by Lean Clark
Originally published: July 20, 2016
n a recent Google shareholders call, a small thing happened that has big implications. Google’s CFO, Ruth Porat, answered a question posed to her by a caller. In posing his question, the shareholder referred to Porat as “The Lady CFO” making a choice, consciously or unconsciously, to amend her title with a gender designation.
Porat answered the question as articulately as any highly credentialed CFO of a Fortune 500 firm would do. And while perhaps there was nothing notable about her response otherwise, what happened in its aftermath is quite remarkable.
The immediate reaction was fairly tame
While Porat chose not to react to this alteration to her title, another shareholder, Danielle Ginach, did speak up. Shortly after Porat answered the initial question, Ginach commented, “I am sorry to put another shareholder on the spot, but Ms. Porat is the CFO, not the lady CFO.”