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Former Kentucky governor, and past president of St. Catharine College, Martha Layne Collins was on the SCC campus last week to give a presentation during a Women’s History event.
Collins talked about the challenges she faced as Kentucky’s first female governor and how the political climate has changed since she left office.
“People would ask me, ‘What’s it like to be a woman governor’,” Collins said to the crowd gathered in Pettus Auditorium. “I said, ‘Well, I’ve never been a man governor, so I wouldn’t know.’ What’s the difference? I had to make the same decisions that Governor Ford, Governor Carroll or any other governor had to make, whether it had to do with health care, education, roads or other various things.”
Collins also talked about the difficulties women face in the work place, even if they are former elected officials.
“If there is anything I get frustrated about, and I’ll be quite honest, it’s that I have to keep proving myself over and over and over again,” she said. “I keep thinking why I have to do that. I have run the state, I handled the budget and I have gotten things done – now why, when I suggest something, can we not just go. But it doesn’t always work that way.”
Collins offered some words of inspiration to those gathered.
“We have to continue to learn. When you graduate and you walk across the stage to get you diploma and you say, ‘Finished, I’m ready!’ But that’s only the beginning. Every day, I try to learn something new. You can continue to learn at St. Catharine College by getting your master’s degree. I don’t have a master’s, I don’t have a Ph.D., and that has limited me. Every opportunity you are given is important because it may not happen again.”