Comstock's magazine 0319 - March 2019 - Page 17

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR n WOMEN'S WORK P H O T O : K E L LY B A R R “I sn’t the topic getting outdated?” someone asked when I told her I was working on Comstock’s annual Women in Leadership issue. While I think not, her response reflects what might be considered a sense of exhaustion. Last year’s #MeToo and #TimesUp movements gained global attention, and the in- credible political gains made by women led the Brookings Institution to declare 2018 another “Year of the Woman,” (the last one being 1992, when more women were elected to Con- gress than in any previous decade). Women earn the majority of bachelor's, master’s and doctoral degrees. Films with fe- male leads outperform those with male leads at the box office. Women live longer and are better represented in leadership positions than at any other previous point in time. In the Capi- tal Region, roughly 75 percent of our chambers of commerce are led by women (“At the Helm,” pg. 56). Some studies suggest we have better track records in finance, including investing in the stock market and managing hedge funds. Corporations who put us on their boards perform better (“New Law, Old Rules,” pg. 68). Perhaps it’s not entirely surprising for some, particularly from older generations, to wonder what the rest of us are still going on about. Yet, there is still work to be done (“Sexism Is Not Extinct,” pg. 38; “Turning Point,” pg. 80; “A New Wave,” pg. 90). The wom- en featured in this issue are a testament to great strides that have been made. They span generations, come from through- out the region, lead in a variety of industries and boast diverse political persuasions, perspectives and backgrounds. I hope you will find within these pages, as I did, cause for celebration and reason to keep pushing for leadership that reflects the vi- brant fabric of our city, region and nation. Though perhaps “pushing” isn’t quite the right word. For most of us, even those who may feel they aren’t quite advanced enough in their careers to make a difference, the real task is in lifting. It is on all of us to uplift those within our networks who show exceptional talent and unique vision — particularly those who also happen to come from underrepresented backgrounds. We’re all likely familiar with the hushed concern of forgo- ing “the best person for the job” in the pursuit of diversity. I try to take that concern as code for “help me.” If diversity is im- portant to you, the absolute best way to funnel those energies is into leveraging your resources to lift up the promising and capable individuals in your own network. Connect them to op- portunities, recommend them for jobs, offer your mentorship. Ask for ideas and provide the kind of critical feedback that fa- cilitates professional growth. If you know an organization with a diversity problem — on its board, within its staff — this is how you can go beyond call-out culture to follow up with real solu- tions. There is no substitute for ensuring we have a purposeful impact in the environments where we carry the most power and influence. Speaking of which, this also seems like a good time to announce some news of my own: At the end of this month, I will be stepping away from my position as editor in chief of Comstock’s. It has been an honor to lead this phenomenal team of editors, writers, designers, photographers, illustrators and other creative forces within media. The talent and dedica- tion behind the scenes of this magazine, while seldom seen, is truly exceptional. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together, from the articles we’ve published, to the digital plat- forms we’ve expanded onto and the recognition those efforts have received. I will, in the immediate future, continue on in a more limit- ed capacity, helping to guide the publication’s overall editorial vision and digital strategy — after that, perhaps as a writer and always as a reader. Telling the Capital Region’s story during such a pivotal time of transformation has been beyond fulfilling, and I thank you for trusting me to tell your stories. Allison Joy Editor in Chief March 2019 | 19