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Letter From the Publisher: My Right Hand Man is a Woman



Two years ago, almost to the day, I hired Heather Blakeslee, easily my best hiring decision in the last 10 years. Her position initially was not clearly specified — typical of the loose ship I was running — but soon we decided she would be COO of the company. Immediately, we began to act more like a business. Her spreadsheets and plans replaced my whims and impulses. She patiently listened (and listens) to my half-baked ideas, nodding her head with a Mona Lisa smile, before informing me, yet again, that we can’t make any decisions until we run the numbers.

If you’ve noticed the dramatic improvement in Grid’s editorial during this same period of time, know that it isn’t a coincidence. While she’s been dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on all functions of business, she’s also been making Grid’s content more sophisticated and political. It looks better, too; in addition to being a wordsmith with good business instincts, she also possesses a strong visual sensibility. (In her spare time, she plays guitar, writes songs for her band, and is learning the cello.)

I doubt she’s coming to work today. I think it’s more likely she will be curled up in a ball in bed, crying, swearing, scouring the Internet trying to find an article that will make sense out of today’s headlines. She will find none.

I know elections and candidates are complex things to analyze and dissect, but there is a bottom line truth that can’t be denied: An experienced, competent woman lost to an under-qualified, and potentially dangerous, man. 

It’s a bitter pill to swallow, and my heart aches for every woman who thought their moment had arrived. It isn’t our elections that are rigged; our society is rigged. And it’s rigged against women. Sorry, Heather. 

Alex Mulcahy

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