MAPLE SHADE, N.J. — A New Jersey-based magazine owned by women has canceled a women’s empowerment panel following criticism because the participants were all men.
SJ Magazine had titled the panel that was set to include four men as “Women in Business: A man’s point of view.”
The magazine says it believes it is “helpful when everyone is part of the conversation on women’s empowerment and feminism.” But the magazine says it was never its intention to offend anyone with the Nov. 6 event.
Criticism against the panel was harsh on social media. The magazine explained three other panels were composed of all women and said it wanted to start a discussion with men.
One of the participants, New Jersey Democratic Assemblyman Lou Greenwald, had decided to withdraw because of the panel’s composition. He said he would offer his seat to someone who can “bring a more diverse and inclusive point of view to this critical issue.”
Another participant, Rowan University President Ali Houshmand, said he was delighted to be invited to be part of the panel because he has “very strong feelings about promoting leadership opportunities for women.” However, Houshmand said he understood why some people were concerned about an all-male panel.
Another all-female panel titled “Success Stories: Taking charge without wearing a suit and tie,” is set for Dec. 4.