What does it signal to society when a person as accomplished as a former secretary of state, U.S. senator, and first lady is described as having "extraordinary, irrational, overwhelming ambition"? What is the message to a young woman who gets stellar results but is labeled "too assertive" or "abrasive"? Nothing good.
Power and ambition are still not considered ladylike terms. Rather than despair over the image of Lady Macbeth and her murderous power play, I went to New York City last week for The WIE Symposium, where I had the opportunity to speak with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. I asked them both about how we can change the largely negative connotations our culture has surrounding women, power and ambition.