November 25, 2015

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First Mediaworks

8/21/00 Time For Some ”Girls” In Good Ol' Boys Club
Nothing has changed. Radio still lives in the Dark Ages. Every year, when I review the list of Radio’s 40 Most Powerful People, few — if any — women are on the list. This year, only one made the list. Is it Radio Ink’s fault? No! The list reflects the reality in the Radio industry: Radio companies do not have many women in positions of power. Why are there not more women CEOs in the biggest Radio groups? Why are there not more women in top leadership positions, running divisions or regions? The glass ceiling is at the general manager and sales manager levels, and few are breaking through it.
The dirty little secret from a male’s perspective is that many men I know still believe that women do not make good CEOs or leaders. Publicly, there is PR hype about how important it is for companies to be balanced and to place women in important roles. Privately, I still hear men say, "Women are too emotional; they get too close to their people; they are unstable emotionally; PMS gets in their way;" or "they should be home, caring for kids, not running companies." Many men are bigots when it comes to women.
The problem isn’t only in the Radio industry, yet Radio seems to be farther behind. We have loads of women in sales, a fair amount of women in sales management, and a small sprinkling of women in GM positions. Few CEOs exist in large Radio companies. Some — like our featured interviewee, Edie Hilliard — are in companies that serve the industry. Outside of Radio, we’re starting to see that women CEOs are superstars. Carly Fiorina, at Hewlett Packard, may be an icon for women CEOs; but there are many others, like Meg Whitman at eBay, Kim Polese at Marimba, and Marleen McDaniel of Women.com. (The high-tech sector seems to lead the world in women CEOs.)
There is absolutely no reason to believe, in this modern age, that women cannot do the job of CEO or senior executive. Most women CEOs I’ve met are as tough and as visionary in these roles as any male counterpart. They are probably better with employees because of the empathy skills most of us males lack. Most are better communicators and are better organized, while many are capable of incredible balance between work and family without missing a milestone or goal.
Radio will not grow as it should until we become more progressive and less like medieval warlords who won’t relinquish control. I encourage those Good Ol’ Boys on the boards of Radio’s big companies to take the challenge and bring more women into prominent, senior-level positions. The bad news is that women still have a lot to prove in our industry, but the good news is that they can rise to the occasion and bring success beyond your wildest dreams. Are you listening, Boys?

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