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Clinton: Too Many Women Stopped By 'Perfectionist Gene'

Women need to advocate for each other and be prepared to face tough criticism for speaking their minds, Hillary Clinton said Thursday.
Image: Hillary And Chelsea Clinton Speak Host Discussion On Girls And Women
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Clinton Foundation's No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project at the Lower Eastside Girls Club on April 17, 2014 in New York City. Sharing the stage with her daughter Chelsea Clinton, the project is the first in a series of live and virtual dialogues designed to hear directly from girls and women, men and boys about their hopes and fears for the future. The event, which took live questions from schools around the country, is working to advance progress for women and girls around the world. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Women need to advocate for each other and be prepared to face tough criticism for speaking their minds, Hillary Clinton said Thursday during an event aimed at inspiring young women throughout the globe.

Clinton, who was joined by daughter Chelsea at the Clinton Foundation event, faced a variety of questions from girls who wanted to know how to compete with their male peers, deal with societal pressures about physical looks, and gain the courage to speak their minds.

"Too many young women get stopped by the perfectionist gene. You think you have to be perfect instead of good enough," Clinton said. "And believe me, there are so many young woman that artificially stop themselves from progressing because they're not perfect. And I have rarely met a young man who doesn’t think he is already, if not perfect, darn close to it. So why do we impose these types of burdens on ourselves?"

The former secretary of state and first lady said it can sometimes seems like "life is too short" to have to compete to be seen as equals to men while also overcoming the stereotypes and burdens placed on females throughout the globe. It is the reason why it is critical that girls and women support each other so that "you don't feel alone, you don't feel you're the only girl in the class who is facing this, you're the only woman in the room who is facing this."

While the potential 2016 presidential candidate largely steered clear of politics during the forum, she did voice her support for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship after one questioner revealed she was an undocumented immigrant brought to the country as a young child.

Chelsea Clinton made the biggest splash at the event when she revealed she was pregnant with the Clintons first grandchild.

"And I certainly feel all the better, whether it’s a girl or a boy, that she or he will grow up in a world with so many strong, young female leaders," she said.