It’s not every day that you get to be a fly on the wall during a conversation between Michelle Obama and Tracee Ellis Ross so when the opportunity presents itself, we all listen. And it did in the form of the United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles on Saturday (5 May).
The theme for this year’s summit was gender equity. With that in mind, a few attendees felt it was time for that highest glass ceiling to be broken and felt that no one but Michelle Obama could do it. Sadly, she’s not even considering the presidency.
"When I hear people say, 'You run,' it's part of the problem. We still didn't get 'Yes we can' right. It's not yes you can, it's yes we can. And until we get that right, it doesn't matter who runs."
Of course, Trump featured on the agenda although she was careful not to outright mention his name. "I wish that girls could fail as bad as men do and be OK," she said. "Because let me tell you, watching men fail up—it is frustrating. It's frustrating to see a lot of men blow it and win. And we hold ourselves to these crazy, crazy standards."
On inequality in the workplace, Obama had choice words for guys. "What I've been telling men is, you can't have it both ways: You can't whisper these magical thoughts in your daughter's ear about who she can be or what she can do.” She continued, “If you're tolerating [inequality at work], that is the workplace that's going to be waiting for your little girl, but you sold her a bill of goods. You told her she could be anything, but then you're not working to make sure that can be actualized. And so men have to understand things don't just work out for your little precious pea."
If you’ve got 42 minutes to spare, pull up a chair and listen to the full conversation below.