Beatrice Riddell, a pioneer in Canadian biz journalism
James Bagnall of The Ottawa Citizen writes about Beatrice Riddell, former associate editor of The Financial Post and one of the first female business journalists in Canada.
Bagnall writes, “While female journalists at general-interest daily newspapers across the country were accorded full bylines, McEachern was concerned the paper’s heavy contingent of male readers would be wary if they knew they were reading financial news written by a woman. When her gender was finally revealed some years later, 10 readers apparently cancelled their subscriptions.
“The conservatism ran deep at The Financial Post. Up until the 1960s, male reporters were expected to wear suits when meeting with sources. John Bayne Maclean (known as ‘The Colonel’) had launched the publication in 1907 with two overarching goals: to make business writing more accessible to ordinary investors, and to make the FP’s pages interesting to ‘every young man determined to make a success of life.’
“The sexism went beyond bylines. Not only was Bea paid less than her male colleagues in her early FP years, she found that some news conferences on financial topics took place in all-male clubs. This prompted her to make alternative arrangements to meet with sources.
“The workaround turned out to be an advantage, however, allowing Bea the luxury of extended one-on-one discussions, without male competitors intruding. These sessions helped her develop the deep expertise that became the hallmark of her writing at the Financial Post.”
Read more here.