OLD Media Moves

Early female WSJ reporter remembers difficulties, barriers

August 5, 2008

Joann Lublin, who joined The Wall Street Journal in the 1970s and was one of just 10 female journalists at the paper at the time, writes Tuesday about her experience.

Joann LublinLublin writes, “Joining the Journal instead, I became part of a tiny sorority. The highest-ranking women among the roughly 10 female journalists was a lowly copy editor. When she married a colleague a short while later, company anti-nepotism rules forced her to quit.

“The 1970s were a difficult era for women in other respects. As the first female reporter hired for the San Francisco bureau, I found myself surrounded by certain men with pin-up calendars mounted above their desks. I bought one that featured scantily-clad men. My calendar disappeared from my bulletin board 24 hours later. No one knew why. I suspect one of the guys in the office took it.

“Like the National Press Club, many private business clubs still refused to accept female members. But some now let women journalists sit beside men during news events as long as we entered the club through a specially marked ‘women’s entrance.’ The door usually was near the kitchen.

“The San Francisco Press Club was no different. That created a sticky professional dilemma. The club invited me to a dinner after one of my Journal front-page features won honorable mention in its annual contest.”

Read more here.

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