• Motto

See the Sexist Way One Magazine Tried to Celebrate Successful Business Women

2 minute read

The St. Louis Business Journal publishes an annual list of the city’s most influential business women. This year, the list featured Pamela Jackson, one of six African-American women to graduate from M.I.T in 1976, Lisa Rock, who started a successful start-up after multiple sceloris paralyzed her from the neck down, and 23 other women with seriously impressive resumes.

So how did the Journal decide to celebrate these successful women? By having them pose with the pair of shoes that best describes them.

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“While some in the newsroom initially balked at the idea,” Vince Brennan, the Journal‘s managing editor, wrote in a note introducing the feature, “it turned out to be the perfect filter to show readers the best qualities of these 25 spectacular business women.”

Perhaps the Journal should have listened to those who balked at the idea.

Readers have largely chastised the feature on Facebook as sexist and offensive, and some have even asked that the Journal apologize.

“Would you ask St. Louis’ most influential business men to pose with a pair of shoes that define them. Seems a little strange,” one commenter wrote, garnering 73 likes.

“This is highly insulting & sexist,” another reader wrote. “These 25 successful & talented women deserve another professionally polished shot at proclaiming what really defines them.”

“You need some writers/staff who realize that it’s 2016, not 1940,” another said. “I’d offer you my CV, but I’m pretty sure my shoes don’t fit your guidelines for success.”

“Hey SLBJ – 1972 called and it wants its male chauvinist pig photo shoot back!” another wrote.

Brennan did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Motto.

[H/T the Charlotte Observer]

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Write to Samantha Cooney at samantha.cooney@time.com