Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said she believes it is "harmful" not having women equally represented in leadership roles. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says Hochul was Monday's speaker at the University at Buffalo Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness.
UB president Satish Tripathi introduced the lieutenant governor, noting Hochul has been an advocate for women in leadership roles.
Hochul complimented UB for having thee conversation. She mentioned the nation’s current political climate including sexual harassment cases and the need for more women in power.
“I think there has been an awakening, which is a first start. I think people are realizing that a lot of the sexual harassment and assault cases coming out because there is an imbalance of power," Hochul said.
Hochul said it is time for a new generation of women to seek leadership positions.
“I’m getting tired of these battles. I need to pass the baton to other people who will assist and I think what I’ve seen lately is the scab been pulled back. There’s a lot bad stuff that is going to come out for a while, but this is a turning point in our history,” declared Hochul.
Hochul stated women with a business background would be "brilliant" in politics.
Hochul told the UB audience higher education is part of the solution. She noted a college education is key for future jobs explaining how 70 percent of current fifth graders will be in new jobs that currently don't exist. She said it's time to help the next generation get a "better education."
“It is still heartbreaking to me that one of our biggest problems is what’s happening in our public elementary and secondary schools. We are just not educating kids the way that’s making them succeed in our cities,” Hochul commented.
Hochul said she leans into conflict and is a firm believer of brining opposing parties into a room. She also had advice for women.
“I say to women, walk into the room like you own the place,” Hochul said.
Hochul also declared she has a lot of “faith” in millennials. She said she loves their "optimism" and "sense of social consciousness."
WBFO News asked to conduct an interview with Hochul following her UB appearance to question her about the recent lawsuit involving a sexual harassment case against Sam Hoyt, former head of the region’s Empire State Development Corp. The federal complaint, filed last week, also names Governor Andrew Cuomo. We were told Hochul had to leave for another appointment.