People 09 October 2018
There's no doubt that women are still facing the challenges of stereotypes, especially when you're a woman in a male-dominated industry. Transitioning from sports to tech, Lindsay McCormick successfully proves that women can break the traditional workplace roles.
McCormick is a sports broadcaster whose career has taken her from hosting live events for the Super Bowl XLIX to being a guest correspondent for Showtime. Now, she is taking over the world of tech as an investor on Elevator Pitch. We sat down with McCormick to chat about the challenges and successes she faces in her career, and the impact of being a female in a male-dominated industry.
1. From your experience and success in the field of sports broadcasting, what did you learn about the traditional roles of female broadcasting? How are you challenging those roles?
When I started out over a decade ago, female sports broadcasters were few and far between. Women were typically relegated within the confines of just a few roles (sideline reporters, for instance). As time has progressed, I've been thrilled to see qualified women take on all kinds of new opportunities, from play-by-play announcers to color commentators, to personality-based talk shows.
2. Can you share a specific moment, anecdote, where you experienced sexism? How did you react, and overcome it? (Many women don't know how to react in these situations because of fear of losing their job or opportunities, our audience would love your tips and advice on this).
One example would be when an NFL Network exec asked me during an interview if I would get “knocked up," implying my child-bearing capabilities were a downside of him hiring me. While I certainly don't have the “perfect" or all-encompassing advice for any scenario, my general advice would be to not let disheartening moments like this deter you. Keep your head up and stay in the game! It's also worth noting that some of my worst incidents of workplace harassment came from women, who sadly wanted to eek out their feminine competition rather than help us up through the ranks.
3. Being in male-dominated industries, do you think women are still judged by their appearance instead of their achievements? How can we change this outdated narrative?
I think anyone on TV is judged by their appearance, hence why even men can spend hours in hair and makeup. Are women judged harsher? Yes. I'm not sure this will change anytime soon.
4. What inspired you to leave the sports world to build an impressive tech resume and judge Elevator Pitch with Entrepreneur?
I don't view it as leaving the sports world, as the two are starting to go hand-in-hand. Look at how big e-sports are becoming! I was fortunate that Ray Brown, executive producer of a movie I was in, “The Bounce Back," introduced me to Trevor Doerksen, CEO of ePlay Digital, who is launching Big Shot (essentially the sports version of Pokemon Go). I'm grateful that Trevor wanted Robert Horry and me to tag along on the ride as advisors and in-game avatars. This is how I first got involved with the world of tech.
5. What are some of the challenges you had to overcome to succeed and thrive in the tech world? Are they somewhat similar to what you encountered in the sports world?
When I first started in sports, you could count the number of women on television on one hand, and everyone knew their names: Robin Roberts, Suzy Kolber, Linda Cohn, Lisa Salters. I can't tell you how many job interviews I went on where employers would flat out say, “You are too young," or “Prove your sports knowledge to us. Male viewers won't believe a woman understands the game." I felt that with every interview, I had to go in as David against a Goliath of female stereotypes. That being said, I've found the tech world—and business in general right now—to be quite receptive to working with women. Much of this newfound openness may be cynically tagged as a desperate correction to the #metoo movement, but that's fine! It's up to women to take advantage of the new opportunities!
6. Give us some tips and tricks to build an unshakable confidence.
Figure out your purpose and zone out the rest. Be passionate, but don't hold things so tightly. When you focus on the process rather than the outcome, things tend to fall into place. As I've entered my 30s, I've tried to stress less about every new career twist and turn. While my family, my health, and helping other people, have taken priority. I couldn't be more happy with my career options.
Photo courtesy of lindsaymccormick.com
7. As an investor, what do you look for in startups and founders? How does a founder or an idea get your attention?
The first thing I look for is a strong work ethic and passion for their product or service. Secondly, do they have experience in the marketplace? It's always more comforting to invest in someone who has had previous success, but I'm also open to those with less experience.
8. What's next for you and how will you be using your success and story to uplift and support other women?
Great question! I've loved my work with Entrepreneur Magazine, and I hope to continue that relationship while expanding my own business ventures. As always, my health, family, and close relationships are held dearer than any job. Every woman should forge her own path, but I'm beyond thrilled if anything I've done has served as example or inspiration.
3 min read
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist