Hillary Clinton came out of the woods and onto the stage at the 2017 Professional Business Women of California Conference in San Francisco on March 28 in San Francisco.
The sold-out event drew thousands of women.
The ‘coming out of the woods,’ remark, of course, is a reference to sightings and the subsequent Saturday Night Live spoof of her walking in the woods after she lost the 2016 presidential election to now-President Donald Trump.
Clinton’s talk in Silicon Valley had criticism for President Trump and some for the GOP, but it was mostly about the work ahead on the equality front. It was the rallying statements she made that are likely to resonate most with the women who are working in healthcare IT – and in other sectors of the economy as well.
Here are 10 comments, we gleaned from Clinton’s San Francisco speech.
• “There's never been a more important woman than the woman who stands up and says not just for herself, but for everybody else, ‘we want diversity and inclusion in everything we do in our country.’
• “Advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls is the great unfinished business of the 21st century.”
• “We need more women at any table, on any conference call or email chain where decisions are made. And a big part of that is encouraging more women to run for office and pushing the private sector to do a lot better than it currently is.”
• “And a crucial part of solving these problems is recognizing that as important as it is, corporate feminism is no substitute for inclusive concrete solutions that improve life for women everywhere. Because as challenging as it is to climb the career ladder, it’s even harder for women at the margins unable to get on or stay on even the lowest rung.”
• “We need to reset the table so women are no longer required to accept or adapt to discrimination or sexism at work. We need to think beyond corporate boardrooms, beyond corridors of companies or elected bodies, beyond our own lives and experiences to lift up women of all incomes, experiences and backgrounds in every corner of our country.”
• “One of your own California congresswoman, Maxine Waters, was taunted with a racist joke about her hair. Now too many women, especially women of color, have had a lifetime of practice taking precisely these kinds of indignities in stride. But why should we have to?”
• “Women hold just a quarter of computing jobs in the U.S. and that number has gone down instead of up. Women are hired at lower numbers in the tech industry and leave at more than twice the rate men do. And for women of color, the situation is even worse.”
• “The private sector can and must be an engine of change on these issues, especially in a place like Silicon Valley. Because when you're on the cutting edge of how people work and learn you have both an opportunity and an obligation to institute workplace policies that help employees meet their responsibilities at home and on the job. And then leaders in other industries will take notice and try to match what you do.”
• “We need to resist actions that go against our values as Americans, whether that's attacking immigrants and refugees, denying climate change or passing bogus laws that make it harder for people to vote in elections.”
• “We need to resist bias and bullying. We need to resist hate and fear. And we need to insist on putting people first, including by working together to make healthcare more affordable, to build on what works, to create better and more upwardly mobile education and employment ladders.”