May 27, 2021

Day 3: How to navigate the locker room as a female of color

Carly Ebisuya

Los Angeles Times Deputy Sports Editor Iliana Limon Romero has been in our shoes since she started her career in journalism. She was one of the few women in the locker rooms or clubhouses post-game, but she never let her race or gender diminish her strengths as a journalist.

For me, I continue to struggle with having confidence as a female of color navigating my way through a predominately white, male-dominated industry.

It definitely hasn’t been easy and I haven’t even started my “real world” job yet.

But when Romero spoke, she emphasized that focusing on why you look different than everyone else in the locker room doesn’t help your confidence. She urged us to play to our strengths, whether that’s asking great questions, cultivating relationships with the coaches or family members, being polite, following up, we need to play the locker room — and the industry itself — to our strengths.

It’s going to be exhausting if we keep dwelling on the ways that we’re different, instead of working to our strengths and focusing on what makes us unique as journalists. As a woman of color in an editor position for a widely known news outlet, Romero gave me the confidence I needed to head into my first locker room and for the start of my early career.

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