DES MOINES, Iowa — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tried to show Iowans for a second straight day she is willing to be a candidate more comfortable sharing personal stories in a more intimate setting.
Clinton sat down with several small business owners at Capitol City Fruit in Norwalk to listen to their challenges. They talked of struggling with regulations, taxes, limited available tax credits like big companies receive and how hard it is to find skilled workers.
Katie Stocking owns Happy Medium in Des Moines, a digital media company. She talked to Clinton about the difficulty in finding a work and life balance. Stocking said she had a baby, which made her realize she needed to change her business of 16 employees.
“I decided that I want every single person at my company to feel just as excited and comfortable with their personal life and their work life,” Stocking said. “So, at Happy Medium, we pay all of employees 100 percent during maternity leave for all 12 weeks.”
She added, “They’ve just been so thankful.”
Clinton pointed out how the United States is the only remaining large, industrialized country that doesn’t require businesses offer paid parental leave. She shared her own story of when she was a young lawyer and got pregnant with her daughter, Chelsea.
“I got pregnant and nobody said anything to me and I didn’t say anything to them,” Clinton said. “We didn’t know what to say to each other. And so I walk down the hall going to the conference room or the library. And I would see one of the partners coming and he’d go, ‘Oh.” We had no leave program. Nothing.”
Clinton didn’t take questions from reporters following the hour-long event.