Women in Speechwriting (Part One)

Young woman speechwriter says "it takes some bravado" to break into the male-dominated field.

The Guardian has a profile of former Obama campaign staffer Lauren Peterson, who now writes speeches for Planned Parenthood. Asked why speechwriting is a male-dominated business, she replied,

I think like anything else, it takes some bravado to break into speechwriting if you're not already there. And a disproportionate number of the people who are already “there” are guys. I will say this: in my experience, they are incredibly nice, generous guys who recognize that our field isn't catching up to the rest of the world as quickly as any of us would like.

The four people who pushed me to try my hand at speechwriting, who encouraged me during my job search, and who now answer my frantic emails with subject lines like “How do you write a commencement speech?!”—they are all extremely talented feminist speechwriters … who happen to be men.

Nice, generous men (and women): Let us go out of our way to encourage and nurture Lauren Petersons everywhere.

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