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Nevertheless, She Persisted
WHAT DOES A POLITICAL OR BUSINESS LEADER LOOK LIKE? ACCORDING
TO HILLARY CLINTON, THE FUTURE OF LEADERSHIP IS FEMALE.
By Liz Bernier
I’ve often felt the need to be careful in public, like I was up on a
wire without a net.”
That was one of the most resounding statements Hillary
Clinton made in discussing the aftermath of her failed 2016
presidential bid. It’s a memorable one, and not simply because of
the insight it provides into her experience as the first female candi-date
to be nominated by a major party as a presidential candidate.
No – it’s memorable, applicable and nearly universal, because
it could apply so seamlessly to so many women in leadership
Clinton made that statement during a talk – unprecedented
in its candid tone – late last year in Toronto. HR Professional
attended to hear her thoughts on being a woman in a high-profile
She’s finally able to “let down her guard,” she said – and she had
some exceptionally candid, timely insights around the plight of
women in politics, leadership and public life.
“As a woman in politics, it’s really hard to find the right bal-ance
between showing your passion and your intense feelings, and
not crossing that line where you’re the ‘angry woman’ that nobody
wants to hear from,” she said. “I don’t mind being called ‘angry’ on
behalf of somebody else. I’m angry about the way immigrants and
refugees are being treated. I’m angry about Republicans trying to
take health care away from 32 million Americans and give tax cuts
to the very wealthy. So there are a lot of things that make me angry
– but not on my own behalf. And that’s the difficult line in public.”
But fortunately for Clinton, she no longer has to walk that line.
“If you’ve done work bringing women together in government,
encouraging women – and you know I think challenging that line
is to walk. So now I’m not walking any lines – I’m just out there,
sharing my best ideas,” she said.
Sharing ideas wasn’t always such a simple exercise, said Clinton
– and particularly not during the campaign and debates of the
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