TOPSHOT - US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech after being  defeated by Republican president-elect Donald Trump as former President Bill Clinton(L) and running mate Tim Kaine look on in New York on November 9, 2016. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Clinton to all girls: Don't doubt you are valuable
01:18 - Source: CNN

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The 'hardest, highest' glass ceiling held firm Tuesday night, but these women have shattered others

Women leaders share their thoughts on Clinton's historic status

CNN  — 

Hillary Clinton made it further than any woman ever has on her quest for the presidency, but she wasn’t able to crack that “highest, hardest glass ceiling.”

CNN Opinion asked women who lead in their fields – actors, athletes, scientists, businesswomen, activists, philanthropists and heads of state – to reflect on the meaning of Clinton’s historic candidacy.

The views expressed in these commentaries are their own.

Gloria Steinem: ‘Young women should go on doing what they know is right’

Gloria Steinem

I supported and celebrated Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate not only because she is a female human being, but because she stood for the right of all women in the world to decide our own reproductive lives; for a foreign policy that recognizes violence against females as the biggest indicator of all other violence; against global warming as an ultimate warning and danger, and for democracies that see people as linked, not ranked.

It’s important to remember that she won the popular majority vote with every one of those positions, and that Donald Trump opposes them all, would put women’s reproductive lives in the hands of the government, and sees the world as a hierarchy with him at the top. What he seems not to know is that all change grows from the bottom, like a tree, and he might slow change but can never stop it. Young women should go on doing what they know is right. I and countless others are here to help.

Gloria Steinem is a feminist activist and author.

Uzo Aduba: Clinton’s candidacy ‘confirms the art of dreaming’

Uzo Aduba

Having a female candidate as the nominee of a major political party confirmed the art of dreaming. Not only for those persons identifying as female, but for all Americans trusting in the guiding principle that “all men are created equal.”

Uzo Aduba stars in “Orange is the New Black.” She can currently be seen in Ewan McGregor’s film “American Pastoral.”

Janet Murguia: ‘We will continue our century-old fight’

Janet Murguia

Women and young girls will not be discouraged by today’s results. We will continue our century-old fight for our proper seat at the table.

Janet Murguia is the President and CEO of National Council of La Raza.

Jennifer Finney Boylan: How will we react to ‘difference’ now?

Jennifer Boylan

The most important challenge in life is our ability to compassionately imagine the lives of others – all the ways their struggles and joys are different from our own. And yet, Donald Trump’s entire campaign has been based around the idea that white men want their country “back.” His victory feels like a rejection of people like me (a transgender woman) – and of every single last soul in this country who has a “difference.” After this election, how will we react to “difference?” With love and compassion? Or with hatred and fear?

Jennifer Finney Boylan is the author of 15 books and is the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence at Barnard College of Columbia University. She also serves as the national co-chair of the Board of Directors of GLAAD.

Billie Jean King: ‘You never walk away from a fight’