With unemployment nearing 10% and what seems like a daily concern in cable over impending layoffs, it’s insensitive to think of a hypothetical. Yet as we put this magazine to press it’s difficult not to wonder how things might have been different had Hillary Rodham Clinton, or any woman, become President of the United States.

An immediate reaction might be that a magazine like this, honoring top female executives, loses importance in such a scenario. So does WICT, some would say.

But even with a woman in the White House—likely taking heat for acting too much like a man or not being man enough—we’d still be hard pressed to find female CEOs leading major cable MSOs. Today we have only Pres/CEO Colleen Abdoulah at WOW! (#12 cable op). Nomi Bergman is Bright House Networks’ President.

And a female U.S. President would not likely have an immediate influence on the percentage of women in cable’s C-level suites. Only 23% in those suites were women in 2008, down from 28% in ’07, according to WICT’s 2008 PAR study.

Would the White House’s occupant influence the way some people think about women who’ve chosen to enter so-called men’s club occupations, like sports reporting? Would capable sports journalists who are also attractive women get the respect they deserve if a woman ran things at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

A highly successful female President of 2 terms would change attitudes in this country, mostly those of very young people. They’d grow up knowing only a female chief executive for 8 years. Other than that, I can envision only minor changes.

Back in the real world of cable 2009, women have made much progress, PAR tells us. It’s clear more is needed. We think this magazine will help.

Read the rest of the issue here.

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