Katie Couric mentioned Matt Lauer, the Me Too motion and feminine management in enterprise on the Costume for Success annual Girls Who Encourage breakfast in New York Metropolis on Wednesday.
Couric, who spoke throughout a fireplace chat on the nonprofit’s feminine empowerment occasion, was requested about Lauer’s ouster from the “Immediately” present, and the numerous sexual harassment allegations which have swept the media enterprise over the previous two years.
“As you may think about, I’ve thought lots about this over the past two years as a result of it has been, to make use of the phrase that many have used, a reckoning,” Couric stated. “It’s been painful for me on many ranges, particularly in terms of understanding what was happening with Matt, who I believe finally turned out to be two very completely different folks, when it comes to my relationship with him versus a few of the different issues that had been happening.”
Couric spoke about her expertise coming of age within the information enterprise, which she known as an business “that was completely rife with males with a number of energy,” actually when she received her begin in 1979. However at present, Couric says there may be nonetheless a lot work to be performed.
“We’d like many extra ladies in management positions in journalism and broadcast information,” Couric stated, noting how vastly under-represented ladies are in lots of necessary positions in media. “Issues don’t actually change except you might have a lady with actual authority and decision-making alternatives, and I actually do consider that the ambiance of an organization and the requirements, all of them come from the highest.”
Couric considers herself fortunate as a result of she was “by no means actually subjected to sexual harassment, apart from in small methods,” initially of her profession. Chatting with Lucy Kaylin, the editor-in-chief of “O, The Oprah Journal,” in the course of the fireplace chat, Couric shared a narrative from the early ’80s when she was a junior staffer at CNN and a male government publicly commented on the dimensions of her breasts throughout a gathering with all the high brass. Couric was shocked by the remark, and as soon as she shared her expertise with a male mentor, she was suggested to put in writing a memo to the male government. She did, and he apologized profusely.
“That set the tone of what was acceptable and unacceptable within the office,” Couric stated of the expertise in her mid-20s.
Couric believes that the previously permissive tradition of the information enterprise is what enabled sexual harassment to happen by the hands of high-powered males in information organizations. Couric has been researching that very matter for her memoir.
“I received into the information enterprise in 1979, and when you concentrate on it, it was actually the primary time ladies had been actually integrating this business in full pressure,” Couric stated. “It was this tradition the place fraternization existed and was happening unabated, the place folks had been having relationships with different folks inside the enterprise, and I’m certain there have been insurance policies in opposition to that, however they had been by no means actually enforced … now, I hope these huge broadcast organizations are additionally having a reckoning and realizing there are specific requirements, sure behaviors.”
“That is when there have been nonetheless males who wished to get the broads out of broadcasting,” Couric quipped. Garnering laughs from the mostly-female viewers, Couric added, “I received into the enterprise when ‘harass’ was two phrases as a substitute of 1.”
Couric introduced up McDonald’s just lately firing its CEO for having consensual relationship with a lower-level feminine worker. “I do assume, personally, there ought to be a zero tolerance coverage of anybody of fraternization in a enterprise,” she stated. “I believe that’s laborious for us to wrap our heads round in some methods, particularly with these demanding jobs the place you spend a lot time at work, however I simply assume you must have a binding coverage.”
Talking extra usually concerning the information enterprise, she continued, “I believe a permissive atmosphere led to this different dangerous habits and I’m glad that it’s now hopefully coming to an finish, and I believe that lots of people have actually paid the final word worth.”
Couric’s chat was a part of the Costume for Success Girls Who Encourage breakfast, which is an annual profit occasion celebrating ladies whose management, ardour and tenacity have modified lives, pioneered new floor and impressed these round them.