Here are the comments made by recently retired Wall Street Journal reporter and editor Joann S. Lublin on Monday night after receiving the Gerald Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award:
Loeb undoubtedly gives its Lifetime Achievement Award to battle-scarred veterans of business journalism.
That’s one reason I’m wearing a sling!
I feel especially blessed. I’m only the third woman ever to receive this honor — and the first since 1997.
Yet I almost didn’t make it here.
In 1980, I wrote a first-person essay for the Journal’s editorial page about why I chose to combine motherhood and a career. Our son, Dan, was then seven months old.
My essay triggered a wave of reader hostility. The Journal printed a page of scathing letters. One said Dan was better off that I worked because obviously, I was an unfit mother. Someone put a folder on my desk with 40 other letters too nasty to publish.
Sick to my stomach and even sicker at heart, I left work early. I tearfully considered quitting.
But the nasty reactions intensified my determination to make working motherhood work.
I love being a business journalist. I find it fascinating to interview people from all walks of life — I once covered a Little People of America convention.
I enjoy breaking big business news, offering executives career advice and writing management features that included a trip around the world with Honeywell’s CEO.
I’m grateful to the many Journal colleagues whose support helped me win this honor. Among those joining Matt here tonight are Marcelo Prince, Drew Dowell, Nikki Waller and Lucette Lagnado. Another key prior colleague is Norm Pearlstine.
n 1983, I was the frazzled mother of two kids under four while working full time for the Washington bureau. As the new managing editor, Norm approved my unusual request for a four-day schedule. But he rejected my offer to take a pay cut.
I worked that schedule until 1987, when I won my first management role and moved to London. After my relocation to New York in 1990, Norm proposed I work from home on Fridays. His gift gave me precious extra time with our children.
I worked from home Fridays until the day I retired. It was a Friday.
I know it won’t be long before another woman accepts a Lifetime Achievement Award. Perhaps she will be one of the amazingly talented journalists here tonight.
For that, we can also thank farsighted men like Norm Pearlstine, Matt Murray, my husband Mike Pollock and countless others.
The speech can be watched here.