WOMEN

Kirsten Gillibrand Says Female Friendship Is 'One Of The Best Things' About The Senate

06/11/2015 03:10 pm ET | Updated Jun 11, 2015
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says women in the Senate stick together, no matter what party they represent.

In an interview with The Cut, the Senator from New York told journalist Jaime Fuller that girl power is a uniting force on the Hill:

I think it’s really one of the best things about the Senate. Women really do seek each other out to form friendships outside of our working lives. And we appreciate each other as women first, as mothers and daughters, as sisters, as wives, I think it makes a difference in how we react toward each other. We’re always willing to listen, we're always willing to think through an issue for someone, we’re also looking for things to work together on.

Gillibrand also spoke about her hopes to get more women in Congress, attributing the current low numbers to social conditioning that encourages women to downplay their accomplishments and present themselves as pleasant above all else. Congress is currently 20 percent female.

"[Young women] think being likable is more important," Gillibrand said. "There are a lot of reasons why women lose their ambition. I talk in my book about how I lost my girlhood bravado. I literally said I wanted to be a senator when I was 6 or 7. I didn't admit it again for like 30 years! Probably because I thought that was rude or self-centered or conceited or some negative attribute, which is true, because people view ambitious women negatively, so I suppressed it."

Here's hoping more women keep a firm hold on their ambition -- we need more Gillibrands around.

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