The US election felt like it dragged on for a lifetime and at last, it has finally reached its climax. And, excuse the pun, but in light of the word, climax, after a huge build up, it came and went in the blink of an eye. But what did we miss? Well, a lot actually.
After a long day, I wanted to reflect on this morning’s shock result and what it means. Perhaps no one really understood just how divided America really is at the moment and it would seem, millions of people simply want change. It was just a case of from whom that change would come from. In the end, it came down to two choices and really, who you liked the most, or perhaps who you felt you could tolerate the most.
And these two individuals are no spring chickens. Donald Trump is 70 and Hillary Clinton is 69. If I consider how knackered I often feel at a mere 38, if I were Hillary, I would now be going for a long lie down.
So what did we learn from Hillary? She has a wealth of political experience but she also has baggage. Many Americans seem to either love her or hate her. A nation divided in their opinion of her. The media has been keen to show she’s not whiter than white, raising old scandals, including the famous Bill Clinton statement ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman’ fiasco. The thousands of deleted emails. Oh...the emails. But, aside from all of that, she’s a strong woman and as so, I respect her. Her values for all women, our children and equality for all.
I watched the results roll in from the Clinton Campaign HQ, streamed live from the most beautiful glass building you can ever imagine. I could visualise the campaign team behind her shouting “Hillary, this is the most perfect venue!”. A glass box with a glass ceiling...just waiting to be shattered.
Making Hillary Clinton US President, would have been historic, momentous. And whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, it would have been an historic day - for women. She would have achieved the powerful job in the world. But as sad as it is to say, people often associate the American presidency with male leadership.
But how did Hillary lose, when it was hers to win? Was it partly because she was often criticized for not being emotional enough? Sometimes appearing cold and unemotional? I recently read an interesting article on Vox.com about why. Hillary said that she learnt a long time ago as a young woman to ‘control’ her emotions as a way to deal with vitriolic attacks against her. She used methods to control her emotions as a way to protect herself and her family.
Looking now with an open mind, I hope President Trump uses all his business acumen to bring good to the American people. That he will surround himself with talented people, which will bring stability, economic growth, jobs and equality to the country. As for the locker room talk? Well, whether it’s on or off camera, I hope his press team encourage him to think about how he speaks about women. But, the question still lies, can a leopard really change its spots?
I watched closely as Hillary Clinton’s made her concession speech. Her guard was down, her composure switched on, but this time; tears filled her eyes. The speech was a good one and a moving one at that. Her closing speech said “To all the women and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion. Now, I know we have not shattered that high glass ceiling, but some day someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think, right now”.
This all comes at an important time for women in the workplace. Leading asset owners and global advocacy groups seek to have women comprise 30% or better of board seats globally. At the current place, this target will not be met until 2027 globally.
Hillary then closed her heart-warming speech by saying “to all the little girls, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”. Well said Hillary.
On a closing note, whatever you’ve learnt from this dramatic US election, just remember ladies, whatever happens, we’ve definitely learnt one thing - those bizarrely shaped trouser suits are a no go.