Women, time to write an Op-Ed piece

I was cleaning out the flotsam and jetsam that tends to accumulate in a handbag when I came across a card from The OpEd Project. I picked the card up at the Heinz Family Philanthropies Women’s Health and the Environment conference that I attended in Boston on October 31st last fall.

Writer? Catherine Orenstein, founder of the project, was one the panelists at the conference. She started The OpEd Project to reverse the shocking statistic that only 10-20% of newspaper opinion pieces are written by women. Why care? Because, in Catherine’s words, “the op-ed pages are enormously powerful ? they are the hub of thought leadership. The dearth of women in these spaces not only conveys the (wrong) idea that women are not leaders, it deprives us all of robust, democratic, meritocratic debate. Relying on a narrow pool of (mostly white, older, male) voices for our take on the world is both misguided and dangerous.”

At the conference, Catherine explained that most women don’t feel that they could be considered an expert, even those most accomplished in their field. Women’s humility, lack of confidence?, keeps us from stating our opinions in this most visible of public forums.

I, for one, am guilty. So, here’s my resolution for 2009 — get an OpEd piece published.

How about you? On The OpEd Project web site, you’ll find a few helpful resources for getting started.

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