Bracco Wants to Break Glass Ceiling

01/25/2002 at 11:00 AM EST

"The Sopranos" star Lorraine Bracco spent a rainy Thursday morning on Capitol Hill discussing the harsh realities of being a working woman, reports PEOPLE. Wearing a black suit and blouse and flanked by members of Congress, Bracco, 47, announced a new report indicating that the glass ceiling for women has not been shattered -- or even cracked -- and that it is now actually harder than ever to break through. "How can this be possible?" Bracco recalls thinking when she first read the report's findings. "I tell my daughters they can be whatever they want to be. But it's possible that they might not be paid equally for the work they do." Though she initially tripped over some of her words ("Okay, I'm nervous!" she admitted to legislators), Bracco, who just this week filed for divorce from her longtime estranged husband, actor Edward James Olmos, said, "I know about being a working mother. I'm a single mom and I have two daughters -- one (Margaux, 21) who is already in the workplace . . . I'm ready to fight on behalf of all working mothers who haven't gotten a fair shake." Bracco, who plays the therapist Dr. Jennifer Melfi on the HBO series about mob boss Tony Soprano and his circle, added that no profession is without blame. "There is a glass ceiling in every industry and there's one (in Hollywood) too," she said. "Name a woman who has broken it." (HBO, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner.)

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