Losing a shoe doesn’t equate to failed leadership


A strong female leader loses a shoe and the world erupts. “She’s not equipped to run a country… Her leadership qualities are in question… We need to immediately investigate… and so on”.
This must have been one very powerful and influential shoe!

This has to be the most read ‘woman loses shoe’ story since Cindarella.

Hillary Clinton infamously lost a shoe when her handlers helped her into a car after attending the 9/11 memorial service. Later it was announced she was suffering from pneumonia.

Clinton is human and as such should be allowed the leeway to get sick when working 100 hour weeks attending numerous functions and meetings. That pesky little thing called being human means it shouldn’t be world-shattering news headlines that you can fall ill, even when you are Secretary of State AND running for President in what looks like one of the most-watched election campaigns ever.

However, getting sick seems to be unacceptable for these seemingly immortal beings, especially if it’s a woman. But even worse, sick or not, if that woman loses a shoe well then, she must be unfit for leadership roles.

We all remember the last time a leader lost a shoe. Julia Gillard, when she was Prime Minister of Australia infamously lost a shoe when being whisked away from a threat — and lo and behold the Internet and news outlets had a meltdown.

How could a woman lose a shoe? What kind of shoe was it? Does this devalue her role as a leader?

Inequality in how men and women are portrayed in themedia is as strong today as it was 100 years ago. A woman losing a shoe makes headlines in all ‘serious’ media outlets and we wonder why inequality is such a systemic issue in society.

Forget the bloody shoe and look at the woman wearing it. The fact that she is ill, yet still soldiered on and attended a very important event… Where is her applause for doing that?

As a woman in politics, no matter what you do, they will find a way to try and discredit you. Instead of trying to find a reason to bring her down, look at the important issues that surround us in society and how as a leader, Clinton is dealing with them.

About Amanda Rose

Founder and CEO of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit

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