Earlier this month, Fortune Most Powerful Women launched “Trailblazers,” a new video series featuring conversations with women who have paved the way for others in their fields.
The fourth woman in our series is Muriel Bowser, the current mayor of Washington, D.C. She is the second black woman to hold the position.
“The biggest obstacles are people that will try to put you in a box or try to discourage you from moving ahead and so I think that a lot of people—if you are under 40, if you select a non-traditional path, if you’re a woman—you’re always going to have people who doubt and who try to dissuade you,” Bowser says, explaining how being female has influenced her career path.
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“It’s especially clear when you may be one woman in a field of men, and so it becomes easy to see differences,” she says. “The obstacle for me has been putting what I call the static or the noise to the side and focusing on what I think is best.”