The United States declares March as Women’s History Month–the annual celebration and commemoration of the endless cultural, political, and socioeconomic contributions of women throughout history and within contemporary America.
The presence of women in newsrooms began notably in the late 19th-early 20th century, though many were limited in what they could cover (for example society reporting, fashion, or food). Despite the countless strides women in journalism have made, a gender gap still exists in the field.
Let’s look at some research about women in the news field:
A 2022 study by the Reuters Institute analyzed the gender breakdown of top editors within 240 major online and print news outlets across five continents. They found that only 21% of the top 179 editors across all outlets were women, despite the fact that women made up approximately 40% of the journalists included in the study. You can find the full study here.
The Pew Research Center has also backed a 2018 study which found that women and minorities are paid the least in newsrooms. This study examined seven pay-equity studies from newsrooms (both with and without union representation) to gauge pay disparities present within journalism. They concluded that white men both earned the most and held the most high-level positions of all demographics, while women of color made the least overall.
Women are still fighting for wide-scale recognition in the news industry today, and they often face unique challenges when conducting their reporting.
In celebration of Women’s History Month and in consideration of the gender gap within journalism, here are a few resources for women hoping to go into journalism:
The CFWIJ is an advocacy organization aiming to support women and LGBTQIA+ journalists around the world that offers female journalists resources, research, and mentoring, among other things.
The IWMF offers safety training, reporting trips, and byline opportunities tailored to women journalists of all skill and experience levels across the globe. They also provide opportunities like reporting fellowships, grants, mentorship and professional development, and emergency assistance for women journalists.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote press freedom and safety worldwide. They offer safety guides for journalists, namely Physical Safety: Solo Reporting and Physical Safety: Mitigating Sexual Violence. They also provide data regarding missing, killed, and imprisoned journalists.
This campaign was launched by the IFJ in wake of the growing prevalence of online trolling and harassment women journalists face, namely because they are gendered and sexualized. The campaign provides research on topics related to online harassment, gender-based violence, and sexism within newsrooms. ‘You are NOT Alone’ also provides support and resources to directly address these problems and pressure local governments/mainstream outlets for meaningful change.
The Cohort is a bi-monthly e-newsletter published by Poynter that focuses on conversations about gender in media. The Cohort also features other resources and job listings tailored to women in media. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.
The AWM is a women-run organization that works to support women across all media industries, namely through network expansion and education. They feature a career center that gives members access to job opportunities and job recruiters access to candidates who are women. The AWM also hosts several annual events for women to participate in and foster a community.
Here are some other notable resources for women in journalism: