Margaret Thatcher’s Legacy: Her Toughness Continues to Inspire Young Women. (So Do the Pearls)
You’ve likely heard by now that Britain’s first (and so far only) female prime minister died today, at 87. But the legacy of Margaret Thatcher (a.k.a. the Iron Lady) lives on in the politics of the country she governed with a polarizing toughness, as well as in the example of leadership she set for women—and more than a few men—around the world.
Count among Thatcher’s most ardent fans a woman named Margaret Gilroy. This 4.0 engineering student at the U.S. Naval Academy appears in the latest issue of Glamour as one of the Top 10 College Women of 2013. Here’s why Gilroy admires Thatcher:
Her direct, unequivocal, no-nonsense attitude. “She wasn’t a fan of fluff and could get a job done,” Gilroy observes.
Her self-possession and poise. Whether representing Britain at world summits or debating her opposition during Prime Minister’s Question Time, Thatcher remained tough and determined. “She never let her gender cause her to doubt her goals,” Gilroy says. “She paid very little attention to the fact that she was a woman and didn’t let anyone else dwell on that fact either.”
Her signature sense of style. Gilroy loved “her classy, professional wardrobe—and her love of pearls.” Gilroy’s own favorite uniform? Her Navy summer whites with a skirt, white heels, and a French gel mani.
As Gilroy remembers her greatest role model, so does President Obama. In a White House Statement this morning, Obama calls Thatcher “one of the great champions of freedom” who “stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.”
How do you think of Thatcher’s legacy? Who are women you admire as much as Gilroy admires Thatcher?