After the informed consent procedures, all interviews but one were conducted in person at a location determined by the participant. The interview guide was sent out well before the interview. Interviews ranged over two hours, sometimes more, and I conducted all of them myself.
The interview questions emerged after a lengthy process of piloting with colleagues and potential interviewees. Seeing the questions now, you may wonder why it took so long, but this is the nature of research that is developed collaboratively. One point is worth noting, which I have already alluded to with respect to women: I was often surprised to hear these courageous, principled, accomplished women asking, “Why choose me? I'm not sure if I can help you.” Or, “What have I done to be interviewed?” — before proceeding to tell me riveting stories and extrapolate lessons that are absolutely relevant today. Such reactions were not uncommon, and considered in the context of patriarchal silencing or dismissal of women's voices, telling in and of themselves.