09/05/2013 11:56 am ET

Christine Quinn's Advice To Women On 'Leaning In' And 'Having It All'


Christine Quinn has some empowering and thoughtful advice for women.

The Speaker of the New York City Council, who is running for Mayor of New York City, sat down with Refinery 29's Leila Brillson to talk politics, New York and "leaning in."

Quinn sounded off on the expectations society holds for working women, admitting that her work-life balance is "not that good," and pushing back against the idea that women should strive to "have it all:"

I think "having it all" is a phrase I don’t particularly like. You need to have what you want. "All" seems to me to be an imposed list, an imposed definition by society of what "all" is supposed to be. As women, we should be able to decide what we want, how we want it, and [how we] get there. That means it won’t be perfect, there will be mistakes, but that’s fine; that’s human. "All" should be a determination of what we want, not what somebody else or society says.

She also had some smart advice for women who are afraid of being seen as aggressive in the workplace:

You know what? There will be a moment in life, whether you’re forceful or not, where someone will label you something that is negative. You might as well go through life the way you want to. If what you want is to be engaged and forceful, to "lean in," well, do that. At the end of the day, somebody someday is going to say something about you. At least you can look back and say you lived the way you wanted to.

In an August 26 interview with Inc., Quinn revealed that she practices what she preaches when it comes to managing her own employees -- but that she hopes they see her as a good boss.

"I hope they would describe me as supportive," She told Christine Lagorio-Chafkin. "I hope they would describe me as appreciative."

Click over to Refinery 29 for the full interview with Quinn.



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