How women led Congress out of the swampGrowing evidence shows that women leaders operate differently. The government shutdown of October 2013 ended, despite a complete congressional impasse, when three women Republican Senators broke ranks from their party. Two women Democrats followed their lead, and men on both sides came along. The bipartisan committee that worked on the final deal was gender balanced, but John McCain perceptively joked that the women were taking over. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who had started it all by courageously calling for compromise, told a reporter, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence…. Although we span the ideological spectrum, we are used to working together.” While male colleagues crossed their arms and sulked, women crossed the aisle with phone calls, email and social media. The men saw a deal they could live with and followed suit.