Let them speak: Women in newsrooms

“Journalism is hard work, with irregular and intense hours, and pay that often compares poorly to other white-collar careers. Women still do the bulk of childrearing and day-to-day maintenance of the home in most parts of the world. Of the women in my peer group who had kids, I’m the only one who stayed in the newsroom or came back after some time away, most of them quit.”  –  Aminda Marqués Gonzalez, executive editor of The Miami Herald.  

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Journalism is a difficult gig, one that is even more difficult for women. This, in part, is because of the constraints of building a family which have typically fallen to women in the past and the fact that journalism is a demanding career without much reward. The statistics that female representation in top positions in major publications is worrying and perpetuates the myth that there are a lack of qualified female professionals in the field.

“So a self-perpetuating cycle can come into play, at least in legacy companies. Men are in charge, and are more likely to promote other men. Women see fewer women rising to top jobs and grow more likely to leave journalism. Thus, fewer women are around to apply for those promotions. Men become even more likely to promote other men to both the most important posts in the business and the jobs that serve as steps toward them.”

I am a strong believer that if there are, for example: fewer female applicants applying for journalistic top jobs, than this is because of other gender inequalities and biases that exist in our society limiting the amount of women going for those jobs. Our society is was built with sexist ideals, they are worked into our very laws, and it will take a long time to overcome them.

“Academia is one field in which women’s progress has been more consistent, at least compared to journalism and the corporate world. According to a 2012 study by the American Council on Education, 26 percent of U.S. college presidents are female. Among presidents hired between 2009 and 2011, almost 30 percent were women.”

Ultimately it is dissappointing that more women aren’t in boardrooms. There needs to be an acknowledgement of this by society if there is hope for change, as we have seen by the statistics, things don’t necessarily get better over time.

References:

Gender Inequity in Public Media Newsrooms – MVM Consulting. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mikemarcotte.com/2013/03/gender-inequity-in-public-media-newsrooms.html. [Accessed 15 May 2015].

Where Are the Women? – Nieman Reports. [ONLINE] Available at:http://niemanreports.org/articles/where-are-the-women/. [Accessed 15 May 2015].

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