Remembering New York Guild Trailblazer Betsy Wade
I think a successful career in journalism is to contribute something to the strengthening of democracy.
- Betsy Wade, Former NewsGuild of New York President
It is with deep appreciation for her pioneering service to our union that The NewsGuild of New York honors our first woman president, Betsy Wade. By all accounts, she was a force to be reckoned with and she leaves us with an indelible legacy of fighting hard to hold employers accountable to all of the workers who make them successful and ensure journalists have a voice in their newsrooms. We remain committed to these goals each and every day.
“Betsy Wade had the utmost respect for the craft of journalism and a sincere devotion to protecting and fighting for workers rights and, specifically, gender equality. She navigated the media industry during precarious times with strategy, wit, and a sincere gratitude for her newsroom colleagues. Betsy was devoted to improving the working terms and conditions of journalists, carrying forward the mission of our union with a fierce dedication that continues to serve as an example to us all.”
- Susan DeCarava, President, The NewsGuild of New York
“Because Betsy Wade was such a fighter for women, Guild sisters who came after her could fully participate in and influence our union. When I decided to embark on a successful campaign for national Guild President in 1995, more than a decade after she had served as NY Guild president, I reached out to Betsy. I’m sure I wasn't the only future Guild leader she inspired in the 1970s and '80s. Because of Betsy Wade, there are hundreds of cracks — and several shattered openings — in the Guild’s glass ceiling.”
- Linda Foley, Former President of The News Guild-CWA
“Betsy was dedicated to improving the working lives of all Times employees, especially addressing gender inequality in the newsroom. She accomplished her goals while doing her own excellent job on the editing desk and during her term as president of the New York Guild.”
- William J. O’Meara, Former President, The NewsGuild of New York
"Betsy Wade was a true pioneer of not just the New York Times or the NewsGuild of New York, but for all workers. While I did not have the opportunity to meet her personally, her accomplishments were known to me. We should not overlook what it took to confront the challenges and battles that she had to contend with during that period in time. Her courage and determination speaks volumes and is an inspiration to continue in the same selfless spirit to fight for equality in the workplace."
- Bill Baker, New York Times Unit Chair
“Betsy Wade was already a legend when I arrived at The New York Times in 1991 to work on the Foreign Copy desk, just as she had. Betsy and Nan Robertson were those first brave feminists who risked so much to ensure that they and other generations of journalists who were not necessarily white, Ivy League men had a place in the newsroom. The amazing thing about Betsy is that even the men were in awe of her and happy to brag about her. I didn’t get to meet her until months after I started work and joined the Unit Council. There she was, with salt and pepper hair, wearing jeans and a plaid shirt, addressing the union members, calmly but energetically asserting her leadership. It was an honor to meet her and to be part of her team on the Guild.”
- Helen Verongos, New York Times Unit First Vice Chair and Senior Staff Editor
"Betsy Wade was an outstanding Guild leader who led the fight for women's pay equity at The New York Times. She was the lead plaintiff in Boylan vs. New York Times, which charged that women at The Times were denied equal pay and promotions. The suit, which was settled out of court in 1978, led to greatly increased opportunities for women in the newsroom. She also worked to revitalize the leadership of the Guild's New York Local in the early 1980's. She served at various times as President of the New York local and as an International Vice President of the national Guild. She will be missed by her Guild sisters and brothers and by all who worked with her."
- Donna Cartwright, Retired Guild Shop Steward and Copy Editor
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