Monday, August 07, 2006

Cherchez La Femme (WSJ, Aug 4): Read it to believe it!

Cherchez la femme ... translation can be found here.

It took me until now to track the following opinion piece written by Judith H. Dobrzynski and published by The Wall Street Journal Thursday, August 4. WSJ, thus far, has decided to release it only online to their subscriber base. Since I get the print edition, I don't bother with the online version. Please take a moment to read this thoughtful piece and forward it to whoever you think might find it interesting:

Cherchez la Femme

Here is a subsequent correction to the article posted in WSJ's Saturday (8/5) edition:

Patricia A. Woertz was named CEO, in April, of Archer Daniels Midland, ranked No. 56 on the Fortune 500. An opinion article by Judith H. Dobrzynski on Aug. 4, "Cherchez La Femme," said there were no women CEOs in the Fortune 100. (The number of women CEOs in the Fortune 500, however, was stated correctly as 10, and did include Ms. Woertz.)

And here is my response to the WSJ Opinion editor sent by email on Saturday, August 5:

"Cherchez la Femme" (OPINION, August 4) is right on target. But there is one person Ms. Dobrzynski left out in her investigation: former Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, Karen Elliott House. House was among those considered for CEO of the WSJ but was passed over for Richard F. Zannino, who was the first to break with a tradition of journalists presiding over the company.

So instead of taking a chance by promoting a woman from within the ranks of The Wall Street Journal -- and one who was largely responsible for the launch of the Weekend Edition -- they brought in a man from the outside with no journalism experience but lots of fashion house and retail knowledge. How's that for a calculated risk?

WSJ decided to go with a man with no experience at the paper instead of a woman who brought the paper success and accolades. After that, Karen Elliott House announced she would retire after 32 years with the newspaper.

It's no wonder women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men. And they will continue to do so until parity is achieved in the corner CEO office.

Laurel Delaney

Since then, I have been in touch with Dobrzynski. Let's see if the WSJ is gutsy enough to publish my letter. What's your take on this?

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