Tracy Grimshaw was only 21 years old when she began her career in television, but it was also the same age she received very blunt sexist advice on what to expect in the future.
Speaking to 2GB radio host Ray Hadley, Tracy revealed that in her first media job she was advised to marry her rich boyfriend before she became ‘too old’ for television.
“Cameramen are quite brutal, quite blunt; they certainly don’t pull any punches,” she said.
“This guy said to me, ‘You should marry that rich boyfriend that you’ve got because you’re not gonna have a long career because you certainly won’t be here when you’re 40’.”
It is no surprise Tracy had tough skin, even at such a young age, after explaining the comments had no impact on her as she didn’t envision a long-term career in television.
“I’m 21 years old and I am thinking ‘well 40 is pretty ancient, well I want to be out the door when I’m 40 I reckon’,” Tracy said.
“And then I kinda liked it.”
Tracy’s career began in the newsroom at Channel Nine in 1981, which only had two female journalists at the time.
“When I started in ’81, I was starting on a wave that was cresting and I sort of just rode it all the way to the top really, luckily for me,” she said.
“Then the other news directors saw all these women on Channel Nine and then they started hiring women and it worked … and it just built, really.”
Now 62 years old, the legendary journalist is choosing to put her career to rest after announcing her departure from A Current Affair.
During her leaving speech, Tracy assured fans: “I’m not being shoved out the door by the boys’ club because I’m too old. I’m not too old, I’m just a bit tired.”
There is no doubt every Australian will miss seeing Tracy on their televisions, but she was certainly one of the women leading the charge to a more equal future.
“We should get work on merit,” she revealed on 2BG. “We shouldn’t get a job based on gender and we shouldn’t lose a job based on gender either.
“Back then there needed to be affirmative action.
“You walk through the newsroom now and there are probably more women than men now.”