The number of women running for congressional seats is at a record high, but women still make up only 17 percent of Congress. The number of female minorities is even smaller: In the 112th Congress, just 13 women are black, seven are Hispanic, and three are Asian-American.
Nearly three-fourths of female professionals surveyed in a recent poll say they believe men have more opportunities to get ahead than women. But even with such disparities, women are rising in the ranks, and not just in the hallowed halls of the Capitol.
National Journal set out to find Washington's 25 most influential women and to share what makes them tick. From Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Center of American Progress President Neera Tanden to Susan Molinari, Google's director of public policy and government affairs, Washington's women are in every sector.
In the spirit of The Next America, we focus on those women boasting a diverse history. From Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry, who is openly gay, to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who was the first Hispanic woman to serve in Congress, these women bear a rich history adding to the power and perspective that women bring to the table.