Should we single out women for their business success?

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Earlier this week, Editor Rob Smith, Managing Editor Erik Siemers and I hunkered down in Rob's office to map out our coverage of the Business Journal's 2013 Women of Influence honorees.

You can view a gallery of the winners here. It's one of our signature events and one worthy of some serious strategizing.

Rob asked what I thought about the whole concept of hosting an event that singled out women for their achievements.

I knew what motivated his question. I've been involved in similar events at the Business Journal and at other news organizations. Inevitably, there is debate.

In one camp, there are those that celebrate the notion of, well, celebrating influential and dynamic women making an impact in business.

Across the aisle are the critics, who believe we've evolved beyond the need to single out women, especially when we don't do the same for men. Based on my experience, the second camp is smaller, but trust me, the critics are out there.

Obviously, as a company, the Business Journal has chosen to celebrate. A popular decision. Last year's event honoring our winners drew a record crowd of more than 800.

I'd love to hear what you think. I'll be moderating a panel at our Women of Influence luncheon, happening April 18. You can register here. Your comments will certainly help me shape questions for the panelists.

You can email me directly at the address above or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Need some food for thought? Check out this New York Times special section called Women in a Man's World. It certainly makes the case that as a gender, we continue to face steep hurdles to the executive ranks in fields from banking to technology.

The Portland Business Journal is a KATU News partner.