Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden & Drew Gilpin Faust Discuss Women in Leadership

Drew Gilpin drew Live captioner standing by. >> I'm the deputy librarian for
collections and services and I'm also serving as law librarian of
Congress. On behalf of the Kluge center
and its director, I would like to
welcome you to our conversation with the librarian series. This
year the Library of Congress is focused on change makers. Those individuals who are — who
have challenged accepted norms to strengthen our nation's most fundamental
principles. In addition to many library
programs related to this theme, I urge you to visit the newly opened exhibit
on the second floor of this building. It's called shall not
be denied. It chronicles the story of women
who earned the right to vote, and it
celebrates 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Today's program is sponsored by
the Library of Congress' John W. Kluge center which brings
together the world's best thinkers to discuss
the challenges facing democracies in
the 21st century. Upcoming events in July include
a conversation with Walter Isaacson and a moderated discussion with Karl
Rove and David Axelrod. Please check out the sthps kluge
— I hear you. Please check out the Kluge
website for more information. That's at www.loc. gov/kluge. Just to be clear.
Today's event features a conversation on women in leadership and two extraordinary female leaders,
Carla Hayden the 14th librarian of Congress who is the first
woman and African-American to hold the position will be one of
our speakers. Drew Gilpin Faust is an
historian of the Civil War and the American
south serving as the Lincoln professor
at Harvard University. Her book, they are public of
suffering, was the winner of the Bancroft prize. In 2007, Drew Gilpin Faust was
the 28th President of Harvard University. The first woman to
serve in that role and the first Harvard President without a Harvard degree. Dr. Foust is the most recent
recipient of the Kluge prize, the library's
most esteemed award that recognizes an individual who is advanced
intellectual understanding of the human experience. During
the program, the library staff will be collecting questions on
note cards for Dr. Hayden and Dr. Faust. Write down your
question and we will try to ask as many as possible during the
latter portion of the program. So without further delay, please
join me in welcoming Carla Hayden and
Drew Gilpin Faust. >> And I have to say we have
been joined by the archivist of the United
States. And so I must tell you that
there is one — >> We have also been joined by
my brother. >> Oh, your brother.
>> I did not know he was going to be here.
>> This is good. >> Hello, sir. And you should know that my mom
is here and it's so glad that I'm this close to Harvard. So I'm getting a lot of points. It's just something when you
think about — we talked briefly
behind the stage about your past
leadership. Did you seek it. Your brother is here. Be the
truth leader. Did you know? Did you say I will be the first
female. >> It's an interesting question.
I think it began when I was a little kid. Talking about it
will be different with him sitting here so see if
he nods or not, but I was really a bossy
little kid. And my grandfather called me little miss fix-it
because I was telling people how to fix things and not anything
mechanical, but just if something was out of order, I
would order people around and say this is how it ought to be
improved. So I think I had a certain presumption early on.
My mother was always telling me, it's a man's world and you
better get used to that. And I seemed to be completely at odds
with that advice which is why she had to repeat it so often. I felt that
even though officially I lived in this very male
dominated family and world, the brother who is here is the oldest of three brothers,
they nevertheless were these quietly
powerful women. We have very powerful grandmothers of one in
particular who terrified her sons even though her sons
assumed that they really in charge. And so I think that this message
of powerful women came through in
spite of the really official structure of the social order
and what my mother was saying to me. So in a sense I think it
began then. Then expressed itself when I was in school. I
went to girl schools. I went to a girl's high school and a
women's college. Those were places where I could try out my desire to control
everybody else in an environment which that was welcomed.
>> Control people. >> So I would say that it began
early and was re-enforced by the kind of education that I had. >> That education and I heard
that mentioned other times that when you have like a girls school or when you
see women in leadership and you
assume different roles, it actually
gives you a different sense of what women can do.
>> And this was very striking to me when I began to work at
Harvard in 2001 and began to get to know a lot of alums
particularly alums of my age because when they were going to
Radcliffe which was the female affiliated
institution with Harvard at the time that I
was in college which was in the 1960s there were no female
faculty at Harvard there was one tenured faculty men. Most of
the women my age never saw a female professor and my
experience of college was completely different where there
were men on the faculty but there were many, many strong
women who gave me the idea that maybe I could go to graduate
school and get a PhD and teach in a university. And I don't
know if I had gone to Radcliffe, Harvard, if I ever would have
been able to envision myself in such a role. How about you?
>> The point is seeing something reflected that you say, oh, I
could do that because that person either looks like me or
that — and definitely is the person of color that is
something that is very strong. I was part of a female and still
am female dominated profession. Librarianship, education, social
work and nursing. 85 to 90% of those work force
are female. However the top management doesn't always
reflect that and the leadership. So for instance being the first
person of color was notable. Being the first woman really has
the library profession kind of —
whoa, a woman. And that's kind of interesting dynamic when you
are in a profession that's dominated. Now you had — we talked about,
too, which was a different in
different academic fields. Like the leadership or assuming the
leadership >> I think different academic
disciplines have quite different cultures. That some are more
aggressive. Some have much smaller representation of women in the humanityies
women have gained positions much faster than in some of the natural sciences and
some for example expects, some of the hard social sciences. We
can see in different graduate schools at Harvard, different
percentages and kind of the emergence of pathways at
different rates, engineering, for example, we work very hard to try to encourage women
to go into engineering, computer science, electrical engineering
because the numbers there are not comparable to the numbers of
women in the life sciences, for example, where they are in
most life sciences concentrations majors they are
more than half now. So it does vary a lot. And given that obviously the
pool from which leaders can be drawn is
smaller and a pool of women is smaller in some fields than
others. So I think that make a substantial difference as well. >> Will you leave the field and
get into university leadership Provost,
things like that, what starts happening
then? >> We have had substantial
representation by women in the ivy league over the last decade or
two, so that has changed significantly. The numbers of
women leaders in higher education is better than the
number or percentage of women leaders in
say the Fortune 500. I think that in higher education
women have certain attributes that are well suited to
leadership in higher education because you got to be a good
listener in higher education. You don't have ultimate control
for all of the things I said how I like to control people that's
sort of a joke because you dope really control anybody when you are President of
Harvard. You have the right to make an
argument to somebody and hope to persuade. So it's kind of the power to
persuade. That is in my view very aligned
with how we socialize women in the United States. That women are taught as little
girls, I believe, to be listeners more than boys are. And to try to be the negotiators
within families and so forth. This is of course not all women
and all men. This is the middle. There are tails on both
ends. Overall I believe that women do have this
characteristic that is nurtured in them from the time they are
small and that suited them well for university leadership where
you have to be listener and a negotiator and you have to be
including people. You got to be figuring out where everyone
stands and you don't just order people around.
Now I know you don't actually just direct people around in
many other professions as well, but on balance there is more distributed power
in a university than there is in a corporation or a business or
many other areas of endeavor >> Do you think some of that is
also generational because some of the
younger generations coming up there is not as much of that channeling of those
traits? >> I would be curious about your
thoughts on that, too. Because I often find younger
women it takes them awhile to come to terms with some of the
challenges of gender. That they have taken a lot for granted and
then they will come up against a barrier and it will be hard for
them to identify it as having to do with gender. They are
surprised by it. And so I'm not sure how much.
Would you agree with that. >> I've seen that and I had a
very sobering experience that taught me what generation I was in when I was
describing being in a generation that had to wear the little bow
ties and the shoulder pads and all of that. I hear some
ruffling there. Not a good fashion look. And
they were amazed and the first time that we got to wear pants
to a meeting and how, whoa, and they just couldn't even believe
it. I mean, you couldn't wear pants?
No. You couldn't wear pants. >> Quiet revolutions.
>> And that's the kind of thing. So I think it was mentioned,
Jane Sanchez mentioned, women's
suffrage and I've seen some younger people go through that younger women and they are
just shocked. You mean they didn't get to vote and you said
when did Virginia get the vote. >> Everyone should see the
exhibit women's suffrage and the women's suffrage movement. I
don't know if it was upstairs — where are we? Upstairs? I was
wandering through it last night and came across the fact that I
grew up in a Virginia ratified the suffrage amendment in 1952. So I was five years old before
Virginia — I mean, it had to obey the national ratification
and installation of the amendment on the constitution,
but it did not choose to actually consent to it in an active way
until 1952. >> So when you think about
leadership as being — did you in your travel
to leadership and even though you were bossy and you were kind
of — but there was a point that you had to make more of a
conscious decision to say I'm going to do that. When —
>> Let me tell you a story about my grandmother who grew up in
Tennessee and lived in Virginia where we lived. And I have been
digging around in family papers and found a whole series of letters that were written by
my great grandfather, a general on the western front during
World War I and my grandmother, his daughter and
her mother, the wife of the general. There were two
children in the family. My grandmother and an older
brother. While my great grandfather was fighting the
battle at the very end of World War I, his only son was
killed in an air accident. He was part of the Naval flying
corps. And my grandmother writes a letter to her father
about the death of her brother. The only son and she writes that
she wants to express her sympathy to her father for the
devastation of his — all of his hopes which she knew were vested in the future of the family name
and the future of this brother. And she says, I know that as a
girl I can in no way fill his place for
you. And I think about my grandmer's
life — grandmother's life which I believe was very intelligent
and very talented woman who felt always that she
could not replace what her dead brother
would have been. And what does that say about
gender roles and the kinds of things that were being said long after — this is
in 1918 that she wrote this letter. But those were views that
infused and determined her life for decades to come and that I'm
sure in some way were communicated to those around her
including me. Generations later. So those kinds of assumptions
have a long hold and I think we need to be aware of them. This
is part of the purpose of history is to confront that and see her
say that and recognize what that can mean in a life and how we need to
understand that in order to be able to reject it and move beyond it. So she did messages to me that
her life was a frustration. I could see that because she was
so powerful and talented and didn't have anywhere to go with
it because of the constraints that she felt. In some way I
felt determined not to have that happen to me and I
grew up in a time when doors started to
open and I could walk through them. And that made me a very lucky
person. I think the generations before me didn't have that opportunity to
become President of Harvard. You asked me earlier, did I have
my sights set on becoming President of Harvard. If I said at age ten or age 20,
even at age 20 I wanted to be President of Harvard, people
would have thought I was insane. There weren't any women on the
faculty. There weren't any women allowed
in the faculty club. How on earth could you imagine
qnl look at the change. But look at the change that has
happened in our lifetime so these things were possible.
>> I had the opportunity recently and it was a wonderful opportunity to
go to the Harvard club — I'm still trying to get in Harvard.
I have not given up. The Harvard club in New York. And it was so cool because this
is — just walk in. And there, this beautiful mural
— there were all of these oiled portraits of distinguished
looking men and then right when you go in is this
beautiful full color oil painting of you. It is gorgeous. And I said I will be talking to
her soon. >> Actually, I think the Harvard
club needs to move it because they need to put the current
President there. >> I think it's — >> History of that portrait was
painted by a man who just died at the age of 9.
He painted three or four years ago. His name is ray kinsler.
When we were talking about how to pose me for the portrait he
said why don't you wear something informal. I said
nope. I'm wearing the Harvard President's robes because I think I ought to
inhabit that identity for this portrait. So he got it. And I'm painted in the
traditional Harvard President's robe >> Do you ever find that
sometimes you have to say no, I'm going to be
that as a woman? >> I want to ask you that
question, too. >> That's okay. It's a leading
question. >> I was always very aware as
President of representing more than just
me. That I had to — the people were watching. I will tell you
one time when I thought about this a lot is when I had to throw out the first pitch at
a Red Sox game. >> Isn't it terrible? Did you
have to practice. >> I practiced and practiced
because I thought not only does the honor of Harvard depend on
this but the honor of all female kind depends on how I do here.
>> Let me tell you, I had to do it — well, it was so — you are going
to pitch like a girl. That's the first thing you practice in
the hall way. You almost hit people. So how did you do?
>> I did find. It went right over the plate. >> I did pretty good and I kept
the ball. It's interesting because as the
first and you don't want to be the last, so you — did you feel
that pressure? Like you said, people are watching and looking. What did she have on? It's
interesting. When did you feel it though and said the heck with
it? I'm going to be the President of Harvard? Right
now? >> When I was announced, the day
I was announced there was a press conference afterwards and
one of the very first questions I got was something about what
is it going to be like the woman President of Harvard and it
didn't go through my brain and it came out of my mouth and I
said I'm not the woman President of Harvard. I'm the President
of Harvard. And I believe that I was afraid
I might get an asterisk, you think you have a home run record
but it was an extra long season and you don't really count. So
I wanted to emphasize that I was going to be as much the
inhabiter of that office as that office that came before. I did learn a lesson quite
quickly that elaborated my feelings about this which is
right after I was announced, I started to get enormous amounts
of mail from women and little girls and
parents of little girls all over the world. People in China,
little girls in Latin America, people all over the United
States saying how much it meant to them there was going to be a
woman President of Harvard. Or a President of Harvard who 4*
was a woman. Now they can see themselves in a different way.
And one young woman wrote me from China saying, now I know I
can do anything. And I thought, I have to own
this responsibility. So when I traveled, I started going to
girl schools and went to girl schools all over the world and
met with young women in Johannesburg and Seoul
and Santiago just trying to stand
there and be what everybody thought they could imagine
themselves being. And that I could — I had to be
a woman as President of Harvard even though I wasn't going to be
the woman President of Harvard. >> That's a fine distinction
there. Do you remember any of the questions they were asking
you because they had you there and — oh, my goodness. Just
they want to know how you got there?
>> Well, one of my favorite of these meetings was with a group of
young women in Japan. If any of you know about Japan,
it's a society that has not exactly
been overwhelmingly welcoming to working women. And they started
telling me all about this and how when they got older if they
had babies they would be expected to leave the work force
and that they didn't feel they were pathways for them in Japan.
And how could they be encouraged to change things in Japan. And
here is this group of young women and I remember them. They
were in their uniforms and they all had knee socks and were
sitting there and their teachers were behind them and it was a school
associateed with — and the President of
DAYO university was there and they were so tough and ambshesz I tried to —
ambitious and I tried to feed them and encourage them and it was a
generative interaction and I gave them an opportunity to say
all kinds of things that maybe they didn't feel free saying in
other con techs and other moments. This was fairly early
in my presidency and a year and a half ago I saw the President
of the university and I said, so it's eight years later. What
happened to all of those young women. You wouldn't believe it.
This one is a doctor and this one is in business and this one
is going to school and he was very proud of these young women.
So I could see how just raising the subject in some of these
societies put a spotlight and gave a kind of permission to
young women to think perhaps more boldly. That was one of my favorite
interactions. >> What did they ask you for
like specific advice? >> Well, I often got asked about
the work life balance and what I do
about my daughter and I would often point to my husband who
was off the therein and say what a great support he had been and
all of the things he had done and they need to find husbands
like that. So he felt good about that and I felt good about
that. So they often wanted to know how do you have a personal
life and a professional life. >> And do you think that is
something that a woman in a position is asked more than a
male? >> For sure.
>> They would never — >> You must have been asked a
lot of questions by young women. >> And it's interesting when you
get such energy from the young women because they are ready to go out and
they just want to know — one young lady,
she was a girl, she was about ten and she said did you ever
feel afraid? >> That's a great question.
>> And I said, yes. And then another one asked me,
were you ever bullyied. I said every day. They wanted to know the
emotional part and that it's okay to be a little afraid or not so sure all the time.
>> Isn't there wonderful — someone in the audience will
know the quote, you will probably know the quote.
>> I can Google that. >> But Eleanor Roosevelt quote
about do something that terrifies you every day.
>> I love that Eleanor Roosevelt because when you look at her life and
the arc of her life and how she started she is one of the people
to look at and say wow, a woman taking leadership. So I have
to ask this. I know it might be — did you
ever get any — what did they call it,
pushback? Resistance? People that you had to say is this because I'm a woman or is it
because I'm the President of Harvard? How did you distinguish and how
do you distinguish when it might be
gender based. >> When I became President of
Harvard I'm sure there were people who thought this was
impossible. They didn't say it. And they didn't say it out loud
and didn't say it to me. So I pretended they didn't
exist. But what I did find in the
initial years of my presidency is that people would have
certain assumptions about me that were really quite gendered.
One of the assumptions was that I was too nice. And that I
wouldn't be able to be President of Harvard because I was too
nice. There are some people who work at Harvard sitting there
and I don't know what they are thinking about this.
>> And your brother is here. >> Yeah. Please don't take any cards from
my brother. But I always — our father used to say something
that just resonates in my head. He says there is no excuse for
being lousy. You never have to be mean and nasty to people.
You can fire someone nicely. You can be very strong and be
nice. You don't have to be a jerk. And so I thought, being nice is
a leadership style. And it is not a sign of
weakness. And I don't know what it has to do with gender
exactly. Maybe women are more likely to have that leadership
style. We could talk about that. But I think people began to see
that they better watch out if they thought they were going to
get away with something because I was nice. So there was an
educational process that I believe took place over the
initial years of my presidency and people would be kind of
alerted to the fact that some assumption they made was not
necessarily one that they could rely on. Another assumption was
I became President in 2007, the world fell apart in 2008
financially. Harvard endowment crashed. We lost billions of
dollars, 27% of the endowment and people assumed how can this girl historian deal
with this? And I dealt with it by relying on a lot of people
who knew more than I did in various areas and trying to
be clear sighted and move ahead and strong and not scared and
bringing the community together and we did just fine. So that
was a bit of an education for people who had targeted me with
those assumptions as well. >> And they saw you being a
leader in a very, very difficult time. And
did they start to have even more confidence.
>> It's a great point. I remember someone who was very
experienced business person, finance person, alum, and he
came up to me at the end of the financial crisis and someone who
doubted me and was a supporter and very good to me always and
he said this university is yours now. And that was really
interesting. >> Survived a crisis and take
people through it and everybody is okay, basically.
>> Uh-huh. >> That is when that tide can
turn. Wow. So I have to ask you this. Your book is full of surprise —
when you talked about Republican
suffering and just thins that you
uncovered like the genesis of dog tags and all
of these things. What are you working on now? Can you give us
— can we break some news here? >> So I have spent the last two
days in the national archives. >> That's why she is here. >> The beneficiary of the
wonderful work of an archivist who was a very
young archivist when I was working on they are public of
suffering but this week is now experienced and established
senior member of your team, David. He was helping out
again. His name is Trevor Plant. I like to give him a
shout out. Digging around, trying to find out more about
this great grandfather in World War I. It is part of a larger
project that I hope will result in a book that
combines personal and family memoir with
actual historical research. Focused on the second half of
the 20th century. Now how World War I fits into
they are mains to be seen but I think that set of comments that
pie grandmother made are a transition between things that
happened in the 19-teens that projected themselves well into
my own life. I was born in 1947. So second half of the
20th century takes my first 50 years and lands me at Harvard.
I won't write about Harvard so that gives me a nice kind of
scope of time where I think the world turned upside down in ways that opened
possibilities for minorities, for women and
changed things in what I see is an extremely positive
direction. But that's not what everyone thinks now. The 60s
generation is seen as disastrous and we failed in
every way and the baby boomers are awful. I don't believe
that. I believe this was a generation that changed things
in the country for the better and that would be the kind of
direction that I will go. Thank you, thank you.
>> Baby boomers are nice. >> We will see how this works
out. I have a little bit of a test run. I have written an
article that will be out in the Atlantic and plugging
myself that will be out in the Atlantic in August which is a combination of
kind of a personal memoir growing up in Virginia and
Virginia history. So we will see how that goes and
I will keep at this little project and take advantage of these extraordinary
library resources that — I can't tell you what a joy it was
to sit in the national archives and just find stuff and be excited that the treasures and
— last night seeing the things — the
Civil War materials that you showed me yesterday >> We brought out the good
silver. >> And the women's suffrage, the
women's suffrage exhibit. There is a photograph in that exhibit of Harriet Tubman as an old
woman. We all have to go see this. I couldn't stop looking
at it. So I'm a complete library
archive nut and it's a joy to be back.
>> We appreciate it. I know that you want to ask you some
questions and I see that and they have been writing it. And before we — and — so are
— you are going to go back to
teaching, okay, you are a professor so people can take
classes with you? Oh, cool. >> I will be teaching in the
fall. >> That would be nice.
>> So here is question number one. How can women in leadership best support and empower other women? >> Sounds like jeopardy.
>> So we should both answer this. I think identifying women who
can benefit from your support is part of it. Who is somebody who
needs a mentor that you can help. Opening pathways by having more
than one woman. I think when you have one woman in a situation and that has to be a
woman so making sure that there are numbers of women. And counting and making people
around you aware of what are those
statistics in this department or what are the realities because
if you start measuring things then people see what needs to
change and they see they are making progress toward changes
or they aren't making progress towards change. I think those
are some of the things that would come to mind.
>> I would re-enforce the need for the data and being able to
objectively show here is where we might need to
have some attention and also being even
quietly supportive of women when they
are in their field or you can show some
support and some understanding. Sometimes — you have to be
conscious of that that. >> Please tell us about your
heroine's role models. Who has inspired you?
>> You start. >> I was — I mentioned my mom.
She is still my hero. And she showed me so many
things. There is only one thing we fall out about. She is a
libra. She is very fair and balanced
and she always told me to look at both sides of the situation. And a lot of times you don't
want to. It's like take my side. She has been a strong
influence and then I had two grandmothers. One that loved to read and
introduced me to that and another one that really loved gardening and so they were
strong women. And I was fortunate with a lot
of strong female librarians. Three
main women. Mary Margaret Kimmel. If they
hadn't been libraries could have run the world. And I got a chance — >> So I mentioned my grandmother
who was obviously a force in my life. A brilliant important
part of this for me was things I read about in
characters in books. And I have been thinking about what I read
as a child recently and some of the books that were very
influential. I remember reading Anne Frank's diary. It had this enormously powerful
impact on me. Somebody faced with that kind of struggle and how optimistic and
aware and intelligent she was about it. How admirable. What a terrible end it came to.
To kill a mocking bird influenced me hugely. I could critique that book but
Scout was a model for me. She was an extraordinary figure.
Nancy Drew mysteries. >> Oh, yeah, Nancy Drew. >> Thinking about strong girls
in books was really I think an important
set of role models for me. >> Why do you think some fields
are more male dominated? How can we make it more
balanced? >> We talked about that a little
bit. And part of what we need to do
is create dynamic in those fields to support women. To
charge people with the responsibility for opening them
up to women. But I think sometimes these fields have cultures and cultures of
combativeness or cultures of putting people down and women
are often the people who do get put down in those kinds of
arguments so I think making some of the fields aware of the
habits they have and who is included or excluded in a field
that operates in those ways. I think we are so much more
conscious of issues of not just bringing
numbers of people in, but what kind of culture are we envisioning and do people
really feel that they are included and belong in those
cultures? Dorthey feel they are on the margins. Thinking about
the cultures of different fields, different work
places is an important part of opening them up to individuals
who then can participate and contribute. Otherwise you are
cutting out the genius of the people that you bring in if you just silence. >> Half of the population. >> Young people are often told
to network. Did networking play an important role in your
careers? >> I would like to hear what you
think about that networking. Have you ever had the term
networking can sometimes not be as
positive. >> Well, when you were asking
that question, I was thinking to myself, I need a definition of
network. And is network running around trying to find the most
important and influential people you can and sticking yourself on
to them which I was averse to. I think it was a 60s thing.
They ought to come find me if they wanted me somehow. But in the
course of life you do need people. And that's very
important. And I remember once going to a
convention, a history convention and there was a famous historian
who I happened to meet because he had given a talk at my
institution and he saw me and started introducing me to people
and I realized this was very important. So I tried after that sometimes
to introduce myself to people in groups. I would walk over and
introduce myself. And that kind of familiarity was
important ultimately. So I do believe it's become a much more
self-conscious project in the current generation than it was
at least in my experience, but you do
need to get out there and meet people. I do think it can be obnoxious
if it's just kind of climbing up to
manipulate people for instrumental purposes rather
than thinking, if I get to know this person I really could talk
to them about my work and his work and learn something in that
regard. >> And learn something. And sometimes with professional
organizations that's a networking because there are
people in your field and you went to that conference and then
you are saying, okay, I will go to this session and that person
that gave the presentation, I'm really interested in that.
That's a different type of being part of a community or opening
yourself up to learning and being with people. >> I often wonder if what's more important than networking is
creating reelsships and — relationships and that's more
lasting. I digress. >> What you said is important
because relationship has more substance than just using someone to climb to
the next ladder. So, yes, it's important to have relationships
within your profession. I think that's good. >> And when someone — and to
have that relationship be sustained passed
that other person professional
usefulness. A lot of my best mentors, lived
to be 104 and was giving me advice until the end about some — she was the
first librarian, state librarian in
Maryland and she was a pistol. She
didn't go to conferences. Because having those
relationships, professional relationships, that's the kind
of networking. That's the support for you and
for the person. >> Dr. Faust. Would you recommend a young
person pursue a history P hfer D given the tight market in higher education
— PhD given the tight market in higher education.
>> A lot of answers pop into my mind. Every year that I was
President of Harvard I gave a talk at the end of the year to
the students who are about to graduate with a baccalaureate
address. The speech meant the world to me. I felt so touched
that I would have all of these young people, 1600 of this that
were going to go on to live extraordinary lives and do
wonderful things and I got this last word
p. In every single one of those speeches I talked about
something — I had other subjects but I included this. That I named the parking space
theory of life and I had to stop being President because the parking
space theory of life of self-driving cars will become
irrelevant. So I couldn't give that speech any more. The logic
of it was that when you are thinking about your life you
should think about how you park and when you park you want to go
where you want to be. And if you can't find a parking space,
you can have plan B and park somewhere else. You don't start
parking 20 blocks away from your destination because you
anticipate there won't be a parking space space. That is
something that I do believe but you have to have a certain
realistic assessment of are you really good at this? Is it something that you can
recognize is a little bit like taking up oil painting or ballet
or wanting to be a movie star because there are not that many places for the historians
in the academy. Are you willing to imagine that
a future might not turn out exactly as you think it is. You
might not be a professor somewhere. You might be working
in historic preservation or in some other field using your
history degree. I think you need to be cruelly
rigidly realistic and then pursue what is going to give you
meaning and enable you to contribute something to the
world. You need to assess yourself. You need to assess
the environment. Assess the possibilities for both success
and failure and make a clear decision. I have a daughter who
is an English PhD. And she is an assistant
professor. She has a job which is great. She I hoping to get
tenure but watching her career and watching her friends it's
like being on a roller coaster. It's like heart stopping to see
the challenges that I feel, of course, for all of the students
that I know at Harvard and elsewhere but when it's your own child it has a special
stomach churning aspect. I hope she is not watching this.
>> This next one is a doozy. >> A doozy. Oh, boy.
>> Woodrow Wilson went from Princeton to the White House. What is your country calling you
to do next? >> I will add to this. Like Megan at Bryn-Mawr, too.
What is my country calling me to do next? To be a historian
again. I think that's my highest and
best use. I think a brighter someone to
defend the humanities and exemplify the humanities in a
private capacity. >> You can hear the holler
though, can't you? Got a good response.
>> Dr. , Hayden? Calling for her to
run the Library of Congress. >> Can you see a librarian —
it's okay. >> Dr. Hayden, did you know you
wanted to be a librarian at a young age? >> First the short stuff, now —
and then I was — thought about
lawyer and then I had a political science
history undergrad. I hadn't worked so I was making
that decision that same mother I told you about, said, you know,
maybe you should get employment. And while you make this decision
and so I would go and in between job
interviews, where they politely told me you are in school all
your life and you never had a job. So come back. I would go to the library
because I love libraries and I would hang out and then one of
my colleagues who had just graduated, Carla, you know
those library jobs are hiring anybody. So I said, hey, — I like books
I like to think and then they put me with the young lady who
was in library school. And I found out about librarianship as
a profession and they would know — because we talked about how we
got into librarianship and that's when I said, oh, wow.
Design a building. Somebody selected these materials. This
didn't just spring up from magic and that's how — so I call me
an accidental librarian.
>> Time for one more. Okay. >> This is another doozy, I
think. Are there lessons to be drawn
from the prime ministership of Teresa May in Britain for women
and leadership. >> Oh, that's you! >> So there was an article that
came out about Teresa May about six months ago and I was reading
this article and it just infuriated me. Not that I have any particular
pro or contrariesa May, I haven't a
judgment — on the entire prexset mess. I don't know how
they got into it and how they will get out of it but this
article was so sexist. It kept talking about her clothes. It
kept demeaning her as a woman. And I just felt, aren't we
beyond this and how we write and very sophisticated American
publications about international figures. So I would say that Teresa May
for whatever short comings she may have has had a pretty unfair
shake in a lot of ways in the kind of gendered
attacks that have been made against her. I don't know if
that answered the question. It gave me a chance to — you know.
>> Talk about that. >> Yeah, talk about that. Sound off on that.
>> If p of got a couple more if we have time. What advice do
you have for the next generation of librarians,
particularly women, women of color and women
in or seeking leadership roles? >> Do it. Don't be afraid. Just do it. We talked about
that. We talked about that and you are
the first President woman. You don't want to be the last. I don't want to be the last
librarian of Congress that's a woman or something like that. So I think that is the advice.
Step out into it. Own it. And do that.
>> When you do still encounter people who are beholden to patriarch
norms, how do you call them out, push back against that without creating enemies? >> Be nice? >> Being effective. Trying to think — I can think
of instances where I have called people out, but usually I try to do it
in a more subtle way than a direct
confrontation. Make evidence some of the missed
apprehensions that perhaps are being shared. Marginalized the views. I can remember one instance
where I just was very frank with someone and said, this is my
responsibility not yours. And I will exercise it. So I think doing your job, try
to do it well, try to be effective. And rewarding people who don't
have those views and so it becomes evident that those kinds
of views are not welcome and not embraced and not
indulged. How about you? >> Did you put on blinders
sometimes? >> There are sometimes you just
let it go. >> It's not worth it.
>> Yeah. And sometimes if it's just someone — it's a certain
generation or certain background, you won't have any
effect effect. >> Okay. We are done. I want to thank both of our
speakers. >> I want to thank you .
>> Thank you. >> I want to take a point of
personal privilege to thank you for being
someone that I have looked to as well. And being that person that you
can really say exemplifies the best in leadership. So thank
you. >> Well, you are very generous.

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