The Impact of Kamala Harris’ Vice Presidency on Women and People of Color


Vice President Kamala Harris on the Cover of Vogue. Photo by Tyler Mitchell/Vogue, courtesy of the New York Times

In the entire history of the US, Kamala Harris is the first woman and first Black/South Asian to ever become Vice President. Her successful career in politics and into the White House has inspired many women and people of color to pursue their dreams. Although women and people of color still face many systemic barriers in the way of their careers, Harris’ victory is a breakthrough for all. 

In her victory speech as Vice President-Elect, Harris proudly claimed that “while [she] may be the first woman in this office, [she] won’t be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities” (Los Angeles Times). Vice President Harris also gave credit to the “generations of women — Black women, Asian, white, Latina, and Native American women throughout our nation’s history who have paved the way for this moment tonight” (Los Angeles Times). 

Princess Olubuse-Omisore (she/her), the 2021 vice president at Eleanor Roosevelt High School (ERHS), shares that it “feels empowering” to see a woman in the vice presidential office. Princess plans to become a lawyer, go into politics, and run for public office. She notes that although politics and law are especially while/male dominated fields because they are “catered to white men,” having a Black/South Asian woman in office “definitely makes [her] more confident,” in pursuing her career in politics. She says Harris’ victory makes her feel her dreams of pursuing a career in politics aren’t so far fetched anymore because if “it happened already, why can’t it happen again?” Although she feels empowered by Harris in office, she wonders if the same opportunities would be open to darker skinned women. With this country’s history of colorism alongside racism, another breakthrough to be made is seeing a dark skin woman in office. Princess also adds “to see someone that went to this Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Howard, is now our Vice President…shows how much we’ve progressed.” She shared the story of “when [she] was younger, [her] dad would always tell [her] ‘you’re going to be the first female president.’” As she got older she realized politics were catered to white men and running for public office wasn’t so simple as a Black woman. However, after Harris’ triumph, Princess said “seeing her just made me have that childish hope again…that yeah it is possible that I can run for president, I can win if I want to.” 

Harris’ success in her career has had a significant impact on young women and especially young women of color. She is the representation young women need. Her success demonstrates that any young girl’s dreams are possible.