International Women’s Day means many things to many people. Officially, it is “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.” These are important points that deserve to be called out — so we all remember their significance.
But I have a different tact when it comes to this special holiday.
For the last eight years — five during my time at Bloomberg TV, and now three at MSNBC as of tomorrow — I’ve marked the occasion by featuring women ONLY in my 60-minute news broadcast; panels full of female lawmakers, Washington insiders and reporters. But their sex is not the most important quality that they share.
More than that, they are all leaders in their industries. Experts in their fields. They do what they do – whatever it may be — the best. They do not get a seat at the table because they are women. They get a seat at the table because they are women who ROCK.
Here’s the catch.
One topic you will not see covered in our broadcast on International Women’s Day? Women’s issues. For so long, female leaders have been required to acknowledge their sex when they talk about their success, emphasizing — above all else — that being a woman CEO, for example, is somehow different from being just a CEO. Being a female, expert voice on the Southern District of New York is different from being just an expert voice on that topic.
As long as we allow this to continue, women will not be evaluated on the same level as their male counterparts. Not to mention the “pink ghetto” this creates: females at the top of their fields become siloed and stuck in a narrative that implies they said or did something because of their sex.
Of course, the female experience is different from those of our male peers — just like every woman’s story is different from their fellow females.
But this is a dangerous game that doesn’t benefit our sisterhood of badass females.
That is why tomorrow, when you tune in to MSNBC at 9 a.m. ET, you will see women from a variety of industries, representing a diverse range of perspectives, celebrating International Women’s Day with 60 minutes of smart conversation about the day’s headlines. It is simply the best women coming together to do what we do on MSNBC every day: share their expert opinions, not because they are women — but because they are the best.
Julie Brown contributed to this article.