Kamala Harris says ‘I eat no for breakfast,’ shares advice to women

·3 min read

“I eat ‘no’ for breakfast. [I have] been told many times during my career things from ‘you are too young, it’s not your turn, they are not ready for you, no one like you has done it before.’ I have heard all of those things many times over the course of my career, but I didn’t listen,” said Vice President Kamala Harris.

During an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski on Tuesday for Morning Joe, Vice President Kamala Harris got candid about the oppositions she’s faced in her career, particularly as a woman. In response to a question about whether she had ever thought certain successes would be delayed by discriminatory attitudes or other obstacles, Harris said she was unfazed by the word ‘no’.

“I eat ‘no’ for breakfast,” said Harris. “[I have] been told many times during my career things from ‘you are too young, it’s not your turn, they are not ready for you, no one like you has done it before.’ I have heard all of those things many times over the course of my career, but I didn’t listen.”

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Vice President Harris is featured on Forbes 50 Over 50 series which highlights the trailblazing careers of women who’ve made an impact in midlife and after. During her interview with Brzezinski, the former California senator, attorney general, and district attorney spoke to the necessity of women and girls internalizing their abilities and pursuing their interests.

Harris also advises those who’ve heard ‘no’ to not “be encumbered by the inability of others to see the potential of who you are. It’s really important to recognize the limitations that other people have based on their expectations and to not impose that on one’s self.”

At 56 years old, Harris’s career overflows with “firsts”. In 2004, Harris became the first woman and first Black American to serve as district attorney of San Francisco. In 2011, Harris was elected as the first woman, Black American and South Asian attorney general in California. In January, the daughter of immigrants and HBCU alumna was sworn in as the first woman, African American and South Asian Vice President of the United States.

Kamala Harris thegrio.com
Vice President Kamala Harris (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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With a renewed focus on “inclusive capitalism”, the Vice President is bringing issues like women’s entrepreneurship and supporting small businesses, community investing, the right to return for those in the hospitality industry, and equitable employment benefits to the forefront. To women who are confronting any one of these issues in their daily lives, Harris urges them to reject the false choices between career success and family life.

“Continue with your ambition and don’t apologize for it. Continue to believe that you can do whatever you want to do but also know that you have the right to expect things like affordable childcare, paid family leave when you need to take care of your children or your elderly parents,” said Harris. “You have the right to expect to be seen in the full dimension of who you are and your responsibilities.”

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