“I scared you, didn’t I?” Stories from the 3rd female reporter at the Wall Street Journal


Today, the discrimination working women face tends to be subtle. A male counterpart might earn more, but he negotiated for it, for example. Gone are the days when women literally were’t allowed in the front door, were refused service at men’s bars, or where their main role is to serve coffee. But in 1969, when Mary Bralove began her career as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, she was only the third female journalist on staff.   To give you a sign of the times, she remembers that the day she started, there was an article about a woman who was so big breasted, that crowds of men followed her to work. This story ran on the front page as a light hearted piece.

The pressure was on. “I didn’t want to give them any reason not to hire another women,” she describes. So she bent over backwards to make it work, and to protect her authority once she was promoted to Assistant New York Bureau Chef. Listen as we talk to this journalist about what is was like to work in the chauvinistic atmosphere of the 1970’s newsroom, how she balanced work and family and why- after 14 years- she left.

Click below to listen to the interview– and to find out what she would do now, if she were 20 and doing it all again (or, you can listen in iTunes):

For more on Mary Bralove:


Bralove’s piece on sexual harassment in the workplace, from 1976.

  • Trailing Spouses has it’s own Wikipedia entry
  • “A Cold Shoulder” on sexual harassment, from 1976, full text is here
  • “Giving Up” on Eli Black’s suicide, in 1975, the piece that beat the New York Times’ coverage and earned Mary Bralove her promotion, full text is here.
  • And, I don’t think I’m too biased about this, she’s now one of the best personal trainers you could hire: at marybralove.com.
Image: The New York Times Newsroom in 1942 — though I imagine that the Wall Street Journal in 1969 looks very similar (via Wikimedia)

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