Ibtihaj Muhammad and Jen Welter on the barriers they broke

In 2015, football player Jen Welter signed with the Arizona Cardinals to coach inside linebackers during training camp and preseason, which made her the first female coach in National Football League history. A year later, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first American Muslim to compete at the Olympic Games wearing a hijab — and then she became the first to medal in one.

At the recent United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles, Muhammad and Welter sat down with The Lily to talk about the barriers they broke, how they did it and what advice they’d give women like them.

CHAPTER 1: ON ROLE MODELS

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CHAPTER 2: ON BEING FIRST

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CHAPTER 3: ON FAILURE

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CHAPTER 4: ON DEFYING EXPECTATIONS

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This article is part of The Lily, a Washington Post publication with stories critical to the lives of women.

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