I woke up this morning, grabbed my coffee, opened up twitter, and saw a flurry of mentions under my name. Oh great. What did I tweet after two glasses of wine last night? Turns out, it wasn’t anything I said. It was several female colleagues coming to the defense of one of our own.
Some stranger tweeted at Emily Jones (a friend of mine who I’ve written about on this blog before) and implied that she does not mentor other women in this business. That could not be further from the truth. What followed was a boat load of fellow female reporters coming to her defense. It got me wondering, why there is this notion that women don’t help other women? And why isn’t there this same assumption made about men? We’re not all walking around like Gretchen from Mean Girls, “I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me… but I can’t help it that I’m so popular!” In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
That idiot on twitter (I had other words written, but chose to be polite) didn’t realize the lion’s den he was walking into. The female reporter sorority is closer than the actual sorority I was in at college. We are friends. We are mentors. We are supporters. We share insight and stories. We give advice to the younger generators in the same way the older generation did for us. And when you try to knock one of us down publicly, you will have 20+ of us having her back.
This notion that we tear each there down is the biggest misconception in this business. (Beside that we’re all in this to sleep with athletes. Also false.) I could tell you a hundred stories of women who’ve helped me in my career. Pam Oliver chatted with me for an hour before starting my first sideline gig. She emails me whenever I have questions. Laura Okmin had my back when I felt I was getting to old for this business. Sam Ryan, who I had never met before, reached out to me when were going to be covering the same game. The next day we ran 10 miles together. Holly Rowe sat with me a couple of months ago to share tips on her weekly prep. Laura Rutledge constantly checks in to see how my games are going and shares her experiences. Jen Lada helped me figured out how to manage a kid and a career, and so much more. Cara Capuana would hold my camera when I was one-man banding. I could sit here all afternoon and list them off- Emily Jones, Alanna Rizzo, Molly McGrath, Lesley McCaslin, Allison Williams, Jody Jackson, Julia Morales, Amy Gutierrez, Jenny Canvar, Jenny Dell, Jen Hale, Aimee Leone. I could go on and on, but I’ve got a conference call to hop on.
Yes there are limited jobs for women in the industry right now. Yes we are all trying to get to the same place. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all be each others cheerleaders. You want a perfect example? Check out what Laura Okmin started– GALvanize.life.
Oh, and that twitter idiot has a two-year-old daughter. I hope she reads this one day and is inspired by the women in our industry.