Elaine Chao: Women can't let harassment hold them back

Elaine Chao: Women can't let harassment hold them back
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Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine ChaoSaluting FOIA on its birthday House passes bill to strengthen authority of federal watchdogs Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' MORE said Tuesday that women who have experienced sexual harassment or other misconduct in the workplace can't let the experience ruin their lives. 

Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump seeking challenger to McConnell as Senate GOP leader: report Budget chairman: Debt ceiling fight 'a ridiculous position to be in' Buckle up for more Trump, courtesy of the Democratic Party MORE (R-Ky.), said at Politico's Women Rule Summit that fixating on mistreatment after it has occurred "holds you back" professionally.

"I will fight for other women and I will stand up for other women, but, of your own, you gotta let it go," Chao said. "Because otherwise, it's too corrosive, it's too negative, and it does you a double injury because it holds you back."

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She made the comments after saying she had her own "#MeToo" moment of experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace. Chao declined to identify the harasser, only noting that the person is still active in the workplace.

"The person is still here and they're still around," she said. "Things change, times change, and it's not worth my while to go back and revisit those negative moments."

Chao added that experiences of misconduct in the workplace such as hers are "a dirty little secret that a lot of women have held for a long time."

The fifth annual Women Rule Summit began Tuesday and included several other speakers who touched on the "#MeToo" movement in their remarks. Chao joined fellow Trump administration official Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayPsaki defends move to oust Trump appointees from military academy boards Defense & National Security: The post-airlift evacuation struggle Conway and Spicer fire back at White House over board resignation requests MORE at the event, as well as Democrats such as Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHochul tells Facebook to 'clean up the act' on abortion misinformation after Texas law Democratic senators request probe into Amazon's treatment of pregnant employees The FBI comes up empty-handed in its search for a Jan. 6 plot MORE (N.Y.) and Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierJimmy and Rosalynn Carter celebrate 75th anniversary, longest-married presidential couple Military braces for sea change on justice reform House panel plans mid-July consideration of military justice overhaul MORE (Calif.). 

This story was updated at 3:41 p.m.