Obama said that looking at hiring workers in their 20s and 30s is too late. An advocate for women's education, Obama argued that changes must be made to the educational system, especially by college-age people who can be role models for the "next generation."
"That's when I look to the fellas around the room and say, 'Are you ready? Are you ready to share your spot at the table?' Then make room," Obama said.
She said her husband, former President Barack Obama, took the duty of role-modeling very seriously when managing his staff.
"Barack, he knew more, he worked harder; if there was something that had to be done, he was going to do it faster, stronger," Michelle said. "He was always modeling for his team. .... We always had trouble with people who managed up. They were good in front of us, but you hear about how they treated interns or their own staff. When we felt that energy, we eliminated it."
Michelle Obama said that building a trustworthy, diverse staff is not only important for politicians — it's also key for entrepreneurs.
"If somebody is up here pretending they got here on their own, they're lying," she said. "Make sure that communication is open for the people on your team. You have to surround yourself with people who reflect your values. You have to be really true to them and honest with yourself on whether we're living those values. You have to be that person even when no one's looking."
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