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Join Date: Apr 2004
Re: Why no women in NFL GM positions?
Originally Posted by badboy
TBH I have not reflected on this before. Isn't it basically a "business" position with input from the coaches and scouts and with the Texans a "cap" guru? Not all GMs have played the game so that is not a requirement. I am surprised that a woman has not applied or maybe one has and I am not aware. Your thoughts?
Did a little digging for you, and surprisingly came up with ONE interesting exception.
REST OF THE STORY
How one woman tackled the NFL
The only female GM in NFL history has some advice for women in male-dominated professions.
How one woman tackled the NFL
By: Josh Rubin Staff Reporter, Published on Fri Mar 11 2011
Boys and their toys
There aren't many places more masculine than a National Football League locker-room and the shop floor at a meat company.
Susan T. Spencer survived them both.
Spencer, the only woman to have been general manager of an NFL team, says there were a few things that helped her get by in the boys' club. A thick skin sure came in handy when she walked into the Philadelphia Eagles' locker-room and all the players dropped their towels en masse. She was also once referred to as “the wicked witch of The Vet” (a reference to the now-torn down Philadelphia Veterans Stadium).
“You can either develop a thick skin and shrug it off, or you can stay home and suck your thumb,” says Spencer, whose new book, Briefcase Essentials, deals with her experience with the Eagles and the business world.
Recently, a newspaper columnist referred to her in print as “just another worthless bimbo.” Rather than writing a nasty letter or making an angry phone call, Spencer says she found some humour in the insult, figuring it made the writer look worse than her.
“Honestly, I just laughed,” she says.
While admitting she got her job with the Eagles because her father, Leonard Tose, was the owner, Spencer says she still wanted — and needed — to be taken seriously by other GMs, players and the team's bankers. To do that, she had to understand every facet of the team's business better than any man would have had to. It's not fair, but that's the way the world is for women in a masculine environment, she says.
“You have to know your material stone-cold. Women are held to a higher standard than men,” says Spencer, who was surrounded by football for much of her youth, thanks to her father's purchase of the Eagles in the 1960s. Even if women don't have the good fortune to be the child of a team owner or top business executive, there's no reason they can't do research on their own, she says.
“You have to immerse yourself in it.”
It's frustrating, but not surprising, that 26 years after she left the Eagles (when her father was forced to sell the team to cover gambling debts), Spencer is still the only woman to have been an NFL GM, says Sue Rodin. Rodin, founder of Women in Sports and Events (WISE), says old habits die hard in male-dominated businesses.
“I think there's a lot of history, there's a male-dominated culture, there's some inertia and I'm sorry to say, there's an old boys' network,” said Rodin, pointing out that sports is far from the only offender. “It's like that in law, it's like that on Wall Street, too.”
Last edited by CloakNNNdagger; 02-12-2013 at 04:12 PM.