Chelsea Handler hasn’t always found other women to be supportive at work. In fact, Handler told Arianna Huffington that she’s struggled with women in power in the past, and that she is working hard to behave differently now that she’s a woman with power herself.
The truth is, not everything came easy for Chelsea Handler. The comedian, author, and activist has had a wildly successful career, but certain women have held her back professionally. In episode 18 of Thrive Global podcast, in partnership with iHeartRadio and Sleep Number, Handler opened up to Huffington about the lack of support she’s experienced throughout her career from women in positions of power.
“We’ve been trained that if one of us succeeds, the other 10 of us can’t,” she told Huffington. “‘We’re trained that there’s only room for one girl, that there’s only room for one woman in the top of this company.”
Handler’s experience is especially unfortunate because—despite her successes—the rate of progress for women has been slow. According to a 2017 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, gender parity is over 200 years away. And as Thrive Global contributor Rachel Bowley reported, LinkedIn data shows that “over the past 10 years, the proportion of female leaders in the workforce has increased by an average of just over two percentage points among the 12 industries we studied.” So while it’s important to recognize the small progress that has been made, it’s impossible to ignore the stark reality women face in the workplace.
Now, Handler is determined to create change for women, making sure that no one is left out. “I remember thinking, I’m never, ever going to behave like that when I’m in a position to hire women,” she said. And in her eyes, the 2016 Presidential election has promoted a unification of women—one that will change the conversation.