The Election of 2016 is a story of mothers and daughters

I realized during the Democratic convention that the fate of this election really lies in the hands of mothers and daughters.

I have a 28 year old daughter who I believe could easily lead the world someday. She and I have had many conversations about the opportunities for women. I realized awhile ago that she doesn’t understand or know about the struggle of the generations of women before her, just like I didn’t understand the struggles of the women of my mother’s generation.

This is the key factor in this upcoming election. Do the women of the millennial generation have any understanding or empathy for the women of the previous generation? Do they trust that the women (aka Hillary Clinton) of their mother’s generation will fight for their interests? The answer is yes. It is and always has been yes. Mothers will always fight to improve the rights of their daughters and granddaughters.

I had a conversation with my daughter a few years ago in which she told me that she finally understood the contradiction that women face. She always wanted me to be home and spend more time for her when she was a child. Instead I was a CEO for most of her childhood. But, she told me that if I hadn’t been a CEO, I would not have been her role model and she would not have had the drive to create her own future. She told me that she understood that this was a contradiction in which I could only fail in some way. So, we decided to view the past in a different way. A way in which we both succeeded and created a future for her future unborn daughter.

Now, we have a historic opportunity to truly enhance the opportunities of women — not just in the US, but all over the world. We will have the opportunity to elect a woman as president of the United States. My daughter told me last week that her generation simply is not willing to accept compromise and hide in the shadows anymore. As women, they expect equal treatment and equal pay. They will not sit quietly and hope for improvement and they don’t understand why our generation of women was willing to do so.

I cannot defend my actions, frankly. I was harassed for years as a woman in technology and as a CEO and leader. I thought that if I just overcame and ignored, I would be helping to forge a better world for my daughter. I was mistaken. On the one hand, I was somewhat successful in spite of the obstacles and probably because I was quiet. On the other hand, the problems have now been passed on to the next generation to be solved. I wonder now, if I had raised my voice in protest, could I have made changes happen sooner? I will never know.

But, I am not going to miss this historic opportunity to elect a women as leader of the free world. And I hope that my daughter and her generation of women will join me.