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Rep. Haley Stevens’ candidacy wasn’t planned. Instead, it rose out of a need for better representation

United States Congress
Published Last updated 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

This isn’t Haley Stevens’ (D-MI) first tangle with the federal government. The Michigan native served as the Chief of Staff to the U.S. Auto Rescue Task Force, the group tasked with bailing out the US auto industry.  Now that she’s serving in the House herself, Stevens serves on the Education & Labor and Science, Space & Technology committees. 

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

Something I learned early on was the importance of rising out of a moment. Not everything can be planned far in advance, and that’s okay. My run for Congress came about as a result of a government that I felt was not representing the needs of the people who put them there. It came about because we were facing a health care crisis, lacking an economic agenda to protect and grow the middle class and in need of leaders who would stand up for our environment. I did not chart a course to run years in advance. I saw something missing and I went for it.

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

I don’t dwell on bad advice and I usually don’t listen to it. You really have to weigh what people are telling you that’s against your own gut feeling or direction. On the campaign trail there were times we felt like we needed to fit inside a box or react to things a certain way, when really we should have been listening to our own voice. Always stay true to your beliefs and what others are saying to you. Stay close to your family. See the forest through the trees and understand the long game.

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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