So I am at 15 college student survey/interview requests and counting for the past 2 weeks. Why, you ask? Well, every year at this time (and the first week of Dec.), the Association for Women in Sports Media, and some of the board such as moi, get requests from students to interview us for their papers.
And the topics take one of three forms: women in sports media (from the premise we are all sexually harassed and life sucks); women in the locker room (a “controversy” that the kids think is still ongoing); or my personal favorite, my “ethics” of being a female sports journalist. (same ethics as the men: be honest, do my job to the best of my talents and be right/hit deadlines.)
I treat every student with the same patience and kindness as ones before. I see it as a chance to educate, and in some cases, undo some of the bad information they’ve been taught in school. One student, who attends a big name university in the Midwest, was being talked out of her idea go into sports business by a professor…he told her there are no women in that job because women aren’t “biologically attuned” to succeed in the field. She knew that was wrong on its face, but feared voicing an alternative opinion. We talked, and she’s doing her paper on the women who are leading in sports media and business. And yes, we determined that we’re biologically attuned enough to succeed.
It’s amusing how the students think women are new in the field, or somehow that they’re the first ones to stumble upon the topic. (sorry!)
But answering the questions is always fun, because it turns into a dialogue on where we are right now, what we women in the business want to become, and how much further we have to go in educating those who are biased.
So about 1 more week of question palooza…bring it on kids!