Shaheen Discusses Political Journey, Advice to Young Women & More with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health President & CEO Dr. Joanne Conroy on Her Story Podcast Season 3 Launch

January 05, 2022

Joanne Conroy pic

(Washington, DC) – Today, Think Medium launched its third season of its podcast, Her Story, featuring U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Hosted by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health President and CEO, Dr. Joanne Conroy, Shaheen discussed her journey as a woman in politics and lessons learned along the way, as well as her work to foster bipartisanship and compromise in the Senate. She talked about what prompted her entrance into politics and her advice for young women, as well as top issues of the day including the unprecedented attacks on reproductive rights and combating Russian aggression.

On her decision to run for office: “I decided it was time to run for office myself, that the candidates who were all men, who I’d been working for, had not been getting it done, so I really ought to throw my hat in the ring and run myself…But we have been more reluctant as women to run for office. And it’s important because, as we know, having women in office to make decisions about policy reflects the experiences that we’ve had as women. And I always say they’re not any better or worse than men’s, but they’re different. And it’s important to have women’s voices at the table when we’re talking about policy.”

On sexism in politics: “I think I had the perception that, once I got elected Governor, it wouldn’t matter that I was a woman, people wouldn’t treat me differently than they would a man who was elected Governor. And what I discovered is that that gender bias still exists, maybe more subtle, but it does exist. And so just because you achieve a certain goal or position doesn’t mean that you’re not still dealing with many of those same issues.”

On how she fosters bipartisanship in the Senate: “I hope that what I can bring to that conversation is a pragmatism, a willingness to listen to other points of view and respect those positions, and to look for ways to compromise, to look for things that we have in common, as opposed to singling out differences, because that’s how we reach agreement and compromise. And this nation was built on compromise. Studying the Constitution, studying the birth of this country, it was all about people figuring out a way to come to agreement and move forward together. And that’s still what we’ve got to do in the best interests of America. And to the extent that we have forces on the right and left that are trying to pull us apart, it’s unfortunate because it’s only when we’re able to work together and compromise that we can make progress. And right now, given the challenges facing America and the world, it’s certainly critical that we figure out a way to work together.”

You can watch the full episode here.