Hillary Clinton — she’s got what it takes. If she didn’t ….
History made. A new glass ceiling shattered.
Another day of pride and hope for women around the world as Hillary Clinton, in Michelle Obama’s epic words, makes “all of our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States”.
The amazing thing about the women’s movement is that each time this happens — when another woman makes that extra leap, climbs that extra step, goes that extra mile, it becomes a victory for all women. Because these women, pioneers, pull the rest of us along with them. Their victory is not theirs alone — it’s a victory for all of us and it helps us collectively take one more step towards true equality.
A few speeches stand out during this week’s Democratic National Convention as numerous people throw their voice and weight behind a movement to get Hillary elected to the White House. Michelle Obama’s voice will echo, hopefully all the way to November 8th, in what was an impassioned, inspiring speech — one of the best seen recently. A (first) lady of substance indeed!
Bill Clinton’s speech was masterful — what a great story teller! I loved the technique of weaving his core message into a personal life story — it’s a great way to make your message “stick”. He did an exceptional job standing up for his wife and making a case for her. That she is qualified, credible, and experienced. She has the vision and the smarts. The grit and the grace.
And oh, by the way, she’s also a great mother who’s raised a model daughter.
Now, all of that may or may not be true, but didn’t it feel a little bit like resume-building? Like she needs to prove that she has more than what it takes to get the job — a 100%++ resume — while her competitor, that bombastic name-caller and compulsive megalomaniac with, at best, a 60% acceptable resume, stands roughly the same chance of being elected. Like she needs to bring hard facts and evidence to establish credibility while all he needs to do is to assert in a loud voice that he can do the job. Unbelievably, they poll at similar levels of likeability and trustworthiness.
This is the unfortunate reality of the platinum-standard that women are measured against. It’s true in politics. It’s true in the workplace.
It’s now well researched that women, even in the 21st century, need to work harder to get that job, harder to get the promotion and harder to get paid equally relative to their male counterparts — all while taking on greater responsibility in the household, being criticized and stereotyped about looks or clothing and constantly having to prove “likeability”.
And yet, there’s hope. Hope, as despite these stereotypes, so many amazing women are persisting and overcoming challenges and becoming role models for the next generation of kids.
Hope in the form of a growing list of supportive voices from the other 50% population that now openly lend their voice and support for women’s rights (#HeforShe) and in the form of the many, many men that celebrated, cheered and cried along with women at the Convention when she shattered that glass ceiling. What a moment!