Thank you to Dan for welcoming me, it is very humbling to follow Malala. Thank you to everyone involved in all the super fans for hosting me this morning. Thank you to everyone at the Boston Convention Center for welcoming me so warmly.
I thought I would share a little bit about what I'm particularly excited to work on this year. I know that INBOUND is really focused on helping each of you share what you're most excited about, and collaborate with each other. So, I thought I would share a little bit about what I am really excited about. This month marks the 20th anniversary of a speech that my mother gave in Beijing, which shouldn't have been so controversial at the time. But was incredibly provocative when she declared that women's rights are human rights, and human rights and women's rights. I wish that weren't still provocative today. But still in much of the world it is.
As we thought about this month being the 20th anniversary of her speech, we reached out to Melinda Gates and the Gates Foundation to see if we could do something a little ambitious, and a little bit audacious. Could we bring together the most data ever, around the status of Rights and opportunities for women and girls in the last twenty years? To really understand where we've made progress, to approaching and hopefully actually realizing women's rights as human rights, and where maybe we hadn't made as much progress.
So we did that, we reached out to the United Nations and the World Bank, some less conventional development partners like Facebook, because it is the largest female population in the world, telecom companies, and others, and we launched a report in March that we called The Full Participation Report. Because really, we want to see a world where every girl, like my daughter Charlotte, and every woman, like those of us that are a little bit older than Charlotte, can be anything that we want to be. That we can stretch the limits of our ambitions, and our talents, and our work ethic. That's not the world we live in yet.
The good news is that we've made some progress, but we're not there yet. So what does that mean? Well often when we talk about ceilings in this country, we talk about the pay gap, and ceilings that inhibit a woman's ability to stretch the limits of her education, or professional aspirations, and those are very real. Talk about those in a little bit. But for so many young women and girls around the world, the ceilings are what Malala faces. The ceilings are the expectations or the realities of not being able to go to school, or getting married as a girl. There more than 700 million women around the world today who were married before the age of 18. Although we made a lot of progress in the last twenty years, as more and more countries have made it illegal to force a girl to marry, still more than a hundred and forty million girls are expected to be married before their 18th birthday by 2020.
So we've made real progress, but we still have a long ways to go. We actually still have work to do in this country to ensure that our laws reflect what I believe our values to be, which is that no girl should be forced to be married or even allowed to be married. We're in Massachusetts right now, and in Massachusetts is actually legal for a girl to be married at twelve, if courts and her parents' consent. Not if she consents, but if the courts and her parents' consent. This is the lowest age in the country, although it hasn't been enforced in a really long time, the laws on the books matter. I think it's important for us, as Americans, to recognize that when we talk about child marriage in other countries, and working to eliminate it, we still have unfinished business in this country, as well.
Another major ceiling and barrier that so many women face around the world is out of gender-based violence. One in three women worldwide has been sexually assaulted or sexually intimidated. It is unacceptable in the 21st century. We know that's not only morally reprehensible, it's also a major drag on economies. So this is such a classic example of ensuring that protecting women isn't just the right thing to do, but it's a smart thing to do. Think about all of that loss potential. If a woman is recovering from being beaten, she's not working, she's not imagining, she's not dreaming, she's not contributing to the future of her economy.
Another major ceiling that probably seems somewhat strange in this room, where I read that there were eighty four thousand tweets sent last year during INBOUND over four days, is that there are still hundreds of millions of women around the world, particularly in the developing world, who don't have access to any technology, because it's seen as unseemly. Because of cultural suspicions that women might find out too much, might have too much of a voice, or too much agency, if they actually had access to cell phone or the internet. So we take for granted technology being universal in this country, because in many ways it is. More than ninety percent of Americans have access to some type of online device. But that's not the reality for much of the developing world, particularly women and girls. In this is an area, that Malala is focused on, ensuring that only girls get into school, but girls get into school in a way that is connected, literally, with the 21st century.
Another challenge that is acute at this moment in time, is it we have the largest refugee crisis ever. We have more refugees today than even after WWII. That's not something anyone should be proud of, and I think it's something all of us need to feel a responsibility for at least paying attention to, and supporting efforts to ensure that we never see another image like that tragic image of the boy who washed up on the shore. It's particularly affecting to children and to women. Violence rates go up for refugee women, deprivation rates go up for refugee women. So I bring this up, and I know it's a somber topic to talk about on a Friday morning, but I think it's important that we are aware of the ways in which people who are already vulnerable, as women around the world so often still are, and children are, just by virtue of being children.
How the headlines we encounter on any given morning or evening, still affect women disproportionately. Another challenge facing women around the world, is that while we've made tremendous progress in our country towards equal inclusion in equal opportunities, including equal marriage rights, women are often still disproportionately penalized for questions of their identity and questions of their sexual orientation. It's something that often is similarly not paid attention to, that while equal rights remains an unfinished business around the world it is particularly true for LGBTQ women. I promise we'll get to some more optimistic slides in a bit but we have little bit more somberness is to get through first.
Access to health care remains a major challenge for women around the world. One area that is often touted as an area of real success is that maternal mortality is gone down. More and more women are surviving pregnancy and childbirth. As someone who had to have an emergency C-section, I'm incredibly grateful to live in the 21st century in the United States of America, and that I had tremendous medical care, doctors, nursing care, I was in a hospital in New York City in 2014, to give birth to my daughter safely. That's not the reality for so many women around the world. Still more than 800 women die every day, because they don't have access to the same privileges that I had. Just by being lucky enough to be alive at this moment in time in our country.
We continue to have extraordinary achievements for women in the maths and sciences. One of my all-time heroes is Sally Ride. I think sometimes we don't realize that while we're sending women into space, there other women around the world who can't leave their house. They're still nine countries in the world where women cannot leave their homes without a male relative accompanying them.
Nine seems to be a number that, sadly, is pretty hard and fast in a lot of these statistics. Sort of the stubborn nine countries who sometimes aren't where the rest of the world is. The USA is not in that group most the time, but we are in one area, which is paid time off of mothers of new infants. The US is one of only nine countries in the whole world that doesn't provide paid time off for mothers of new infants. We're in the company was largely small island nation states in the South Pacific that aren't as wealthy as we are. That couldn't arguably make the same statement that we could, because they don't have the resources that we have available.
I think it's hard for all of us to imagine what we can't see. This is probably something that you are here at INBOUND are even more highly sensitized to and aware of than I am. It's hard for us to imagine what we can't see, and so we rely on our media and our entertainment to help fill those imagination gaps, to help inspire our dreams and our ambitions.
American women are more than 50% of the audiences in movies, but we're less than seven percent of directors of movies and even more it's the ways in which women and girls are portrayed in movies. So even in cartoons, so those that kids are probably most likely to watch, women speak only about 20% of what the male characters do. Female cartoon characters are largely defined by their relationship to the men in the movies, they're a wife, they're a daughter, and they're a friend. Rarely are they the hero. This is one of the reasons why Frozen was such a big deal. Not surprisingly, sadly, they also wear about half the clothing, on average, that the male cartoon characters do. So it's not only helping to ensure that our media and our entertainment are hopefully filling the gap, in terms of what women are doing and not doing. But also candidly, what women are wearing.
The pay gap is an area that thankfully has gotten a lot of attention, and it's an area where we have made some progress but we still have quite a ways to go. The pay gap on average in the world is about 20%. So in this area the US nets out about average. Women earn on average 78 cents to the dollar of men in the US. It's worse in some countries like South Korea, where women only earned 63 percent of what men do. It's better in the Scandinavian countries, where women earn upwards of ninety percent of what men earn. But nowhere is it parity. So we've made a lot of progress, but we still have a ways to go. I think it's important to focus on that.
I think it's important to focus on absolute numbers as well as the relative progress, because if you just focus on the relative progress sometimes it seems pretty fantastic. There twice as many women CEOs in the fortune 500 today than there were in 1995. That seems like a really awesome achievement, until you realize that we've gone from 2% to 5%. And 5% doesn't exactly strike me as equitable. Or similarly, if we think about who is serving a national legislatures and Congresses around the world, in 1995 women were 12% of legislators, in 2014 women wear 22% of legislators. You can either think of that is, wow, that's more than eighty percent gain, or even think, wow, that's still just 22 percent. Not a lot. It's partly because there are still so many ways in which women are subtly and not so subtly discouraged and encounter ceilings.
One of the areas that we spend a lot of time focused on at the Clinton Foundation, is the area of STEM education, and I admit, I think about this in the arc of my own life. I love seeing those pictures earlier of humans of INBOUND, if I'd known I could have brought a picture of myself from 1987 when Santa Claus gave me my first computer. It was a Commodore, I wish I'd saved it, it would be worth about $20,000 now. But I didn't, I recycled in like 1990 when I got another computer, probably from Santa Claus. So in 1987, Santa Claus gave me a computer, and in 1987 women were more than a third of computer science college graduates in the United States. By the time that I graduated from Stanford, in the heart of Silicon Valley, in 2001, women were less than 20% of computer science graduates. Last year, women were barely more than 10%. So even though more and more computer science positions are available for study at community college and four-year universities, women are engaging less. Why is that?
Well, it goes back to a lot of what we've talked about already. Hard to imagine what you can't see. Little girls see Mark Zuckerberg and think, I don't look like that. Little girls get all sorts of messages that they should aspire to be a Disney Princess, instead of maybe, Disney's superhero. Little girls start to be discouraged by teachers in fourth and fifth grade, when male and female teachers start calling on girls less in math and science classes. Sending a not-so-subtle message that their ideas, their answers, aren't as valid or valuable. But thankfully, we're aware of now a lot of why this is happening. So we know we need to do a lot to change it, but thankfully because we now have the data, we know where to go.
Because we believe fundamentally the data not only helps measure progress, it helps inspire progress. And so with our no ceilings report, in conjunction with the Gates Foundation, we've published it in the six major languages that are spoken across the world, we've made all of our data open source, on GitHub, because we want people to use this data. We have almost two million unique data points, and we're adding to it constantly so that its organic data set. Because we want people to pay attention, to ask questions. We hope that it inspires academic work, policy work, and an appropriate amount of anger and frustration, candidly. And the slides that I have just shown, we are launching in a series of social media efforts this month in conjunction with MTV. Not only here in the USA, but around the world. Because we really want to reach out to young people. Not just young women, but also young men. Because we recognize we need young men to be part of the solution, as well.
The entrance of women and the American labor market from 1970 and 2009, added three and a half trillion dollars to our economy. Ensuring that women and girls are educated, empowered, and supported is good for everyone. But unless we tackle some of the challenges that you saw on the slides, we won't get to that reality. The reality that, admittedly, I hope and want for my daughter. But I know is good for all of us. So although this is pretty sobering, and the beginning of Malala's story is incredibly sobering, I'm optimistic. Partly because we have remarkable young women like Malala who are helping us solve these challenges, and who embody in an almost unimaginable way, my grandmother's adage. That life is not about what happens to you, it's about what you do with what happens to you. I can't imagine a more magnificent example of a role model for my daughter to look up to you then Malala.
So I just want to thank INBOUND for not only welcoming me here this morning, but for supporting the Malala Fund. I am going to make a pitch for her movie, which comes out in early November. I hope all of you will go and see it, I think comes out November 6. Called, "He Named Me Malala," which is about her work, and her father's support for her, starting when she was 8. She started writing and blogging in Urdu to when she was 8, talking about the challenges that she confronted getting the education that she knew that she needed, to be the person that she wanted to be. So thank you all for your interest, I hope that you'll go to noceilings.org, explore more of our data if you're more interested than just listening to me this morning. I'll try to find a picture from 1987, and share it with all of you, with my computer. I'm looking forward to continuing the conversation with Sara, thank you all very much.
SARA HAINES: Chelsea, thank you so much.
CLINTON: Sure, thank you.
HAINES: That was very somber but also uplifting, inspiring speech that you just gave. You did a great job of ending on a high note, but I was still kind of like several slides back frustrated that we're still having this conversation in 2015. Why is the rate of change on this issue so slow?
CLINTON: I think the rate of change is slow for a few reasons. I think, one, the barriers and the ceilings that women face are different in different countries. Some are entrenched in law. In Yemen, you have to have two women for every one man in court as a witness. So imagine if you're robbed and the only person that saw it was a woman but she only counted for half person so she actually can't be a witness; you would need to have had the crime witnessed by two women. That, I think, is also just hard for us sometimes to wrap our minds around because it seems so anachronistic and crazy in the context of 2015. So there are legal barriers like that to women fully participating in their societies. There are cultural challenges. So even in countries that have made child marriage illegal there have to still be real efforts and franchising local political leaders, often local religious leaders, and convincing, candidly, fathers in particular how important it is that they allow their daughters to grow up, stay in school, not get married at 13 or 14 and support her in ultimately making whatever choice is right for herself. So I think one of the reasons we're still having this conversation is that so many different ceilings need to be broken down in different ways and the answers vary country to country and even within countries.
HAINES: You mentioned fathers there and I'm glad you did because I want to ask you a little bit about the role of men in this change because I think there's obviously a role for men to play as husbands and fathers, but there's also a role for men to play as men. It seems like we won't really get where we need to go for women as long as there is kind of like a macho culture that constrains what men are allowed to be, too.
CLINTON: In June I was at the United Nations and helped launch the first state of the world's fathers report, which was the effort to aggregate all the research that has ever been done about fathers and also to help fill some of the research gaps. Because you're absolutely right, Sara. We now know that for example in the U.S. one of the most profoundly important things that a little girl can see is her father doing household chores. Of course, a lot is embedded in that. It assumes that there is a father in the house, it assumes – someone's giving props to the man in the third row because he clearly does chores, and you can go up and talk to him afterwards if you want to hear his story – but I recognize that that assume a lot. It assumes that there's a two-parent household. That's not the reality for so many kids in our country but for kids who do go up in a two-parent household a father who does chores – it's important for a little boy to see but it's really important for little girls because it shifts her expectations about what is men's work but it also shifts her expectations about what is possible for a woman to do, which is pretty profound. Now as a mother I see my daughter – she's only eleven-month-old and she's already so absorbed in everything around her and so highly sensitized to everything that my husband and I do – it's not surprising. So we know that we need men to role model. We also know – and this is something that Sheryl Sandberg wrote a lot about in "Lean In" – we also need men who are in corporate leadership positions or any type of leadership positions to shift how they mentor. So Sheryl talked about how is really important for her to have male mentors who just had breakfast with all the people on his team instead of putting women in possibly uncomfortable situations by offering to have a drink with them because that's what he had done with the men that he had mentored. And so we know that may sound like something small but it's actually really important because then it equalizes not only the opportunity for such mentorship but how it's happening. It removes any variability that could be even interpreted as somehow being more favorable toward men than women. So we know that a lot needs to shift but thankfully we now know more and more about what does need to shift and who needs to do the shifting. But absolutely we need we need men to be part of the solution and ultimately that's good for me as well.
HAINES: You mentioned maternity leave policies in the United States, which are basically minimal. A lot of other countries have moved on to talking about paternity leave. I mean, it's like we got left out of that whole maternity leave conversation and they all just moved on. How important is it for paternity leave and maternity leave to happen in the United States?
CLINTON: I think it's hugely important. We know so much now about how crucial the early days, weeks, months and years of a child's life are on so many different levels and ensuring that parents have that time to bond with their children is not only good for the child, it's also, we now know, good for the psychological health and well-being of the parents. So it's so important not only for the future of that child but for the future of her or his family. And again that's just good for everyone, particularly given the mental health challenges that we have in our country that we're thankfully now having more and more of a candid conversation about. Hopefully that will be part of thinking about and kind of making the real not only ethical argument but economic argument for why having more maternity and paternity leave is something that we should be investing in as a country. Something else that we know is how important the first three years are for kids' brain development. And that's another piece of our work for the Clinton Foundation that I cared a lot about before I became a mom but somehow just care even more intensely about now that I am a mother. Although I'm worried that my daughter's first words will be like, "Please be quiet, Mom. You don't need to talk to me all the time." But we know that talking and reading and singing to kids helps build literally build their brains and that for kids who don't have that early nurturing of their intellect, it's hard for them to ever catch up, which is not the kids fault. So we know we need to be doing more to support parents in making whatever the right choices we each feel are for ourselves professionally but also being the parents that we want to be. That's not only good for us but we know that's good for our kids and ultimately again that's good for our economy. China is putting all of its children in universal prekindergarten by 2020. They're putting hundreds of millions of kids in universal prekindergarten by 2020 and moving to universal three-year-old education probably by 2030. They're doing that probably because they think it's the right thing to do and they're aware of the same brain science that I just talked about, but they're also doing it because they know competitively it's the right thing for them to be doing. They're making long-term competitive investments through the mechanism of universal prekindergarten and universal three-year education. I hope that we can start having those conversations in our country, because that should be political. That should just be what is morally the right thing to do for our kids and also, candidly, in our economic self-interest. HAINES: Part of what I am sort of picking up from this, right, is I mean, no one ever said change was easy whether its cultural change or policy change, and there's a lot of psychological research out there, too, that sort of explains why change is so hard for individuals to wrap our heads around. But isn't there anything we can do to make some change more palatable or easier just so that we can kind of move forward on these things and not keep having this same conversation with the same sad statistics?
CLINTON: I think that this is where we – and I know this is something that INBOUND is focused on – where we need to find the right balance between data, statistics and stories. It's one of the reasons why I admire Malala so much, why I sort of ended by saying that I just can't imagine anyone more extraordinarily but with extraordinary humility manifested. My grandma talked about life's not about what happens to you, it's about what you do with what happens to you. She has credibility to talk about the importance of getting girls into school and protecting the right of girls to go to school in a way that has deeper resonance and is more likely to be able to get the people around the table who need to be part of solving those challenges than anyone. I think about a young woman whose story I heard recently named Memory Banda whose older sister Mercy was married when she was a child and by the time she was 16 she had had three children herself, and because she was far too young to have children, she also had suffered significant internal damage. And Memory was so angry by what had happened to her sister and she was so determined that not be her fate, that she became one of the key champion in Malawi in the effort to ban child marriage. And sure enough in February of this year Malawi banned child marriage. Memory can make that argument more powerfully for very painful reasons than any of us could, but we can help provide her with the data around why that's not only the right thing to do but why it's good for Malawi's economy. Because you can see what's happened in other developing countries when they've banned child marriage and more people stay in school and more young women go to college and start businesses and add to their future. So in some ways I think it's about us trying to help the champions who are very much kind of on the ground waging these fights.
HAINES: So it's interesting to me that you talk about the data there, and you did talk about data and statistics a lot in your presentation, but you also are a very good storyteller. I mean, you just told a really powerful story. So how do you think about that balance between persuasion through storytelling and persuasion through data?
CLINTON: It’s something that we think about a lot and we think about it a lot in the context of all the work we do whether it's around early childhood education or women and girls or global health. And I think in some ways it's about ensuring that we're doing work that we know is going to have an impact, and that starts with understanding what the stories are, and so whether that’s here in the United States or around the world. Because ultimately we want to help effect change wherever we can, but we know that Memory knows a lot more about fighting child marriage in Malawi than we do. And so it's listening to her stories and being kind of compelled by her story and then trying to share our platform to help amplify her story, but recognizing that we can help fill in the data gaps. Because not everyone is persuaded. I mean, this is something that my mom has talked a lot about and why we do need to data, that when she decided to ensure that women and girls empowerment and protection was part of American foreign policy. When she would start conversations, often with stories, when she would be talking to foreign ministers or finance ministers, usually there be this glaze-over effect. But when she would talk about data and why it good for the economy or why it was hurting how they were perceived in the world because of the epidemic of gender-based violence or the epidemic of girls not in school, that really got their attention. So I would say we have to be guided by the stories of people who are on the ground — whether that's here in Massachusetts or in Malawi — but we also I think have to tailor how we make an argument to the audience. And that's something that we talk a lot about because sometimes as compelling as Malala is, she may not be the story to get someone to pay attention, but she may be the story to get young people to pay attention who might vote for different leaders. So it's a balance and it's one that I think we all have to keep asking ourselves. But I always think, you know, who are you trying to persuade and what are you trying to persuade them to do? Because I think that's another challenge that we all have. Raising awareness is the first step to making change, but not sufficient. If you want people to get into the conversation with you, I think that we have to be sensitive to what is going to get them to pay attention, ultimately what’s going to get to them to act.
HAINES: Yes, that's a really great point. Because I think one thing that has come up again and again, right, is that especially when you're talking about people our age and younger, we're all on social media, there's a lot of sort of meming of things, and I think that has been a tremendous force for change and has really helped women connect around to these issues. But the same time you’re right – it's not really enough to just sit behind our laptops and then do that, is it?
CLINTON: Well, I think the answer is it depends, really. It sort of depends on what you're doing behind the laptop and then what you do afterwards. I mean, we saw remarkably last month the news that the money raised from the Ice Bucket Challenge last year for ALS had already made real research breakthroughs, that research that scientists have been working on for literally more than 20 years had been kind of rocketed forward because of this injection of funding, but also faith and enthusiasm that the researchers received. They talked about how it not only kind of made difference that they had more money to invest in doing more science, but that they felt like there was attention being paid to their work and they felt a new responsibility to what they were doing. And so we know that kind of hacktivism if backed by real dollars in a strategic way can make a real difference. We also know that sometimes we need people to engage in effecting change in other ways – not surprisingly, I think engaging in the political process is really important – and we see it out around the world. That's not just true here in the United States but it's true across the world. And so who runs for office matters, but also who shows up to vote for who runs for office really matters. And we see that particularly in relation to questions around girls and women's empowerment, because we've seen change escalate so quickly when polls have become protected. And so you may not think protecting polls is what’s going to guarantee a woman's right to vote, but it actually is in a lot of places. And so it's also thinking about, how do we solve the challenges we’re trying to solve, because the solutions are not always obvious and raising awareness is important and often the first necessary step and sometimes the easiest way to raise money and sometimes that’s enough. But sometimes we need real policy changes and for that we need political changes.
HAINES: And what about the role of the private sector in that as well? You mentioned mentoring, you mentioned…we talked a little bit about parental leave. What are other things that, you know – we have a room full of business people – what are people here in this room could do differently as a result to maybe effect things that we saw on the screen before?
CLINTON: I think it depends on what people really care about. I mean, when people ask me, you know, “What should I do?” I always say, “What do you really care about?” Because I think whatever it is that makes someone passionate, whether that's passionately inspired or passionately pissed off, is going to ensure that there is a more durable engagement. Because change is hard and it does take a long time and it takes a high threshold of stubbornness often, because it can take a long time. And so I think it is important for each of us to think about where we want to engage and then how best we can engage. And I'm sure everyone here has remarkable talents and different ways to make a difference. And so I would say for people who really care about homelessness or hunger – I think so often we focus on those issues only around the holidays, well, sadly, these are challenges throughout the year, so thinking about how you can share some of your social media expertise with organizations that are really making a difference in those areas throughout the year is something that I often talk to my friends about who do similar work, the INBOUND super fans and community in New York City. Because I think there is so much that needs to happen and sometimes that can also be overwhelming, but often we just have to start. And there are so many organizations that are doing really remarkable work that with a little bit more help – whether it's legal help, accounting help, marketing help, communications help, fundraising help – could be just exponentially more impactful, and there’s so many ways that all of you could engage. And I also think, lead by example, right? It matters how each of us treat own friends and colleagues, and the maternity leave policy is a great example, and it's not always possible for small companies, and so trying to think creatively about ways to still support new mothers or new fathers in those instances. I think we still have a lot of work to do and we need people and we need small business owners who are willing to innovate and think creatively and leads the rest of us can both follow, but also highlight what you're doing positively.
HAINES: You have a lot of issues, and I know the Clinton Foundation works on many different types of issues. How do you prioritize? How do you think through? Because they are all interconnected. How do you sort of decide what to tackle in what order?
CLINTON: So we try to engage in areas where we think we can make a difference, and that now is really driven by the work that we've done this far. My father started the Clinton Foundation in 2002 to tackle a very specific challenge. In 2002, in the United States, almost everyone who was HIV positive by that point had access to AIDS medicines. But around the developing world, fewer than 200,000 people had access to AIDS medicines even though the epidemic was exploding in the developing world. And people didn't have access because it was just as expensive in the developing world as it was here and there was no health insurance to help cover those costs. And so my father wanted to try to help change the AIDS medicines market from a high-price, low-volume dynamic to a high-volume, low-price dynamic, and he and others engaged in that work. And so today what used to cost more than $10,000 per person per year now costs even for the most expensive drugs less than $200 per person per year. That's an amazing downward trajectory and something I'm very proud of. And so that highlighted to my father a few things. One, so often, particularly in the developing world, there's just as much ingenuity, there's just not the same degree of opportunity or sort of organization. And so trying to help support people who are already doing important work, organizing, operationalizing what they were doing, looking to build things to scale, working with the private sector so that it was still a good business model for the companies who were making these drugs in the developing world. They still made, actually, more money at the end of the day, so enfranchising the private sector helped solve this challenge from the beginning. And then engaging in other areas where we think that same type of approach would really make a difference. So here in the United States our largest program is something called the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. That's in partnership with the American Heart Association and it originated after my father had his quadruple bypass surgery in 2004. He called the American Heart Association and he said, “You know, what can I do around heart health?” and I think he thought they were going to say like, “Be our poster child for when a man has just faced going to the doctor.” Because one of the reasons, sadly, that so many more men die of heart disease than women – although heart disease is the largest killer of American women – is because men wait to go to the doctor. And I'm so grateful as my father's daughter that he called the doctor immediately upon having a tightness in his chest. And the American Heart Association said yes, like “Please go on Sanjay Gupta on CNN and tell American men to go to the doctor, and also help us tackle childhood obesity.” And I think now there's a lot of awareness that one out of three American kids is overweight or obese but at the time then there wasn’t, so he said ok we'll try to help figure out what we can do. And he reached out to the American Beverage Association, because at that time American kids were eating an effective fourth meal in calories they were drinking. And working with the American Beverage Association to change what was being shipped to schools – either served in cafeterias or to be in vending machines – and saying you can still provide the same units. School districts will still pay the same, but can you ship flavored water instead of full-calorie sodas. And so by 2011, so within five years of when this agreement was brokered, calories shipped to American public schools had gone down more than 90% in terms of sodas and drinks. So trying to find solutions that work for the private sector is part of what really motivates our work because ultimately the only way any of what we do will be sustainable – I think this is true for NGOs broadly – is if there is a sufficiently robust case made to governments whether they’re local governments here in the United States or national one around the world, that it's in their long-term interest to change policies or to make new investments or where there is a compelling business case so that it is at least profit-neutral and income-neutral if not actually hopefully profit-enhancing and incoming-enhancing. And so we spend a lot of time working with the private sector to try to figure that out. But we also say no. We've been asked a number of times to engage in education work, but we think that's a different model and there are also so many remarkable people and organizations doing work that we would rather sort of re-direct enthusiasm that comes our way to help already expand what we know is working on the ground. Which I think is something else that we have to be really disciplined about – not only what we say yes to but also what we say no to. And I’m sure that’s something all of you think about, too. HAINES: Yeah, I mean, that something I think every business has to decide – what we say no to, that kind of strategic choice – but I imagine it’s still hard to say no to deserving causes.
CLINTON: Well, I think it's hard but it's also maybe easier for us because we're so blessed to know so many terrific organizations that we've partnered with in other ways that we can say, we're not the right partner but you please go to Shining Hope For Communities if you're interested in Islam education, right. Or if you're interested in having more girls’ schools around the world, please go to the Malala Fund. I mean, there are organizations that we can point to who we’ve worked alongside, whether on women and girls’ issues or economic development issues, where we can say with a high degree of confidence this would be a really good investment to achieve your social or even political ambition.
HAINES: So, about that. Since you do have such a wide survey of the landscape of not only NGOs but social enterprises, big companies, the gamut of different types of organizations – what do you think makes the most effective organizations so effective?
CLINTON: I think I'm a little bit old fashioned in this. I think leadership really matters. I think leadership matters for a few reasons. I think leadership matters because it really influences the culture, whether it's sort of a problem-solving culture or whether it's an inertia culture. I think leadership really matters because it's important to have setting shared objectives, but also the people understand those objectives. So I have found that leadership is probably the most consistent common thread when we work with organizations that are particularly impactful, whether they’re organizations that are only a couple years old or they've been working in an area for a hundred years.
HAINES: And you have had the opportunity to really examine some influential leaders pretty close up. What are lessons you've taken from – I'm not making a specific reference here, but any leaders that you've admired – what are lessons you’ve taken from them on how to be an effective leader?
CLINTON: Well, it's something I think a lot about now mainly in the context of my parents as I myself am a parent, and I also wrote a book that's coming out next week called “It's Your World,” focused on some of the big issues that we've talked about this morning geared toward kids. Because I kept talking to kids and there was just so much curiosity about what was happening in our world and I think kids are far more perceptive and engaged than often adults expect them to be or give them credit for being, and there are so many remarkable kids that are engaged in this work, whether it's Malala or Memory, whom I talked about earlier. And so also in the context of thinking about this book and thinking about leadership, I have been reflecting a lot on my parents. And my parents gave me so many gifts growing up and I'm incredibly blessed, and one of the greatest gift they gave me was the expectation that I would always have an opinion and that my opinion would be valued, but that my opinion would only be as valuable as the argument that I can make behind it. And so some of my earliest memories are having read the newspaper in the morning and then talking to my parents over dinner that evening about what I thought about the world, what really frustrated me, what inspired me, and that they expected me to then be able to follow that up with, “And here's why….” So as I think about my own family – and I talk to Charlotte every day about the news and she agrees with me on everything right now, which I know has a serious time limit to it, so I'm enjoying this moment while it lasts – I do think it's important that we create space for kids to talk about what they're most concerned about and why they're most concerned and what they hope for. And so when I think about my parents as leaders, connecting back to your earlier question, that's also how I've seen them lead with the teams they work with, in that they like being surrounded by smart people. They definitely recognize they don't know everything. They listen to people who know more than they know about whether it is supply chain management for AIDS medicines or early education policy here in the United States and what's worked better and why, and they're not afraid to be immersed in new areas that they know are important, that maybe they hadn't paid attention to before. And so kind of that constant interest and curiosity and humility, I think, is hugely important for anyone who wants to help us envision the future, whether that's the future of our country or the future of a company.
HAINES: This is a somewhat personal question, but since you mentioned your daughter….
CLINTON: That’s okay. If I don’t want to answer it, I won’t.
HAINES: Okay, sounds good!
CLINTON: I’m very comfortable saying no if I need to.
HAINES: Since you mentioned your daughter, I've just heard from a number of leaders and executives over the years that having a kid was like in some ways the toughest leadership challenge for them. It was like, you know, these enormously successful people who were like, “And then I had a kid and I had to really dig deep and it taught me so much, that experience, that little bundle of sometimes joy and sometimes tears. Has it changed you? Do you feel like it's changed you as a leader?
CLINTON: I somehow care more passionately than I did, which I didn't know as possible, and I have to confess I've been asked this question a lot and I always give the same answer because it's true and because I continue to be so humbled, I think, by the answer, in that I don't know that I had more space in my heart or my head until I became a mother. And I see people nodding. I think this is a common experience for parents. And I didn't know that I could care more intensely around how to best ensure that every little girl has every opportunity that she wants for herself until I became the mother of a daughter. And so I feel somehow even more responsibility, which is then in itself a challenge, right? How do I navigate ensuring that I'm the mother that I want to be my daughter, and how do I also ensure that I am going to be the advocate and hopefully the change maker that I want to be so that my daughter grows up in the world I want her to grow up in. And that's a question that I think about every day. It's why I'm so grateful, admittedly, that INBOUND was willing to welcome here this morning instead of later today because I had to be in Washington yesterday, but from here I’ll be able to go home and I'll see my daughter before she goes to bed and so I'm grateful. Thank you, INBOUND, for adjusting your schedule so that I could be here this morning so I didn't have to be away from my daughter two days in a row. Thank you.
HAINES: Working moms like flexibility sometimes.
HAINES: Thank you, Chelsea.
CLINTON: Thank you, Sara. Thank you, INBOUND. Thank you very much.