hit her native Houston particularly hard in 2017, Fletcher decided to run for office. Now a member of the House, Fletcher serves on the Transportation & Infrastructure and Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

What have you learned though your career in public service that you wish you had known from the very beginning?

You don’t need to know how to do everything before you do something. This is one of the most important lessons I have learned, and it was especially true after my community was devastated during Hurricane Harvey. When there are problems to solve, when there are people in need, when there is work to do, you don’t need to know exactly what to do—and you don’t need to wait to be asked to help. Just show up and do what you can. Even when the task at hand is overwhelming, we can accomplish so much when we work together.

What were you told that you wish you hadn’t listened to?

I was fortunate to receive so much good advice, I can’t say there is any advice I took and now wish I hadn’t. You will get a lot of it, and you will serve best if you follow your own instincts when considering any particular piece of advice given to you.

This story is part of How We’ll Win in 2019, a year-long exploration of workplace gender equality. Read more stories here

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