Editorials, Opinion

‘If you can see her, you can be her’

We’re a little late in congratulating Westover-native Leighann Sainato on her promotion to Black Bears’ general manager, announced Feb. 24. But we are still in time to highlight her achievements for Women’s History Month.

Sainato is one of only seven female general managers in the entire Minor League Baseball development system, as well as the only female GM in the MLB Draft League and for the Black Bears’ parent company, Rich Baseball Operations.

It can sound a little corny when you hear on the commercials — “If you can see her, you can be her” — but there’s a kernel of truth in the rhyming couplet. It’s hard to imagine fitting in when no one else looks like you.

Sports is a male-dominated field. Even in women’s sports, most of the leadership roles, from coaches to trainers to managers, are filled by men. And as it is in all male-dominated careers, women have to fight harder to prove they deserve to be there. And as each woman breaks through the glass ceiling, she makes it that much easier for the women coming up behind her.

Sainato knows. She told The Dominion Post: “I am grateful for all the women who broke barriers, and I hope that I’m able to continue that for younger generations. Everything begins with visibility, and representation matters. If I can open a door for someone else to walk through, I’m excited to do so.”

If you can see her, you can be her. We see Sainato, and so do a lot of little girls who love sports but didn’t think sports had a place for them.

Sainato shows girls and women everywhere there is a place for them — right at the very top.