Interview: Cynthia Cooper, Sherron Watkins, Coleen Rowley

On a Saturday morning in December, TIME brought Coleen Rowley of the FBI, Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom and Sherron Watkins of Enron together to talk, for the first time, about their parallel experiences over the past year. The women had never met before, but over breakfast they compared stories and marveled at the similarities: their motivations for exposing the flaws of their institutions, their shock at having their secret actions exposed and then condemned in some quarters, and their enduring love for the ideals of their workplaces. They also discovered they shared much in their personal lives, and they enjoyed cheering...

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