Just Imagine (My response to the Hillary Conundrum)

cn_image.size_.hillary-clinton-secretary-of-state-new-delhi

As a female business leader and entrepreneur, intimately interested in furthering opportunities for women to succeed and be paid equally with our male counterparts, it’s a no-brainer that I will comment and weigh in on Hillary’s presidential campaign.

First, in full disclosure, I’m a registered Democrat. So of course I’m happy to have my own party putting what will (likely) be the first woman at the head of the presidential ticket.

Second, also in full disclosure, I supported Hillary in the primary over Barrack Obama—primarily because of her added experience, but also because I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to see what a woman could do at the top.

For my democratic counterparts, this is an exciting moment, and one nearly all will embrace. We have a highly qualified, fairly centric, strong woman with a high chance of winning—not a long shot by any stretch. She only has to hold the course and not make any huge mistakes to win it.

For those who are either strongly Republican or indifferent to a party, the question might be difficult. As a woman, how do you determine that this is not the right candidate for you to back? Could you miss out on what could be a historic moment for over half of the population—the half that is grossly underrepresented, underpaid, and earned the right to vote after black men?

May I suggest it’s largely a question of qualification for the job? If you personally determine that Hillary Clinton is indeed qualified to lead the country—are you not bound as a proponent of advancing women in every arena to get on board with Hillary?

Imagine the messages we can finally give to girls and women across the country. The highest of all glass ceilings shattered. An advocate of women and children’s causes throughout her lifetime sitting in the Oval Office, ready to bring that same advocacy to legislation, policies and incredible visibility.

For four years, every time the president is addressing the nation, speaking, and traveling, it is one of us, ladies. What an incredible statement she will make every time she shows up.

This is not the case of an under-qualified woman running or being selected to run just because she’s a woman and we need her on the ticket. This is a woman who has proven her ability to run, win, lead, govern and negotiate at the highest levels.

So, to all the women and men who believe shattering the ceilings of where women can go is critical to our success as a nation and individually, simply ask: Is she qualified? Can she make us proud? Can we drop the party lines and social issues that divide us and let ourselves wonder – What can she do? What can we do given the chance?

Perhaps we ask it this way, rather than shall I back Hillary just because she is a woman:

Is there a man running who is so much more qualified to lead that we run from the historic opportunity to put a qualified woman at the helm and just see what will happen?

For all the women who’ve been passed over, fired, questioned about work/life balance, ignored, manterrupted in the board room, and underpaid for no reason other than gender—just imagine.

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