For Expert Women, Look to Women's Colleges

Posted By Marilyn Hammond - 05/05/2014

To the Editor:

Re “The Media Has a Woman Problem,” by Liza Mundy (Sunday Review, April 27):

The argument that “I can’t find qualified women” — for my editorial page, engineering firm or corporate board — is a tired one. Here’s where to start a search: women’s colleges.

In journalism alone, women’s colleges have produced many of our leading voices: Trudy Rubin, an award-winning syndicated foreign affairs columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer (Smith); Cokie Roberts, a contributing senior news analyst for NPR (Wellesley); the columnist and author Anna Quindlen (Barnard); and Kate O’Brian, president of Al Jazeera (Smith).

Studies show that graduates of women’s colleges punch above their weight in Congress, corporate leadership and governing boards. I suspect that this is true of journalism, too.

It makes a difference when you study at a college that empowers women, especially in a gendered world in which people still believe that they can’t identify qualified women across every field.

President, Smith College
The New York Times 
May 4, 2014