February 5, 2018
Letter from the Editor

The definition of insanity

Less than 40 hours before the press deadline for our Jan. 22 issue, I noticed we had unwittingly created a major problem: The magazine featured entirely men.

All of the sources in each of the four feature stories were men, all the photos for those stories were of men, all the advice columns were from men. This problem sprung up by happenstance: the three reporters each compiled their sources independently; advice columns are assigned to keep an even split among men and women, but the Jan. 22 edition just happened to have two from men.

One of WBJ's editorial goals is to have diversity in its print pages: gender, race, geography. We want our magazine to reflect the entire Central Massachusetts business community, where women make up 49 percent of the workforce. This is important to capture the best stories, best advice and greatest intelligence of our community. We can't do that by relying on half the population.

In this issue, News Editor Grant Welker unveils the first part of his three-part series called The Boardroom Gap, examining the lack of gender diversity in business leadership. The findings aren't all that surprising: Women make up 33 percent of the region's business leadership, with nonprofits raising the curve while public firms lag behind.

These circumstances are largely created by the same historical dynamic which leads to men filling up a disproportionate share of WBJ's articles and photos: A generation ago, men made up a larger portion of the workforce and leadership positions and continue to ascend to power. Sticking by the maxim, "The best person gets the job" leads to the people with the more traditional experience and career path – a candidate pool skewing male – getting the job. This philosophy ignores the dynamic people with varying backgrounds and less traditional skill sets bring. If diversity is important to your organization, then you have to prioritize it come decision time.

As we were faced with our own gender problem in the Jan. 22 issue, I eschewed my traditional content approach of letting the chips fall where they may, to focus on adding more women in the parts of the edition still under development. The issue was better as a result.

After all, the definition of insanity is going things the same way and expecting a different result.

Read the entire The Boardroom Gap series

Read the entire Boardroom Gap series

Feb. 5 edition

– WBJ's Findings: Women vastly underrepresented in Central Mass. corporate leadership

The Pay Gap: Central Mass. male executives make $1.3M vs. $573K for women

Editorial Opinion: The importance of diversity

– Letter from the Editor: Can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results

Feb. 19 edition

- Feeling Marginalized: Central Mass. businesswomen who've sat in positions of power say they don't get the same automatic credibility as men

Gender Diversity = Profits: Companies with a greater mix of women in leadership perform better

March 5 edition

Narrowing the Boardroom Gap: Financial, legislative and cultural pressures are creating more gender diverse business leadership

The Best Candidate Gets the Job: Diverse candidate pools lead to diverse companies, leading local firms say

Letter from the Editor: Now comes the hard part

Viewpoint Opinion: Women of color need to break the concrete ceiling

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