Session 5: Smashing Through the Boys’ Club Walls

Day 2 of the CMA Conference brought us sessions led by so many colorful characters. We learned about the raunchy side of journalism (I think a sex column in The Pendulum is forthcoming), and the funny side of journalism (writing for The Daily Show!) and so many things in between.

Unfortunately, though, a few of the sessions we’ve attended have left us scratching our heads. How was that relevant to our lives?, we wonder. The answer is not always clear, and that was the case after my 9 a.m. session, “Smashing Through the Boys’ Club Walls: The Few and the Female.”

The session description made it sound like it’d be a gung-ho 50 minutes, full of energy and power and, “You can do anything the boys can do, down with sexism!” Not feminist, per se, but still somewhat empowering. Instead, it contained some slightly depressing statistics about the ratio of men to women in the workplace, as well as some questions about why women aren’t more prevalent in journalism jobs, and what we can do to fix that.

The moral of the story? “The world is ruled by men.” That’s a direct quote from the speaker (Ellen Rosenbush, editor of Harper’s Magazine), which left me a little surprised. Sure, it might be true in some environments, and maybe men will always hold more positions than women and get paid a slightly higher salary. But I walked into today’s session thinking we’d discuss some ways to rise above the gender inequality in the workplace, instead of adapting to it and settling for less than we deserve.

–Rebecca Iannucci

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