Julia Gillard has some advice for women on dealing with sexism in the workplace

Julia Gillard was Australian prime minister between 2010 and 2013, and repeatedly faced sexist and misogynistic attacks from her political opponents.

Before taking office a senator once described her as "deliberately barren" because she didn't have children, while a Liberal Party fundraiser had something called 'Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail' on the menu ("small breasts, huge thighs and a big red box Moroccan carrot salad and sumac yoghurt").

It wasn't until 2012 in a major, perhaps defining, speech in parliament that she called out the sexism, in particular labelling then opposition leader Tony Abbott a misogynist.

Gillard has been speaking this week about how female politicians should respond to such abuse, and her advice could easily relate to other areas of work as well.

Appearing on BBC2's Newsnight, she was asked what advice she would give to Hillary Clinton, who is running for the Democratic nomination for the US presidency.

She said:

I wouldn't presume to give someone of the long experience of Hillary Clinton advice. But what I do think looking back on my time as prime minister is that I assumed that the maximum reaction to being the first woman to lead Australia, both positive and negative, would be in the early days of my prime-ministership and then it would kind of wash out of the system and you'd just get on with the job.

What I actually found was that the longer that I was prime minister, gendered insults became a very convenient weapon to go to when you were doing something politically controversial. So if I had my time again, I would actually call it out earlier in my period as prime minister.

On the two women bidding to replace Ed Miliband as Labour Party leader, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall, she added:

I would say this to any woman who is intending to be in the front row of politics: I do think that on gender issues it's best to confront them front up. If there is any differential treatment, deal with it in the early days rather than let it build.

You can watch the clip below:

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