A Three-fer Good News Day

September 3 should become a special day on women’s calendar, just as Women’s Equality Day became a special day in honor of women’s voting rights.

  • For the first time ever, two of the three nightly major network newscasts will be anchored by women. ABC Nightly News has announced that Diane Sawyer, who has anchored “Good Morning America” for years, will take over for the retiring Charles Gibson. Said Women’s Media Center president Carol Jenkins of the news:

The Women’s Media Center considers the appointment of Diane Sawyer as anchor of ABC’s World News a watershed moment in the presence of women in media…Sawyer joins Katie Couric at CBS News in delivering crucially important information to our country.—and determining what that is. Sawyer’s expertise and professionalism are without question. We look forward to her debut in January, and to the changes in the perception of women’s capabilities her reign will bring…Here at WMC we always say that women are 51% of the population—and that we should not be afraid to ask for 51% of the jobs in media. At this point women hold only 3% of the “clout” positions in media. Anchoring a network evening news program certainly adds to the power quotient. We’re on our way.

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley didn’t wait to be asked to run, as many women have been prone to do in the past and get left in the dust as a result–she was today the first to throw her hat in the ring for the senate seat left open by the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy last week. You go, girl!
  • And third, I picked up a copy of “Mental_Floss” magazine at the grocery store today. When I thumbed through it to read the cover article, “The Five Gutsiest World Leaders”, I found that two of the five they selected are women: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet. And my personal fave Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, is listed among the five more you should know. Though women aren’t the majority of these picks, the fact that there are so few women heads of state and yet three of them made this top ten list delivers the message once again that this is an amazing moment for women because what the world needs today is represented in the qualities women bring to leadership. (And do check out Mental_Floss-it’s quite a fun zine and website.)