Where Are the Women?
Why we need more female newsroom leaders
Read more stories from prominent female leaders
The reason why I feel very strongly about women in positions of authority is because the people in authority are the people who can effect change in an organization. For example, when I was at CBS many, many, many years ago, there were a lot of women working on the morning broadcast who were in their 30s. A lot of them were newly married and having children.
A group of them came to me and said, “Is there any way that we might be able to do a job share? If we could do a job share. I would work three days a week. This person would work two days a week.” It was a way that they would be able to keep their jobs and we would still have the benefit of their experience.
The funny thing was they would end up going off staff because they’d end up working part time. To the company’s benefit, it would be, “Oh, wow. We don’t have to be paying benefits but we’d still have these experienced people working these days.”
I took it to the senior group and one of the first reactions, I’ll never forget, it was a man who said, “Why would we do that? We’ve never done it before.”
Without me in the room to explain why it’s a good idea, then everybody in the room would have said, “Yeah, why would we do that? We haven’t done that before. That’s stupid. Why would we do it?”
You would do it because these people are very good at their jobs. They’re very dedicated. They’re going to work just as hard on their two days and three days. They’re going to work in concert and it’s going to get done. “Why not?” is my question. “Why not?” rather than “why?”
By the way, the policy did get instituted for the job share. I truly believe that it would not have been instituted had women not been in that room making those decisions.