Women journalists remain underrepresented — in newsrooms and in the field, and in bylines and photo credits as well.
The first amendment of the U.S. Constitution envisioned a press by and for the people — all people. Unfortunately, journalism is still dominated by men. Only 36 percent of bylines are generated by female reporters and a dismal 15 percent of photojournalists are women, according to studies by Women’s Media Center and World Press Photo.
Contributing factors such as unequal pay and lack of workplace flexibility are familiar; others, such as the growing risk of online harassment and sexual harassment, are distinct to the field. When women journalists leave the profession, it affects how news is reported. While some outlets are working to create more inclusive and accommodating work environments, there’s still a long way to go.
To be balanced, outlets need a bench of reporters who reflect the diversity of people and topics they cover. Reporters are and must be versatile, but when most bylines are by men audiences are not getting the full story, or the insights that come from lived experience.
The IWMF is dedicated to helping women journalists advance their careers and stay in the workforce. In addition to training and opportunities that give them a competitive edge, we research inequities and expose realities that push women journalists out the door. We broke ground with the first Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media in 2011 as well as our Violence and Harassment against Women in the News Media Global Report, and recently released Attacks and Harassment: The Impact on Female Journalists and Their Reporting, a follow up report providing a clear examination of the professional dangers of being a female journalist in the news media today.
From a diversity of voices comes a diversity of content — and that benefits all of us.