[Jill] Abramson chose not to attend the announcement, and not to pretend that she had volunteered to step down.
As with any such upheaval, there’s a history behind it. Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.
Oh, this is delicious. John Ekdahl had a lot of fun with this tonight on the Twitter.
Ekdahl links this flashback to March 25 of this very year, when the New York Times ran a piece titled Moving Past Gender Barriers to Negotiate a Raise:
ASKING for a raise is the type of conversation that can make even the most confident among us uncomfortable. Women, however, may have good reason to feel that way.
Discrimination persists in the workplace and it isn’t necessarily intentional or overt, experts on gender and negotiation say.
But it can emerge when women act in ways that aren’t considered sufficiently feminine, and when women advocate for themselves, these experts say, some people find it unseemly, if on a subconscious level.
As a result, women need to take a more calibrated approach, whether in asking for a higher salary or a new position. Otherwise, they can risk being perceived as overly demanding and unlikable, experts say, and their requests can backfire.
Irony is rarely this tasty. Hey, Ekdahl also linked a New York Times piece titled As Obama Spotlights Gender Gap in Wages, His Own Payroll Draws Scrutiny:
WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday will call attention to what he has said is an “embarrassment” in America: the fact that women make, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns.
It’s not a “fact,” of course, as we have pointed out here before. There are numerous gender-neutral factors that explain the differences. But when free-market advocates cite these gender neutral factors, publications like the New York Times tend to discount those explanations. Which is what makes tonight’s denial from the New York Times so very, very sweet:
“Jill’s total compensation as executive editor was not less than Bill Keller’s, so that is just incorrect,” New York Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy told POLITICO on Wednesday. “Her pension benefit, like all Times employees, is based on her years of service and compensation. The pension benefit was frozen in 2009.”
Oh, there’s a gender neutral explanation for your pay disparity, New York Times? My oh my. Isn’t that interesting? My next question: was Jill Abramson earning 77 cents to Bill Keller’s dollar? Or less? I think we need some figures, don’t you?
Abramson’s successor? Our old friend Dean Baquet, formerly of the L.A. Times. Posts about him are collected here. Baquet espouses using the pages of newspapers to “push back” against bloggers. He declined my request for an interview back in 2007 and stonewalled when I asked for permission to publish the reason he gave me.
He should work out great.
P.S. Meanwhile, I wonder if Abramson is Googling “tattoo removal” tonight.
I have two [tattoos] then on my back that are the two institutions that I revere, that have shaped me. One is unsurprisingly the amazing ‘T’ in The New York Times newspaper.