Post by Jane K. Stimmler, contributing Women on Business writer
I remember my excitement and high hopes back in 2006 when Katie Couric was installed in her position as news anchor for one of the major networks. It seemed to me to be another long awaited breakthrough for women and I looked forward to watching her first broadcast. That evening took a farcical turn when, as I cut potatoes for dinner (I should never try to cook!) – the knife sliced into my finger and my husband had to rush me to the local hospital for treatment. I asked my husband to please just drop me off and to go home and record the news broadcast. He did and I was able to watch it when I returned.
Things didn’t quite turn out for Katie as I’d imagined. She seemed to struggle against a tide of criticism and lackluster ratings. Then another female anchor, Diane Sawyer, came along. Brian Williams continues to top the ratings. Now Katie is reportedly leaving after her 5 year stint as news anchor and will be going on to something else.
I can’t help wondering why she has decided to leave her position and if it has anything to do with “job satisfaction.” After all, research has shown over and over that women tend to value self-fulfillment in their work more than men do. It seems to me that most men have stayed for the duration once they got a news anchor position. It has been a sort of “given” that once you ascend to that top job, it is worth hanging on to with your life because there is nowhere to go but down in stature. And that stature with all its trappings may be more important to most men than to most women.
Maybe Katie was pushed out – who knows? On the other hand, maybe she simply decided that there were other paths that could provide more fulfillment for her – that she is relatively young and should enjoy her work more than she does. Perhaps being the “suit” on the news each night wasn’t her be all end all, and she has the guts to admit it and make a change.
Whatever she does next, I wish Katie well. She is a talented woman who has been a trailblazer for us all. And I suspect she’s not done yet.
What do you think? Please share!