Woman’s Day Will Make Your Day
When I decided to begin featuring leadership from the female-family focused magazine world, I did so for selfish reasons. I wanted to understand the women who made my daily respite from the demands of life enjoyable, enlightening, and energizing. The great reads they have given me over the years have been appreciated -- each one bringing something different to the table, but all absolutely worthy of a placemat.
Susan Spencer, Editor-in-Chief of Woman’s Day magazine, is my latest addition to the roster. Very reflective of the publication she spearheads, Susan takes a "seasoned, supportive, and self-accepting" approach to every issue. Embracing her own “humanness” as she does, Susan and her team help readers embrace theirs, without apology or a forceful push to change. I love this about her and Woman’s Day overall.
That particular approach helps Woman’s Day come up with one-of-a-kind articles that enhance women’s lives, needed articles like the one in the October 2017 issue that helps moms learn how to perfect their spirals when tossing footballs to their budding players and more.
You never realize how important that skill is until your 7 year-old child announces that he or she is headed to the NFL nor where the notion to offer such an article came from until you ask the lady in-charge. Take a moment to learn more about her and her magazine in the interview below.
What is your personal mantra?
“Always connect.” I learned this from my father and integrate it into my life, daily. My second would be, “Live with humility and purpose.”
Share a bit about your life, including home, education and upbringing.
I was born in Massachusetts and brought up in a very loving and close knit family. I moved to the New York area thirty years ago with the intent of finding my place in the magazine industry. I now live in New Jersey with my husband and two beautiful daughters.
How many readers follow Woman's Day?
Sixteen million readers encompass our print readership, with four million comprising our online following (twenty-two million in total). The cross section among them is vast.
What is your recipe for staying current?
We take pages from our readers. We don’t impose the focus of Woman’s Day onto them. We draw it “from” them.
What do you love about your job and what do you hate?
There is nothing I hate about my job. What I love most is that it allows me to be creative with an incredibly gifted and innovative group of people. Magazine-making is a team sport and I am enormously proud of my team.
What makes Woman's Day unique?
Woman’s Day presents more of an inspirational view as opposed to an aspirational push. We support our readers in “who they are.”
Describe your target market?
We think in psychographics with regards to defining our target market. We feel it is a more effective approach. Our reader is the woman deeply engaged in her life and family. She juggles numerous roles and challenges at one time and yet, maintains a high degree of optimism and joy. She is content. Our magazine reflects our appreciation of her, back to her.
Who is your leading competitor?
Family Circle has traditionally been our leading competitor. However, I have to say, that Smartphones are posing quite a challenge to us (and similar magazines) too as they eat time away from magazine consumption. Online consumerism runs a close third. If shoppers don’t go to stores, they don’t buy magazines as readily.
What is the biggest difference between who you are at work and who you are at home?
I am very focused and accomplishment-oriented at work. At home, I shed the day and detach from my work. I believe that doing so is imperative to the health and welfare of my family.
Who would you trade places with in a heartbeat?
I was a history major in college. My all-time hero was Eleanor Roosevelt. If I could have been in her shoes for ten minutes, I would have jumped at the chance, just to understand what made her tick.
What is the biggest challenge women face today, in your opinion?
There are a variety of challenges women face today, but “being heard” stands out to me. Women still struggle with this and need to, determinedly, fight for that right. When women aren’t heard, we are ignored. This isn’t acceptable, today or any day.
Do you believe the current political environment is conducive to the growth, development and freedom of the female population or not? Explain.
I don’t think any real political environment up to this point has been easy for us. I can say that there is an enormous amount of heightened emotion occurring lately. I also believe that we, women, have a much longer way to go than we even realize. That said, I am hopeful.
Share a social cause close to your heart.
Woman’s Day is a big proponent of heart health among women. We undertake a great deal of work to raise awareness about this issue. “Hunger” is another issue Woman’s Day strives to help solve; thus, we support Feeding America too.
I, personally, am involved with a number of causes, including Safe Horizon, which fights against violence against women and female trafficking. I also volunteer at the local food pantries and will be there tonight, with my daughter, packing up food and delivering it to those in need. I believe in practicing what I preach and the importance of staying close to the fabric of society in its entirety.
When all is said and done, how do you want Woman's Day and you to be remembered?
I want Woman’s Day to be remembered as something that helped people -- a help-mate for women.
Me, professionally...“If the magazine speaks for itself, that’s all I need.”
Me, personally...“As a kind and easily relatable person.”
In every issue of Woman’s Day, women will find the warm hug of reassurance we all need to sustain and inspire us. That is the only improvement this magazine and Susan Spencer are pushing and it is a welcomed one for most of us. Find out for yourself by picking up this October’s Halloween issue or read it online. It’s a real treat to be had! I’m not trickin’ ya in the least.
Many thanks to Susan Spencer for making this interview possible