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MAKERS Profile

Lynn Povich

First Female Sr. Editor at Newsweek

More From Lynn

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Lynn Povich on the glass ceilings in journalism and confronting them in a landmark suit at Newsweek magazine.

Lynn's Biography

Hero she’s never met: Marian Wright Edelman
Childhood dream: To become a ballerina
Family Business: Povich’s father, Shirley Povich, was a renowned sportswriter for the Washington Post.
Cause of Choice: International Women's Media Foundation

Lynn Povich is an award-winning journalist and women’s rights pioneer. In 1970, she helped organize a landmark sex discrimination suit against Newsweek, and in 1975, became the first female senior editor in the magazine’s history.
 
After graduating from Vassar in 1965, Povich began her career as a secretary in the Paris Bureau of Newsweek. She rose to become a reporter and writer in the New York office, at a time when almost all of the writers and editors were men and all of the fact checkers, researchers, and secretaries were women. In 1970, she joined with 45 other women to sue the magazine for sex discrimination, announcing the suit the very day Newsweek published a cover story on the women’s movement, “Women in Revolt.” The lawsuit and the publicity it created were a major first step toward gender equality in the media business. The magazine promised to hire and promote more women and within five years Povich became the first female senior editor in the history of the magazine. In 2012, she published “The Good Girls Revolt,” which chronicles the landmark Newsweek suit and how much has--and hasn't changed since.
 
Povich stepped down from her senior editor position in 1980 in order to work part time while raising her children. She left Newsweek in 1991, to become Editor-in-Chief of Working Woman, which she turned into the only national business magazine for women. Most recently she was managing editor/senior executive producer of East Coast programming at MSNBC.com. She is a recipient of the Matrix Award for Magazines and serves on the Advisory Boards of the International Women's Media Foundation and the Women's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.

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