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NEWS & IDEAS

NYT firing Jill Abramson raises the question (again) about Equal pay

Jill Abramson, the first female executive editor of The New York Times, was abruptly ousted from her job this week and speculation on the dismissal is heating up. According to New Yorker's Ken Auletta, Abramson was fired because she learned she was paid less than her predecessor and demanded more:

“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."

Others speculate that Abramson was fired for being "bossy," "pushy," "cold" - words rarely, if ever, associated with male bosses. 

Whatever the real reason or reasons for forcing Abramson out, it serves as a reminder that we, women AND men, still have ways to go until gender equality is achieved in every nook and cranny of our culture. The most pressing issue here is the gender wage gap. If it's a possibility that even the executive editor of the most lauded news publication in our country is a victim of the .77 for every dollar factoid, this is the time to bring the wage gap to the surface. 

The gender pay gap is a common theme among the trailblazing women we profile. From Goodyear worker Lily Ledbetter to media mogul Oprah Winfrey, the gender wage gap has affected more women than you probably realized. 

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for the New York Times

Tags: news, equal pay