Women are underrepresented in many workforces, especially when it comes to leadership positions. This is extremely apparent in both journalism and the publishing industry.
The Huffington Post reports that “studies have found that when women’s voices are absent in newsrooms, the stories of women around the world are more likely to go unreported.” It is imperative to have strong female voices in publishing, as well as to have women’s issues represented in the actual news that is being reported. While work still needs to be done, the situation may be changing due to the positive work of female groups and educational opportunities.
WAM! (Women, Action, & the Media) and the Op-Ed Project as two main leaders in the fight for gender equality in journalism, according to the Huffington Post. The Op-Ed Project’s goal is to “increase the number of women thought leaders contributing to key commentary forums, which feed all other media and drive thought leadership across all industries—to a tipping point,” according to the Huffington Post.
Furthermore,VIDA: Women in Literary Arts is another organization that aims to create gender equality for women in the publishing community. VIDA describes themselves as “a non-profit feminist organization committed to creating transparency around the lack of gender parity in the literary landscape and to amplifying historically-marginalized voices.”
In addition to these activist groups, publications are also doing their part to encourage women in the industry. Kettle, described on its website as, “a publication aimed for student writers who wanted to expand their craft and opportunities,” does so by curating young writers and allowing them to gain more experience before entering the publishing industry.
Deputy Editor of Kettle Kealie Mardell explains on the site that she does not consider sexism in the industry to be a threat. She instead wants young women to know that they can change that perception and challenge the industry. She says, “I don’t want young female journalists to be put off by a perceived role of women within media and journalism, I want them to realize that they could be the ones that change those roles.”
Mardell is correct in this notion. Young women need to understand that they can still aspire to fill leadership roles in publishing or journalism fields and excel in them. It is imperative to encourage young women in college, specifically.
Geneseo does a great job of providing various opportunities for young academics to participate in and prepare for a career. For example, The Lamron, MiNT Magazine and Gandy Dancer all offer students ways to get hands on experience in publication.
Furthermore, regardless of a student’s major, they are able to seek out publishing internship opportunities both on campus as well as in the surrounding community, nearby cities and even while studying abroad. There are also numerous female faculty members who serve as journalistic role models for young women on campus.
In addition, Geneseo offers journalism scholarships for particularly bright students. For example, Geneseo offers the Ambassador Apartments Scholarship for Excellence in Journalism, Campus Media Leadership Endowed Scholarship and the John V. Lynn ’83 Memorial Annual Scholarship in Journalism, as well as many others.
It is vital that organizations and our campus allow young students, particularly women, the opportunity to gain experience in publishing as well as helping them feel they are prepared to take on any sexism they may face in the field.
The Huffington Post claims that “It’s high time that news publications realize the value of women’s voices—and act on that realization through their hiring practices.”
It is imperative, however, to take it upon us as a college campus to continue to inspire and encourage young female journalists, writers, editors, and the like. Geneseo should be commended for doing so and will likely be responsible for many of the next generations of successful women in journalism.