Ah, the prospect of Hilary Clinton 2016. In case you hadn’t noticed, times are changing, and in so many ways this is really good news. We are lucky enough to exist during a time when our culture and our government are embracing monumental shifts in gender equality, race equality and marriage equality. When our parents were growing up they probably never imagined a world where we would have an African America president and where the Supreme Court would rule that same-sex couples could legally be married and recognized by the law (#lovewins). It is a great time to be an American; a time of change, of progress and a time of hope. Which means there has never been a better time to have a female as the Commander and Chief of this country.
A recent Economist/YouGov Poll found that “two in three Americans think the country is ready to elect a woman as President.” This statistic is significantly higher than 8 years ago, when less than half of Americans said they were ready to elect a woman. The numbers don’t lie; the country is ready and it’s time to embrace the prospect of having a female president, because for the first time in history, it is a very real possibility. Here are 7 reasons to not just accept, but also love the idea of Hilary Clinton 2016.
1. This world needs strong female leaders It’s shocking, but as CNN reports, currently only about 14% of the top 5 leadership roles (CEO, CMO, CFO, COO etc.) at companies in America are held by women. If you look only at CEOs, a measly 24 out of 500 CEO positions are occupied by women. The numbers aren’t comforting for aspiring female leaders, and the potential for future change isn’t exactly uplifting. In order to employ more female leaders, there needs to a) be a pool of leaders to draw from and b) there needs to be role models for young women and little girls to learn from. Having a strong, successful, powerful woman in arguably the most important leadership role in the world would not just help out country, it would help provide a better future for women all over the world.
2. Women are just as capable as men Let’s not forget that women are just as capable as men, and are just as well-educated and well-equipped to lead a country. Recent reports show that “women complete college and graduate school at higher rates than men.” In 2011 women earned 47% of all law degrees in the US and in 2014 they earned 47% of all medical degrees. Women are working just as hard as men, earning the same (or possibly a higher level of) educational success, and yet they are still not being granted the same opportunities when it comes to their careers and the potential for leadership roles. It’s time to change that story, and having a woman as president could set a real precedent for propelling women to the top.
3. Experience is more important than gender At the end of the day, a person’s experience, qualifications, personality, opinions on important matters, ability to listen and ability to lead should be much larger considerations when electing a leader of the free world than his or her gender. While we would love a female leader, if she is less qualified than a man, she should not get the job. On the flip side, if a woman is the right person for the job, then the fact that she is a female should not undermine her experience.
4. Women’s issues could get a lot more attention As a woman in this country, it often feels like our rights and our bodies are being governed by a man or a group of men, who have no idea what it is like to be a woman. Topics including abortion rights and birth control availability have been debated in recent years, and quite frankly, women’s rights have suffered some setbacks in the past decade. It’s time to change that, and regardless of what your beliefs may be, having a female as president would certainly be a victory for women’s rights, and would shed some more light on the many struggles that women face on a daily basis.
5. Other countries have elected female leaders Germany, Brazil and Argentina have all elected female leaders, and they survived, even with an extra dose of estrogen in the leadership role. It’s important to show the world that as a nation, we have also evolved past the outdated notion that only a man can lead.
6. Three words: wages gender gap According to Emily Baxter, a research associate for the Economic Policy team at the Center for American Progress, in 2013 it was reported “women working full time, year round, earned an average of 78 cents for every dollar earned by men working full time, year round.” In comparable jobs, in the same industry, and across almost all industries, women earn less than men for doing the same exact work, and having the same exact qualifications. This is not OK. Change has to start at the top, and having a woman who is equally qualified and equally willing to work hard to rule this country would set the tone for changes to come.
7. It could open doors for more females in leadership roles down the road Our children are the future of our country, and while there is much work to be done right now, we can’t forget how our actions today will affect our children, and our children’s children many years from now. It’s time to work towards a world where women are seen as equals, and where little girls can grow up knowing that they should dream big, because their possibilities are endless.