History Redux

War Over, and the 'Times' Welcomes Boys

But this year, the Ms. Foundation changed the name of the campaign to "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work" to reflect the fact that more boys today are expressing an interest in balancing time between work and family when they grow up. The Times was right in step, changing the name of its paper this year from Girls' Times to Our Times.

Support for the girls-only tradition at the Times had already begun to erode. Columnist Lisa Belkin has long lobbied for a change, and as early as 1997, a Girls' Times editorial called the exclusion of boys "needlessly discriminatory." Last year, when the Times first invited boys to work, few attended. But this year, boys represented 77 out of 250 participants, and a survey shows that participants support the open-door policy by a margin of three to one.

In a letter published on the front page of Our Times, New York Times Company president Janet Robinson called the decision to include boys a show of commitment to diversity in the workplace. This year, she said, boys and girls had the opportunity to see Times men and women "working together in a team-spirited, collaborative manner."

Team spirit was also the message of a front-page interview with executive editor Raines. Asked by Our Times contributor Meagan Carr how he stays on top of "one big story after another," the editor called his staff a source of continual inspiration. "It's such a team effort," Raines explained. "Nobody is indispensable, including me." Asked if there was anyone without whom he could not do his job, Raines "struggled for a name" and then said a few people's absence would be most notable because of their deep knowledge of the Times and its standards. "Let Al Siegal be symbolic of that group," he said.

Siegal, an assistant managing editor, is the house expert on issues of copyediting and style. In high school, Kantor wore a Times sweatshirt and a Times button on her knapsack.

cc@ villagevoice.com

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