Check out the release of this story via WiLab! ~Erin
After attending the MA Conference for Women in Boston last Thursday, December 4th, it took me some time to process what I had just experienced. In a sea of over 10,000 women, how do you decipher the takeaways? For me it was easy. Hillary.
Amid the surface level discussions of leaning in, work-life balance, and how to become a super negotiator, the conference was riddled with key note speakers who had something important to say: Today we stand with women of all cultures, different professions, and we join together to celebrate our success.
The Former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton joined the conference poised and ready to discuss current events. She touched upon the Brown Ferguson tragedy in addition to the Garner case, noting that “these are our sons, our brothers” and the most important thing that each of us can do is to try harder to see the world through our neighbor’s eyes. She was distinct in her positioning on the fact that weapons of war have no place on our streets, yet thoughtful in her words on how these events affect our lives, our children, our future.
…I know that a lot of hearts are breaking, and we’re asking ourselves aren’t these our sons and brothers?….We have allowed our criminal justice system to get out of balance…These are our streets, our children, our fellow Americans, and our grief…
When raising a boy, the crash-bang-boom of it all is silenced when you see a tragedy like this. Could this happen to my child when he grows older? How does his skin color protect or portray my child in a way that makes him dangerous? It’s a tough pill to swallow.
Hillary traversed into crediting our founding Massachusetts mothers, my personal favorite Abigail Adams, who was a pioneer for women’s rights. She quickly uncovered the raw truth in how the gender pay gap continues, the difficulty in balancing motherhood and work, and how women get the motherhood penalty, while men often get the pay bump. The ringing truth of these challenges faced by all women who remain focused on their career in addition to having children, is a sound reminder of the enormous work that lies ahead. Massachusetts is only the 3rd state in the country to require paid leave for personal or family member sick time.
…Paid leave is absolutely essential in the work world….We need to get paid leave provisions on every state ballot by 2016…
The thing I most appreciated was the honest dialog, her resonance in talking about the hard issues that women face today and the criticism we all receive for having these conversations. As women continue to have these conversations, we are enabled to grow with a resounding voice. The world needs more Hillary Clinton’s. We need women who have a voice, and offer their insight into important issues. The platform for these topics must be broached. This is our opportunity to propel this movement into the 21st Century, and influence each other in a sense that we can experience the change first hand, rather than waiting for generations to come.
In my final notes on the keynote luncheon, I found the following quotes;
…Talent is universal. But opportunity is not….
…When women and girls are given opportunities, Nation’s prosper…
…The women of Massachusetts have changed history time and again and I believe they can do it still…
…There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”… via Madeleine Albright
You can see Hillary’s speech from the 10th Annual MA Conference for Women here: