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Lt. Gov. Hochul talks female empowerment in Syracuse

Ryan Delaney
WRVO News File Photo
New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul wants more women at the table in board rooms and in legislative chambers. She’s holding a series of hearings across the state to discuss the dismal state of female political empowerment.";

New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is leading a commission that will celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State next year. In advance of that, she’s holding roundtables around the state to talk about female empowerment.

Joining her in Syracuse Wednesday, powerful women from central New York with stories about how they pushed beyond the stereotypes and barriers that often keep women out of the board rooms and legislative chambers across the state. Hochul believes mentorship is one way that women who are successful already, can reach the younger generation.

"All of us who cracked the code and found the secret sauce to move ahead in our professions can always reach back and give more to help the next generation attain the same positions,” Hochul said.

Hochul points out that that the U.S. is 72nd out of 148 countries in term of women’s political empowerment. She said women make up 26 percent of the state legislature and 19 percent of Congress. Hochul said the state has moved ahead with some female friendly legislation, but barriers still exist. And she admits part of the answer must come from women themselves

“Sometimes we don’t feel we have the confidence or we think think we have to be qualified or overqualified or more than qualified to go for a position," Hochul said. "We have to break that down because that never holds men back. They’re risk takers, they’re willing to be able to fail, they’ll go for positions they’re not qualified for because they say why not? I want to get to a change in women’s attitudes about themselves.”

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.