In the mid-1970s, television news was largely a man’s sport. And then Barbara Walters joined the ABC News anchor desk with Harry Reasoner to shatter the glass ceiling. The women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s–including the Equal Rights Amendment for women in America–was reimagining the workplace.
Barbara Walters was a nightly visual for how far women had come. In time there would be women sports reporters (in men’s locker rooms), women astronauts (Sally Ride), women CEOs, women police officers and fire personnel, women referees and professional sports (WNBA), among many other workplace roles.
But in many ways it was Barbara Walters who pioneered this social change simply by her presence and excellence in news broadcasting. She paved the way for the Jane Pauleys, Katie Courics, Diane Sawyers and Savannah Guthries.
And she was very good at it.