“When we look at the state legislature we have less than 24% women. That number is the lowest level it has been in the past decade – which is rather appalling for a progressive state like California.”
As the daughter of immigrants and the first in her family to attend college, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin is no stranger to adversity. This former all-American swimmer has learned to navigate rough waters with determination, poise, and a tenacity that has earned her admiration in the traditionally male-dominated spheres that she has spent a lifetime daring to compete in.
She attributes much of her success to her work ethic, positive attitude, and competitive spirit. In high school, Irwin learned that she had an aptitude for math but stumbled her senior year after enrolling in a challenging calculus class. While she contemplated quitting, her father insisted that she continue, recognizing that her hard work would validate the many sacrifices her family made in order to support their daughter in pursuing her college dreams. Irwin would go on to attend and graduate from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Science in systems engineering.
After college, Irwin jumped at the opportunity to work as an engineer at John’s Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab and Teledyne Systems. Of more than 30 engineers in her department, only two were women. Undeterred, Irwin embraced the chance to put her intellect to good use while defying the “old boys club” mentality that had previously existed. She continued infiltrating male-dominated fields throughout her career as she entered politics. Read More