Most Influential Women: Sen. Martha McSally
Az Business and AZRE magazines announced the publications’ lists of the Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2019 in the July issues of the magazines. Each day, azbigmedia.com is profiling one of the Most Influential Women of 2019.
The Most Influential Women for 2019 will be honored at a dinner and reception that begins at 5:30 p.m. on August 22, 2019 at the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. For tickets or for sponsorship information, email Josh Schimmels or click here for more details.
To buy copies of the Most Influential Women in Arizona issue, click here.
Today’s spotlight: Martha McSally
Title: United States senator
McSally is a United States Air Force (USAF) combat veteran and politician serving as the junior United States Senator for Arizona. A Republican, she previously served as the U.S. Representative for Arizona’s 2nd congressional district. McSally served in the USAF from 1988 to 2010 and rose to the rank of colonel before retiring. One of the highest-ranking female pilots in the history of the Air Force, McSally was the first American woman to fly in combat following the 1991 lifting of the prohibition on female combat pilots.
Source of pride: “Commanding men and women in combat is the highest honor of my life. It was a privilege to be the 1st woman in U.S. history to command a fighter squadron in combat, flying A-10s in Afghanistan. I am so proud of my team who saved so many American lives.”
The personality trait that helped you succeed: “Perseverance. It was nearly a decade from the time when I was told I couldn’t fly a fighter jet—just because I had ovaries—until I became the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat. I then waged an 8-year battle with the Pentagon to overturn their mandate that servicewomen had to wear Muslim abayas and headscarves when off base in Saudi Arabia. Perseverance means never losing sight of your objectives and never giving up on your dreams.”
The personality trait that got you into trouble: “Depends on your definition of trouble. My candor — and my mouth — ruffled some feathers in the military. I am a change agent at heart and have a passion to fight for what is right, so I challenged a lot of things. I learned to pick my battles and build strategies to be successful as I matured in my approach to make the biggest difference.”
Best childhood memory: “Any quality time I spent with my dad, because I lost him when I was 12 and he was just 49. He worked hard to provide opportunities for me and my siblings. I cherished any time with him like when he brought me to work, being outdoors, or singing songs in the car together.”