Pulitzer Prize Winner Lublin Addresses School of Business


Business student Victoria Tiranno ’19 met Joann Lublin in advance of Lublin’s talk.

What’s the best way to encourage men to support women in the workplace? Give them daughters. That’s the conclusion of Wall Street Journal management news editor Joann Lublin, who spoke at the School of Business earlier this month.

Addressing the group of students, alumni, faculty and staff at the Massry Center for Business, Lublin said that as she walked into offices of the Wall Street Journal on her first day at work, she saw “girlie” calendars above many of the desks. It was the 70s. She was first female reporter in the San Francisco bureau and among the only 11 women of the 150 reporters and editors working for the WSJ. She soon tacked her own calendar on the wall, male pin-ups, which disappeared almost immediately. She succeeded there, but wasn’t able to completely change things. When she transferred to the Chicago office two years later, her going-away card was a fold-out of Burt Reynolds.

After working her way up at the Journal, including a stint as the first woman deputy bureau chief of the London office and earning a Pulitzer Prize for her work on a series of corporate scandal exposés, she has written a book, “Earning It: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World.”

The idea for a book grew out of a well-received personal essay, "Remember the Barriers,'' she wrote for a WSJ blog describing her experience as a female journalist. For the book, she reached out to 75 high-ranking corporate women, including executives from Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo, Hearst Magazine, Avon, Sara Lee, Campbell Soup and Ogilvy & Mather. More than fifty responded, offering Lublin the stories of their success and set-backs. Lublin noted that they contributed because, “They didn’t want to keep re-inventing the wheel.”

Regarding her assessment that “daughters drive men to support women in the workplace,” Lublin suggested to the group assembled at the School of Business that if they could make time for only one chapter in her book, read the last one, “Male Champions” which describes the efforts of male CEOs to improve the workplace success of women at their companies. She noted that one executive refused to sit on panels unless women were included. Another, after considering the career prospects of his fifteen year old daughter, increased the presence of women at all levels of his organization.

Lubin shared the four leadership traits of the successful women profiled in the book. They are resilient, innovative, persistent and empathetic. She said that having these traits does not guarantee success, but it’s a start.

What’s the outlook for women in business? Lublin predicted, “Sunny with a mixture of clouds.”

Brand new School Of Business marketing professor Dr. Beth DuFault moderated the discussion with Joann Lublin.