Is Jill Abramson right about it being harder to retain women journalists of color than to recruit them?

“Promoting women of color has always been important to me. But promotion also has a retention challenge,” Abramson said last week at the Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS) conference in Palm Springs, California. “I brought in some fantastic women of color to the Times. One of them is Lynette Clemetson who’s still a great friend of mine. But she left the Times to start theRoot. The competition for the talent is keen.”

After being fired and replaced by her deputy, Dean Baquet, in May, Abramson has continuously expressed pride in the number of women she hired and promoted at the Times during her tenure. She repeated the refrain at the JAWS conference, but ducked a question asked by The Washington Post’s She The People blogger Mary Curtis: In a nutshell, Curtis wanted to know whether Abramson really meant that she was proud of hiring and promoting white women.