She has been described by some as an extraordinary journalistic thinker, but that alone was not enough to secure Jill Abramson in her top post at the New York Times.
Abramson spent less than three years as the paper's first female executive editor. Her firing is reigniting the debate of whether women in high-level positions are treated with the same standards as their male counterparts.
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It was a highly discussed topic around the halls of the 29th Annual California Women's Conference in Long Beach.
"My first thought was, I guess she wasn't a member of the good 'ol boys club," conference attendee Julia Harris said.
"I absolutely think this points to how women are treated and not just in the corporate sector!" conference speaker Marta Segura said.
The conference theme this year is "Better Together," explained California Women's Conference President Michelle Patterson, who believes women could do a better job of supporting one another when it comes to the corporate world.
"How can we come together and really support one another?" she said. "Women haven't been very good to each other."
Patterson cited the statistic that has become a widely-used measurement of where women's pay ranks in the workplace compared to men.
"Women make 77 cents on the dollar, and it's interesting, because you look at the market and women are 85 percent of the decision-makers in households and 78 percent of consumers," she said.
President Obama in April signed two executive orders to support equal pay for women, a move conference attendees applauded, but felt more needed to be done.
"We need to find a way to integrate our networks, not to just through law but through implementation of some policy and through dialogue," Segura said. "Through opening the doors, making sure there's conversation with everybody who is in power right now."