Before I begin my rant this morning, I should print a disclaimer. My alma mater does not have a football team. We have an awesome basketball team that seems to love being eliminated in the 2nd round of the tournament (I’m not bitter), but we don’t have football. My stance on college football is that I will root for the team of whoever buys me the most beers.
Recently, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was appointed to the NCAA football selection committee. This is the committee that will select the 4 teams that will play in the NCAA playoffs after the BCS is retired later this year. If, unlike me, you follow college football, you know that this is a whopping change from the highly lampooned BCS system of the past where the top 2 ranking teams in the AP poll face each other in the National Championship.
There was immediate backlash at this announcement! The reason is obvious! As a Republican, Condi Rice will clearly not be welcome by the obvious bias of the Liberal Sports media!
Wait…that’s not it?
Then, clearly, she is unqualified because she is a trained classical pianist and we all know that band nerds and jocks cannot coexist!
No? Something else?
Ummm…is it because she’s a woman?
YES!!! YES!!! Condoleezza Rice is a horrible pick for the football committee because she is a woman! And, women don’t play football!
This isn’t new. In fact…if you’re as old as Kris Dunn, you know that it wasn’t that long ago when women weren’t even allowed to vote much less hold any position of importance. Still…I feel like, in 2013, we should at least pretend we’re tolerant.
Here are some recent examples that have me, a dude, stirred up:
- Marissa Meyer. Becomes CEO of Yahoo…while she’s pregnant. Builds a nursery in her office. Poses for Vogue magazine. Gets criticized in the media because, as a working mom, she should better understand the plight of working mothers. And, about the Vogue spread…maybe she should focus more on her company and less on herself image. I say to the haters…when you become one of the most powerful people in technology; you can build a nursery in your office, too. And, why can’t a CEO look good? Would there be the same backlash if Jeff Weiner posed for GQ?
- Sheryl Sandberg. Becomes COO of Facebook. Writes a book. Gets criticized for blaming women for not trying hard enough and holding women to an unfairly high standard. I say to the haters…girlfriend, she’s been there and done that! She didn’t write some manifesto telling women to get out of the kitchen. She’s offering up her own experiences as a way to open people’s eyes to things they might otherwise not see.
- Julie Larson-Green. My new Xboss. Takes over a division that builds a product used by many teenage boys. Gets criticized by certain gamers as knowing nothing about games and creates worries that future apps will only be about baking and knitting. I say to the haters…get out of your mom’s basement and enter the real world. That’s all I have to say to you.
Look…I’m just a dude on an HR blog saying what every non-ignorant person already knows. But, seriously people! Condi Rice is brilliant (I’m not arguing politics, here)! She LOVES football. She has not hidden the fact that she has aspirations of being the commissioner of the NFL. Sure…she’s never played. But, Nicki Minaj has never sung. Did it keep her from scoring a judging role on American Idol?
Props to the organizations (the NCAA, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, and the many others I haven’t mentioned) for looking past gender and recognizing intelligence. Now…can we please move on to 2014 without a glass ceiling?
Jason Pankow realized long ago that he wasn’t smart enough to actually program video games and game consoles. So, he found another way to participate! In between bouts of pwning newbs in Halo or scoring mad gamerpoints, Jason spends his time as the Staffing Program Manager for Microsoft’s Devices and Studios Division. Jason’s day is spent running programs that help recruit the obscenely talented developers, designers and engineers that have blessed the world with the likes of Xbox, Kinect and tons of other rad stuff, much of which he can’t tell you about. So, don’t ask. In non-nerd speak…what this means is that Jason has the coolest recruiting job in the world! Look him up as “Satchmo Baggins” on Xbox LIVE. But, watch out for the dreaded headshot!