Jill Abramson spent 17 years in some of the most senior editorial roles at The New York Times: she was the first woman to serve as Washington bureau chief, managing editor and then executive editor. In May 2014, Abramson was very publicly ousted from the paper. “My whole career has been devoted to transparency and telling the truth,” she told an audience at the University of British Columbia on October 29, “and the truth is, I was fired.”
In this candid interview, Abramson sits down with the CBC's Anna Maria Tremonti as part of the Lind Initiative with UBC's Liu Institute for Global Issues. The full video appears above. Abramson calls inequality “one of the most pressing issues of our time,” and discusses the current state of gender equality in the workplace and what need to be done to address the issue.
“I admire Canada,” says Abramson, “because it’s committed to the view that gender equality is not only a human right, but an essential component of sustainable development, social justice, peace and security.” She argues that women and society as a whole – men included – mustn’t let barriers deter progress on the problem of gender inequality in the workplace, and believes change is possible.
Abramson would like to see an end to a double standard for men and for women. Women are still judged differently, she says, and qualities often seen as likable in men are not considered favourable in women. Women walk a tight rope between being liked and being respected, and men do not – this must end. She also calls for more coverage of gender inequality in the workplace, and says there’s a need for more men to join the conversation.