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Anne Doyle

Anne Doyle


Anne Doyle‘s been there, done that – Radio/TV journalist,businesswoman, speaker, author, local elected public official. As a Sports Broadcaster at the CBS affiliate in Detroit, Anne had the distinction of being one of the first women to break the all boy locker room barrier. She also joined the world of business helping to raise the “Steel Ceiling” at the Ford Motor Company. Anne shares her story and advice in her book Powering Up! How America’s Women Achievers Become Leaders.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][mk_toggle style=”simple” title=”Transcripts”]Sandi: Welcome to another addition of The 51%, Conversations with Creative Women. I’m Sandi Klein. Anne Doyle’s been around. The author of Powering Up: How America’s Women Achievers Become Leaders has worn many hats. Her professional career began in the early 70s as a radio reporter. Then it was on to television news. In 1978, Anne was offered an unexpected opportunity to move into TV sports, giving her the distinction of being one of the first women to break that all boy barrier. It happened at the CBS affiliate in Detroit. While that may have been challenging, unsettling and overwhelming; Anne had an ally and a mentor in her dad. Vince Doyle, a professional athlete, was one of the deans of sports broadcasters in Motown at the time. He was president of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association. Despite taking a lot of heat from his male peers about a woman in a man’s world, Anne’s dad was behind her 100%. For her work in opening locker rooms to women reporters and her nearly fifteen years in journalism, Anne was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame and is listed in Who’s Who of American Women.

From broadcasting to business. In 1987, Anne joined the Ford Motor Company where she became director of North American Communications. In 2001, Automotive News named her one of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry. After taking early retirement from the corporate world, Anne went out on her own. Starting a leadership in communications consulting practice. Anne Doyle Strategies. Her work as a speaker and women’s leadership consultant has taken her to some of the top corporations including GM, AT&T, Dow, and recently she went to Saudi Arabia, Bakhtaran, and Trinidad under the auspicious of the State Department to speak on women’s leadership and changing gender roles.

You exhaust me.

Anne: [Laughing] I doubt it, Sandi

Sandi: [Laughing] Welcome. I want to travel back in time to the 70s. I want you to tell us how you started in the broadcast business. Is that something that you aspired to when you were going to college, or was it more happenstance?

Anne: You know that as girls growing up in the time we did, that our aspirations were pretty limited in terms of what society was telling us. I remember that my father, I’m the big sister of seven children, and I remember standing next to my father one night. He said to me “Annie, you are going to be either a superior mother or a mother superior.”

Sandi; [Laughing]

Anne: We’re Catholic. Irish Catholic.

Sandi; I assumed so.

Anne: I distinctly remember knowing he was complimenting me but thinking I don’t like either of those choices at that point in my life.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: Luckily I really came of age at a time when incredible opportunities were opening up for women. I was very, very hungry for all of that. In terms of why I went into broadcasting, my father was a sports broadcaster. My mother taught speech and debate at Indiana University. We were a family of communicators. I have an undergraduate degree in Spanish. My parents really sat me down when I was a senior in college and said are you planning on teaching Spanish? How are you planning on supporting yourself?

Sandi; Mm Hmm

Anne: I said, no I really don’t want to do that. I didn’t know. They really had a great conversation with me about what my skills were, what my interests were and they really said, how about broadcasting? You competed in broadcasting in high school. That kind of stuff.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: In debate and broadcasting. How about that? I said, yeah. That sounds kind of interesting to me. I was still, I had one more semester of college to go and they said why don’t you go to the student radio station? See if you like it. My father also said, there’s a program at North Western University, Medill. My father had gone there. He said, there’s a great program there, why don’t you investigate that?  Those were things that they sort of guided me I would say, and then I went and explored.

Sandi: That’s so interesting that they had, that they played such in integral role in your life. My parents just sent me off to college and ironically I studied journalism there, not because they had any influence, I just wanted to find out how I could be famous.

Anne: [Laughing]

Sandi: I knew that it wasn’t going to be in acting. You know how they always say, I have a face for radio. Do you know what I’m saying? You never even thought about that and they really played an important role in your life, which is really kind of fascinating.

Anne: Yes. But the other funny part of it is, because, as I said, I’m one of seven children, I have an older brother Danny. I’m the big sister. I actually never applied to college. My parents never actually sat down. They didn’t take me to colleges and explore different universities. It was sort of assumed we were all going to college. It was a very, very busy household. I remember at one point, my parents sort of said, are you all set in terms of college? I had done nothing.

Sandi: Wow.

Anne: I had done nothing. My parents really, my mom. I sort of assumed I was going to go to Mundelein College in Chicago because my mother went there. I had no understanding of the college application process.

Sandi: Where in the hell was your guidance counselor?

Anne: Oh my goodness. There were 958 students in my graduating senior class at Elkhart High School. I never saw a guidance counselor ever.

Sandi: That’s crazy.

Anne: Ever. Right.

Sandi: So if it wasn’t for your parents, in a sense.

Anne: Yes. You could say that’s right on every level.

Sandi: That’s stunning.

Anne: I had fantastic parents. They didn’t drive us, but they encouraged us, they supported us and when we needed help, they were there.

Sandi: Now, did you start off in your professional career, did you start off in a big city like Detroit? Remember how they used to say you have to cut your teeth in Podunk and then you can come back to New York or LA or whatever. I would assume the same thing would be true of Detroit.

Anne: What happened to me, number one important piece, is that at my own university, I was working at the student radio station. Of course I’m the only female working there.

Sandi: Doing what?

Anne: Doing news.

Sandi: Okay.

Anne: Doing radio news.

Sandi: College news.

Anne: On the student station. But I also volunteered at the National Public Radio Station at the University of Michigan WUOM.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: As an intern. The news director at that station specifically called me over and said to me, are you the new intern here? Yep. He said, do you see this line, as he stood at the news department? Yep. Don’t you cross it.

Sandi: Meaning what?

Anne: Don’t come in here to put something on my desk, to read the news wire, to answer the telephone because there is no place in a newsroom for a woman. This was my University in 1972. That’s what he said to me. You go from that. The thing is, at that moment, I knew he was wrong.

Sandi: Hmm

Anne: I knew he was wrong because of my parents and I knew he was wrong because of the possibilities that were opening. Of course there was Barbara Walters.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: I had never heard a woman do a radio newscast. Ever. I just had to sort of listen to men and use my voice. I’d never heard a woman do a radio newscast.

Sandi: I’m thinking of that. Right. As your speaking.

Anne: There were none.

Sandi: In New York, there were definitely women here.

Anne: Okay.

Sandi: Yeah.

Anne: Just beginning.

Sandi: Right.

Anne: At the very beginning. I was in Detroit area at that time.

Sandi: Sure.

Anne: It was really at the very, very beginning. Of course, the other part of that story. We all have stories about the men who said no or stood in the way, but we all have stories of the men who said yes.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: And who gave you those chances. Of course it was a man who hired me for my first radio job.

Sandi: Which was where?

Anne: Lansing. Lansing Michigan.

Sandi: And you were hired as a general reporter? General assignment reporter.

Anne: Yes. Radio news reporter.

Sandi: And you knew what you were doing?

Anne: No, I didn’t know what. To a certain degree. I remember that what happened with that was that my father actually, once again parents intervening. My father called up a friend of his who was the News Director at the station. He said to him, would give Annie some interviewing practice? This man was the TV News director at the station. Sure, send her over here, we’ll put her through the practice. I went over there, he sat down and talked to me. Gave me some advice. Then, he asked the Radio News Director to do the same. That guy did the same with me and he offered me a job. I remember sitting there and him telling me what the job was going to be.

Sandi: Were you able to process all of that in your head?

Anne: The little voice in me was saying, because he said okay you’re going to cover the Capital and you’re going to cover the Police Beat and you might get calls in the middle of the night and he’s telling me what the job’s going to be. And a little voice inside of me is screaming get out of here.

Sandi: Huh

Anne: I can’t do this. Get out of here. But my father always told every one of us, never ever eliminate yourself. I heard his voice too.

Sandi: Wow

Anne: I just looked at him and I said no problem. Okay.

Sandi: We ought to clone your dad. What a great thing.

Anne: I had a great dad. And a great mom.

Sandi: Right. We’re not forgetting your mom. So, you go out on your first beat. Maybe you tripped over yourself a little bit, but for the most part, did you find out you really loved it? That you had made the right move?

Anne: Yes. I go through the world as a reporter.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: For all the things that I have done, the way I’m moving through the world, is I’m a reporter.

Sandi: I feel the same way.

Anne: Do you feel that way? Do you understand what I’m saying?

Sandi: I really do. I’m forever asking people questions. Really interested in their answers also. I don’t think you can ever lose that. In my case, I started out in advertising but my first on air job was working for the In Touch Radio Network. Radio service for the blind and visually handicapped and I had a talk show. I never told anybody that was a volunteer job. That led to my first job right outside New York City. Again, I was still a novelty because I was female.

Anne: Oh. Yes.

Sandi: I think that really worked, at least, in my favor. I have to assume in yours too somewhat.

Anne: Oh. Of Course. Because it drew attention to you.

Sandi; Exactly.

Anne: There were so few. You were unusual and so it drew attention to you. If you were good, it made a difference.

Sandi: In my case, I had a deep voice. That’s also what helped me. Well, there are not too many women with deep voices. Whatever.

Anne: [Laughing]

Sandi: If I needed to grow a beard I would have done that too. Tell me how you got into sports.

Anne: As a radio person and a journalist you know that the way you move through broadcasting is you start in smaller markets, and you’re always looking for bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger.

Sandi: Right.

Anne: I went from radio news then into TV news. I was in Grand Rapids Michigan doing TV news there.

Sandi: Let me interrupt. Was that a smooth transition? I didn’t mean to leave out television because that’s huge to go from radio to TV.

Anne: It was pretty smooth. It wasn’t gigantic. Of course, I’m part of that Jane Pauley generation. We were. It was happening around the country and it was happening with every profession. Whether you were a judge or a lawyer or an engineer or construction worker. You were the only woman there. You were the only woman there.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: So, you were alone. You also had this sense that you were part of something bigger than you.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: Your job was to do the very, very best you could as the only woman there and to keep pushing the edges. The natural thing was to move into TV reporting and then of course I was insisting I think I should be able to anchor. I think I should have one of these Sunday talk shows that the guys have. Always asking for more.

Sandi: How old were you?

Anne: I was probably twenty-three.

Sandi: Oh. Young.

Anne: I had just graduated from, I was in radio for about a year and a half and then moved pretty quickly into TV.

Sandi: That’s impressive. That’s not a very long stint in radio to move into TV. I think that’s terrific. You don’t agree.

Anne: I don’t know. I think everyone’s path unfolds.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: Certainly I had opportunities.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: You have to go after them. I’m not a person that sits around and waits. I’m a person that is always looking ahead and could see what the next thing. I grew up with my father on television.

Sandi: Right.

Anne: He was in radio in Detroit and some television, but I grew up my entire life with my father on television. We were starting to see women.

Sandi: Right.

Anne: It’s that same thing, I can do that.

Sandi: Right. And could you? And did you?

Anne: Yes.

Sandi: Successfully?

Anne: Yes.

Sandi: And you felt really good about it?

Anne: Yes.

Sandi: And how many of you were at your station?

Anne: One.

Sandi: Excellent. So, you had there all by yourself.

Anne: Right.

Sandi: Any mentors there?

Anne: I was hired to replace a woman. I was not the first woman. This was the ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids Michigan, which was a pretty good size market at that time, about 37th in the country at that time which is pretty good. I was hired to follow a woman by the name of Martha Teichner.

Sandi: Of course!

Anne: Do you know Martha?

Sandi: CBS Sunday Morning!

Anne: Right.

Sandi: Oh, she was wonderful.

Anne: Right. Martha Teichner. I never met her at that time, but basically she had been hired to go to the CBS affiliate in Miami. Then she went to the network from there. So, they were looking to replace their woman reporter. They had Martha Teichner, an incredible reporter, she was the Christiane Amanpour of that time.

Sandi: Yes.

Anne: When Christinane was growing up, Martha Teichner was in every hotspot in the world.

Sandi: Absolutely.

Anne: I followed her at this TV station.

Sandi: Wow.

Anne: The news director said to me, you have some very big boots to fill. I took that. I was not going to let know Martha Teichner. Martha Teichner, whether she knows it or not, was an incredible inspiration to me.

Sandi: That’s a great story. You were in TV for how long?

Anne: Five years.

Sandi: Five years. Then, move us to sports. Sports, as a woman.

Anne: Right.

Sandi: This is nothing to sneeze at. This is really huge.

Anne: Right. Well, there was an interlude in there, which I’ll mention very quickly. That was, I got to, I was always looking for a bigger job. Putting out tapes, but I didn’t get it. Eventually, I basically said, I’m leaving. I left, and I moved to Los Angeles. I started looking for jobs in Los Angeles, and I remember the TV news director at the ABC affiliate sitting there in his office. He said, you know what? You have a lot of nerve coming from Grand Rapids Michigan to Los Angeles and think you’re going to get a job here. I’m like, well, I’m pretty good and blah, blah, blah.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Anne: He said, but you know what? I’ll tell you what, I like your guts.

Sandi: I like you girl, you’ve got spine.

Anne: Yea. Yea. I’m going to give you a job as a writer. I said, no, I don’t want a writer job. I’m an on air reporter.

Sandi: Good for you.

Anne: I’m not going to get stuck in a writer job.

Sandi: Good for you.

Anne: A couple weeks later, I was actually hired by the Independent TV station there by a woman news director to be a fill-in anchor. I’m on the air anchoring the news as a fill-in, in LA.

Sandi: Excellent.

Anne: That news director saw me up on the monitors and he called me. He said good for you.

Sandi: But he didn’t offer you a job.

Anne: No. No. [Laughing] But then, I was out there for about a year and a half. I was also at that time volunteering to raise money for the ERA.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: I was doing that kind of work too, but earning money anchoring. I really wanted to get back. My parents said you’ve got to get back full time into TV.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: I was really looking for a news jobs, and I really wanted to come home. I was looking for news jobs in Detroit. I went in, went home, visited my parents and was interviewed by the stations. The CBS news director, he basically said, you know, we’d really like to hire you. Your stuff is good, but I don’t have a news job right now. But how about doing sports? Now. Did he know that my father was one of the Deans? My father was very well known in Detroit. Yes. He knew that my father was Vince Doyle. My dad didn’t get me that interview, but, my dad had nothing to do with that other than this man knew that I was Vince Doyle’s daughter.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: He was thinking about adding somebody to their sports department. He said how about doing sports? I knew the second he told me that, what that would involve.

Sandi: Meaning what?

Anne: I knew it would involve fighting the locker room fight.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: I was a TV news journalist. I knew what was going on.

Sandi: Sure.

Anne: That’s what was unfolding in this country.

Sandi: Sure.

Anne: I knew that it would involve stepping into that fight immediately. I also knew it could be very controversial for my father. I said, let me think about that. I went home, I was visiting my parents. Sat down at dinner and they said, hey. How’d the job interviews go, Annie? I told them. They offered me this job and that’s great. Then I said, yea, but they want me to do sports. My father literally put his fork down, mid-bite.

Sandi: Because he was stunned?

Anne: Yeah.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: He looked at me. He said really? I said Yeah. He said, you take that job. I said, but dad, if I take that job, I’m going to have to get into this locker room fight. He said, Oh yeah. He said, you will have no credibility as a sports reporter if you do not go in those locker rooms. That was it.

Sandi: You were willing to take up the mantle?

Anne: Absolutely. Because to me, again, that was the mindset I think many women of my generation, who were this group I call pioneering interlopers.

Sandi: Mm [Laughing]

Anne: Had that mindset.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: That we were ambitious; but we also knew that we were opening doors. We were opening doors for others. We knew opportunities for others would be based on how well we did.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: To me, it was, there’s this expression in Spanish. Te toca. Which kind of means, it means it touches you.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: It kind of means this one’s for you to do. I knew that needed to be done. That I knew that because I was a TV new journalist, I had all the skills of a TV news reporter and that I grew up with sports around our dining room table every single night. I knew that I could do that job. I felt that I was supposed to do that job.

Sandi: So, there was never any doubt in your mind?

Anne: There were moments, definitely. Standing outside those locker rooms, especially the first times.

Sandi: Talk about the Kirk Gibson story.

Anne: Oh.

Sandi: From 1979. You don’t have to restrain yourself with the language either.

Anne: Oh. Okay. Well. Of course, you have to force yourself to walk through those doors at some point. Because, you don’t know what’s waiting for you on the other side. Of course, women who did that, were tested. Things happened in those locker rooms. You have to expect to be tested and my father warned me, you’re going to be tested. One of the things that happened was Kirk Gibson very, very famous Detroit Tiger. He was a very big star at Michigan State. He went on to, he was a World Series MVP, played for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a rookie. Just come into the Detroit Tigers at that time. I was in the locker room. He had joined the team late, I think, because he was finishing up college. I was in the locker room after the game. I was interviewing a player. All of a sudden, you hear this loud voice basically say “this is a fucking man’s locker room. Get the fucking pussy out of here.”

Sandi: [Gasping] Well.

Anne: Suddenly there was silence. The player that I was talking to, Lance Perish, he was the catcher for the Tigers. His face turned totally red. Of course, all the sound stopped in the room. There was silence except for the music in the background. I turned around and looked. Here is Kirk Gibson, stark naked with a little tiny towel slung over his shoulder. Strutting across the middle of the locker room heading for the showers.

Sandi: Like a diva.

Anne: Oh yes. Oh yes. He said it again. If you looked around that locker room there was only one female in that room.

Sandi: And that might be Anne Doyle.

Anne: There were probably about fifty men.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: Right. I turned and looked back to the player and he looked at me and he said “He doesn’t speak for all of us.” I finished the interview and then I intentionally stayed in there longer and did more interviews.

Sandi: With different players.

Anne: Yes.

Sandi: Uh Huh

Anne: Because of not being chased out of there, but I was steaming.

Sandi: What about humiliated?

Anne: No. I was angry.

Sandi: Just angry.

Anne: I was angry.

Sandi; Wow.

Anne: I had to do my job and then get out of there. Of course I have a camera man with me always. These guys half the time, didn’t want to be in there with me, as you can imagine. I remember, I went to my father later that night or something. Told him what happened and I basically said, I don’t have to take this. I’m going to go to Jim Campbell, I’m going to go to Sparky Anderson, I do not have to take this. What should I do?

My father said, you do nothing. He said, you’re being tested. Don’t go running to management and ask them for help. You just go back in there. Keep showing them that you belong there.

Sandi: Mm Hmm. Mm Hmm

Anne: The end of that story is that a few weeks later, Kirk Gibson as always, hits the grand slam winning home run of a game. Big. The guy you’ve got to have an interview with. I went into the locker room and there’s like a scrum of reporters around him and you’re trying to push your way through to get your mic in there and get a camera shot. Gibson, at one point, looks at me and he stops the interview with like fifteen reporters.

Sandi: I know her.

Anne: He looks at me and he said, Anne, you don’t have to push your way through all these sweaty guys. Just hang on a second. I’ll give you an interview. I stood there. He talked a few and said, ok guys. He stepped away from them and said, Anne what do you want?  He did an exclusive interview with me.

Sandi: Stunning.

Anne: Kirk Gibson and I never talked about

Sandi: That issue.

Anne: What happened? Never.

Sandi: He never apologized.

Anne: Nope. Didn’t need to. It was a test. The important thing

Sandi: But who the hell was he to pose that test?

Anne: Oh. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Sandi: Oh! Forgive me. Silly me.

Anne: [Laughing] That’s why, having a father who could help me navigate those gender landmines was so important.

Sandi: Yeah. That’s huge.

Anne: I could never have figured that out myself.

Sandi: Mm Hmm. Mm Hmm

Anne: It was because I didn’t go running to management. I just went in there and did my job. But I didn’t let him scare me.

Sandi: What about having called his bluff? Or said something back to him?

Anne: I don’t think that would have helped.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: I think it wouldn’t have been very, it wouldn’t have earned respect from others. It wouldn’t have been graceful. It would have been just ignore.

Sandi: No, You by far took the high road.

Anne: Right.

Sandi: You were very classy.

Anne: Another, other male athletes often said to me, you know, Anne, there’s usually just a few key guys who are the stars. Who everybody wants to interview. There’s a lot of other players in that room.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: They watch what’s going on.

Sandi: Sure.

Anne: They watch. They watch how you’re tested. They watch how you handle it.

Sandi: A hugely seminal moment in your life needless to say.

Anne: Yes. Yes. It was a huge moment. In those moments, you’re going to be tested. I divide those into, they’re either, what I call springboard moments where it lifts you to a higher level.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: Or, they’re kind of mirror moments and they say, you know what? You’re not ready. You’ve got some more work to do.

Sandi: Wow.

Anne: That one was a springboard moment.

Sandi: To say the least. There’s an understatement for you.

Anne: I really wasn’t scared of boardrooms or anything like that at Ford Motor Company or other tests. You keep getting tested, but that one was really very important in terms of my strength.

Sandi: Would it be inaccurate to call you a ballsy broad?

Anne: [Laughing] I don’t mind that. Someone gave me a book just recently that’s called Four Thousand Years of Uppity Women. It goes all the way back in time.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: That whole saying about, if you’re going to make history, you have to rock the boat.

Sandi: Which you’ve done. A lot.

Anne: I believe in that. I believe in that. I believe in human evolution moving forward and that you have to keep pushing the edges of possibility. That’s how we grow.

Sandi: That’s what you’ve done. So, you move from broadcasting into the business world.

Anne: Right.

Sandi: Was that a natural transition for you? How did that happen? Why did that happen?

Anne: If there’s one thing that I think that I, a strength that I have. I have a brother Tommy who said to me one time, Anne, you’re the best quitter I ever knew.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Anne: He meant that as a compliment. It’s basically having the ability to understand when it’s time to move on. To really read it, understand it. That I’m not growing here, I’ve lost my joy, Whatever it is. You have to sort of understand that about yourself and then you have to have the courage to move on.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: Go look for the next thing. That’s really my pattern. I would say that that’s one of my strengths. I knew in television that I had gotten as far as I could in terms of trying to, my next step would have been to crack the networks. The networks flew me into the New York, interviewed me, but they were hiring Phyllis George and Jane Kennedy, they were hiring Miss America to do sports at that

Sandi: Yes.

Anne: They were not ready.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: To hire a woman to do real sports reporting. I basically said, I’m done.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: My work is done here for me. I’m going to move on to the next thing. I was right about that. If you look and see how many women are doing sports today, truly, not many.

Sandi: Right.

Anne: I moved to Atlanta. I started a little small communications business. That’s another transition that I went through. Did a lot of work for Coca-Cola. Sort of trying to see how I could take my communication skills and move them to the business world. I was interested in the business world.

Sandi: That was the next challenge for you?

Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Then what happened really, was I did that for about a year and a half. Using those business skills but selling them really independently to corporations and things like that. But, it gave me a look inside the business world. Then it really just happened that I fell in love in Atlanta. I married a Detroiter I met there. Six months after we got married, his father orchestrates a job for him back in Detroit. Suddenly I’m married and okay I guess we’ll go home to Detroit.

Sandi: Yes. Well, you didn’t have much of a say.

Anne: Right. What happened there was, I was really going to start, do my business, back home in Detroit. Well, if I can do it in Atlanta where nobody knows me, I’m sure I can do it in Detroit where I know lots of people.

Sandi: Sure.

Anne: Of course, if you’re going to do that kind of business in Detroit you go to the auto companies. At that point, Ford basically said to me, no we do not have any business for you. We’ve got a job for you. They were really kind of looking for me at that time. They were looking for someone in their communications area who knew television. Most of their people were, came out of newspapers.

Sandi: Ah Ha

Anne: Or automobile magazines. Technical magazines.

Sandi: There’s a kismet thing going on here with you. Right? You know, right place, right time kind of stuff?

Anne: Yes. I think you have to be open to possibilities and you have to be turning over rocks and looking.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: Definitely, opportunities come.

Sandi: So, you joined Ford.

Anne: I joined Ford.

Sandi: You have a big job at Ford.

Anne: Pretty big job. I mean, upper management level. I came into Ford as the number two person in what they call their broadcast news office. That job was really to handle everything to do with any kind of radio or television news coverage of Ford Motor Company anywhere in the world, really.

Sandi: Whoa.

Anne: Anywhere in the world. It was incredible because it could be anything from 60 Minutes or buildings blowing up or terrible things happening at the factories or things like that. Exposes, or union contract negotiations. Launching new vehicles. The auto industry is such a big industry and a complex industry. Every possible news story that could happen evolves at a company that big.

Sandi: How great is it that there’s a woman running an auto company?

Anne: [Laughing] Mary Barra just named CEO of General Motors.

Sandi: Yea.

Anne: We call that the steel ceiling in Detroit.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Anne: The auto industry. You can imagine there was just dancing in the streets and the hallways when that happened.

Sandi: But, you know what? There’s a part of me that says, hey you go girl. But then again it’s 2014, I can’t even believe we have to

Anne: You thought we’d be a lot further, right Sandi?

Sandi: Really. I just don’t get it. I just don’t get it. Apparently a lot of people don’t get it because that propelled you to write a book called Powering Up.

Anne: [Laughing]

Sandi: There’s a part of me that feels, why do we need this? Even though it’s so vital to have. Do you see the conflict there? Are you not stunned by that conflict?

Anne: I wrote the book because people for a long time would say to me, you should write a book. You should write a book. Because I do have some pretty good stories but I told you, I’m a reporter. I was always interested in, okay, if I’m going to write a book, how do I move the conversation forward here? What’s next? I really thought very deeply about what was it that all these other women out there knew that I, I knew what I knew, but what had they learned? When I looked at the whole big picture about what was going on, it was very clear to me that in the last four decades that we have become this nation of high achieving women. There’s millions of educated, professionally seasoned women. But that the middle keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger. We’re stalled. We are completely stalled in that we were not cracking the top. Those numbers hadn’t changed at all. That’s why it was very clear to me that the next piece of work. The next frontier was women moving into top leadership roles. In the big numbers we once saw women moving into those male jobs. In the 70s and the 80s. I really wrote it as a call to action. Also, as the graduate work. It’s okay, you’re a high achieving woman, you’ve mastered all that stuff. You think you’re leadership material? Now do this stuff. Now master this stuff. I’m very happy about Sheryl Sandberg and her book Lean In.

Sandi: I was going to ask you about that. Yeah.

Anne: I’m very happy about that because she’s Sheryl Sandberg. She has a global voice. She truly has raised awareness about where we are right now in a way that Anne Doyle could not. My book came out three years ahead of hers and her book. She missed twenty years.

Sandi: By virtue of her age.

Anne: By virtue of her age. She was sort of stunned, I think, in some ways by what she found. Once she got into the business world and everything. I think she was stunned by it. Which led her to write Lean In. I lived it until I wasn’t stunned by it at all, but I appreciated it because I think too many women are kind of squatting on the work that was done in the past. My book is truly for women who leaned in a long time ago and are now ready. They are the DNA. They are our gene pool for women to power up, not in exceptions to the rule, but in big, big numbers and take our places alongside men in the top leadership and decision roles in every arena.

Sandi: How do you feel about how far we’ve come? Or have we come far?

Anne: I’m an impatient person Sandi, and I really had to come to terms with culture changes slowly. Of course it’s not as fast as I would like. But, we are moving. I believe we are right on the verge of another tremendous change in this country. I believe that we’re going to see it, but that we cannot take it for granted. We have to put our shoulders to the wheel.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: Each of us needs to answer the call. Te Toca. Whatever it is that’s your piece to do. You need to do it. Women have not begun to leverage our collective power. Once we do that, the world is going to be a better place. People said to me one time, Anne, you’re always telling other women to run for office. Why don’t you run for office? I finally did. I ran for office. I was elected to my City Council and served on that. This is one of the most important thing that women can do. Run for office yourself and get more women in office. We are like 30th in the world in terms of women in political power.

Sandi; I think we’re behind Afghanistan or something ridiculous like that.

Anne: It’s ridiculous. It’s terrible. That effects so many things. It effects policy, it effects everybody’s lives. It also, because when women are in elected office, it’s a very public position. It changes attitudes about women in leadership roles much more than women inside corporations who a lot of the public don’t necessarily see.

Sandi: Exactly.

Anne: It’s very, very important. Another idea that I have about that is I think that there’s a gene pool, a talent pool, of women who are powering down a little bit while their raising younger children, who should be running for local office. These are part time positions. Your city council, your school board, your county commission. They’re part time positions and they look great on your resume.

Sandi: It’s a good way to get your feet wet. To get started.

Anne: Absolutely.

Sandi: That’s great advice.

Anne: We are desperate to have more women in elected office.

Sandi: But, there’s that old adage of can we have it all? I’m on the other side of this. I’m not just starting out, I’m just kind of, ending in a way. I get exhausted for the women who are younger than I am. I feel for them. While it might have been challenging for you and me, it was still different. In a way, it was almost easier.

Anne: I know exactly what you’re saying and I think. Debora Spar, the President of Barnard College has just written a wonderful book. I grabbed it and read it as fast as I could. It’s fascinating. She calls it Wonder Women. She’s really writing about the younger generation of women. She basically explains a lot of it and she says that why it has gotten so much harder. One line that she has in there, she said, you know, these girls grew up being told that they could do anything and they heard they had to everything.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Anne: I think that’s the problem. Nobody does everything. Men don’t do everything. Women still, because we are the, we birth the babies and we parent differently than men. Probably always will, you have to make choices and it certainly is possible and you just sort of integrate it and carve out your life and don’t get stuck. You certainly can have a very fulfilling

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Anne: Career if you want it. And be a wonderful mother and have a great life. You can do that. It doesn’t mean it’s easy but you can do that. There are a lot of women who do it but just make your own choices.

Sandi: That’s a great way to end the show. Anne, thank you so much for being here today.

Anne: Thank you.

Sandi: Join us again for another edition of the 51% Conversations with Creative Women. I’m Sandi Klein.

Narrator: Thanks for listening to The 51% Conversations with Creative Women. For show comments and suggestions please follow us on Twitter at #sandikleinshow. You can also find us on Facebook at The 51% Conversations. The show is produced and recorded by Chad Dougatz at the Hangar Studios in New York City. Sandy Klein is our executive producer.



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