On CNN.com, Courtney Martin and Katie Orenstein write about how to have more Sheryl Sandbergs.
At that time, about 15% of opinion pieces were written by women, though the imbalance was largely under the radar. The opinion page became a particularly contentious space for an outpouring of women’s voices in this overdue conversation.
Nationally syndicated columnist Susan Estrich called The Los Angeles Times’ leadership out for sexism on its opinion pages. Anne Applebaum of The Washington Post argued with Estrich and said she resented being called a “female” journalist. And Maureen Dowd of The New York Times, echoing one of the most commonly held beliefs about why women don’t have parity, wrote that women weren’t fairly represented because they are afraid of being attacked and care too much about what others think. They lack confidence…
To assume that a lack of confidence is the reason so few women are intellectual leaders is too simplistic. When a woman doesn’t go for a big corporate job like Sandberg’s or says no when television producers call, saying she doesn’t have any confidence implies it’s an individual choice made in some sort of sociocultural vacuum.
As women, in many cases, the impulse to do something out of the norm of our peer group, like write an opinion piece or ask for a promotion, has simply never occurred to us. If it does, we don’t act on it. Our girlfriends aren’t doing it. Our female colleagues aren’t doing it. Why should we?
At The OpEd Project, we cultivate new voices, training minorities and women to inhabit their place as narrators of the world.
Read the rest here.