(NEW YORK) — Hillary Clinton steered clear of politics and made no mention of any presidential plans as she spoke to an enthusiastic and largely-female audience at New York University Thursday morning.
Flanked by her daughter Chelsea and Melinda Gates, Clinton focused on women’s economic empowerment as she spoke in support of the “No Ceilings” project — a joint venture of the Clinton Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that seeks to empower women and girls by aggregating the best data on their contributions to society and security.
The trio took questions on issues ranging from the decline in the number of women and girls in STEM fields, to women in leadership positions, to what men can do to help women gain fuller anticipation in the workforce.
Clinton said women and girls need more encouragement than their male peers.
Clinton also spoke of the need to encourage and support girls at a young age, particularly in middle school.
“Something begins to happen around the middle school years, and those are tough years for both boys and girls,” Clinton said. “I think that for young women it becomes a period when they begin to doubt themselves. …They begin to lose confidence and that is often most evident in switching out of some of these [STEM] courses even though they loved them until they were 13, 14, 15.”
Clinton did not reference any presidential plans, but offered the following advice to young women.
“One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever heard from anyone is from Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1920s, who said that women in politics or in public roles should grow skin like a rhinoceros.”
“I think there is some truth to that,” Clinton said.
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