It was all about woman-power last night in Manhattan, where Hillary Clinton and Christine Lagarde had fun taking pokes at the U.S. Congress, the media and The New York Times’s Tom Friedman, their interviewer at the Women in the World conference.
The former secretary of state, senator from New York and first lady and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, both lawyers by training, broke the glass ceiling to access top jobs and could one day become president in their own venues. They also get asked a lot about their future.
Friedman didn’t wring much out of the pair about their political ambition s–Clinton for the White House, Lagarde for the European Commission, though she is sometimes also mentioned for the French presidency.
When faced with a “not right now” from Clinton about any “other jobs” she would be interested in, Friedman rephrased the question to ask about her priorities for America in the future.
“I think actually Tom, that’s the right way to go at it,” Clinton joked, drawing laughter from an overwhelmingly feminine audience before launching into a long answer.
The two women high-fived each other when Friedman suggested they could both become president, first Lagarde at the head of the European Union’s executive arm this year, and then Clinton after the 2016 presidential elections.
In addition to economic arguments for boosting the female labor market participation rate and advice for young women, Clinton and Lagarde had a lot to say about the double-standard for women and how they’re portrayed in the media.
Lagarde had the best story. Letting her signature white hair grow a bit longer got her media attention during the IMF annual meetings in October, she said.
“Journalists actually wrote a story, full page, saying that because my hair was longer there would no longer be a haircut,” she said. “Haircut of the debt of a sovereign state!”