Justin Trudeau on Empowering Women: It's the Smartest Thing to Do

Photo: Monica Schipper/WireImage

Justin Trudeau, Canadian prime minister, celebrity thirst magnet, and all-around Renaissance man, continues to charm our pants off. The handsome politician sat down with Tina Brown at Thursday's Women in the World Summit in New York, where he waxed poetic on everything from his formative years as a child, to his views on equality for women.

"I was incredibly fortunate to have been dragged around to every corner of the country the first 13 years of my life," Trudeau, whose father is former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, told Brown.

He explained that his travels taught him what "people are really like," and that real that leadership comes in "moments where you stand up and say something difficult or controversial, and it pushes back against people who might otherwise support you. It demonstrates your capacity to stand for what you believe in, not just what's popular. That's what all of us are looking for: Is someone going to stand up for what they truly believe in?"

Trudeau, whose own cabinet is an impressive 50-percent female, also highlighted the importance of having women in positions of power. "It isn't just the nice thing to do, it's the smartest thing to do," he said, adding that companies with balanced boards are more successful and have higher revenues. "We can't just talk about how women need to be empowered without talking to the people who unfairly still have more power—the men. The men have to be part of the solution."

Watch the entire conversation in the video above.

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