As editor-in-chief, I’m proud of every E&P issue we put out, but I’m particularly proud of this month’s issue, where we highlight 10 Women to Watch. Selected by our editorial staff, we focused on accomplished women from different backgrounds working at various news organizations and platforms. These individuals are certainly ones to keep an eye on as they take charge and lead their newsrooms. They have the experience, the talent, and most of all, the passion to make a difference in our industry.
As a fellow women journalist, it is inspiring to see the names of women at the top of mastheads. I’ve been lucky enough to surround myself with many women news leaders. Even when I was first hired at E&P, my direct editor was another woman. At my college newspaper, my editor was another female student. After graduation, my first journalism job was at small weekly newspaper. My publisher was a woman named Cheryl Kaechele, who taught me how to layout ads, chase leads, and let me pitch some of the craziest story ideas that somehow made it to print (for example, a feature about the local tattoo parlors in the area). She even let me take six weeks off one summer to attend a writing workshop, stating that I would return a stronger writer (thankfully, I did). As a young journalist starting out in the business, it was heartening to work for a publisher who not only cultivated growth but encouraged it. Now that I’ve been in the business long enough, I hope to pay it forward someday.
The 10 women inside this issue are doing the same as they share their thoughts on what currently excites them about today’s industry (there is plenty), and what advice they would give to aspiring women journalists. There have been many pangs and challenges for all of us, and our only wish is that the next generation of women journalists will be given more opportunities.
Despite the huge strides women have taken, our industry still has a lot of work to do when it comes to hiring, retaining, and promoting women. It took 160 years for The New York Times to hire its first executive editor, and The Washington Post just announced Sally Buzbee as the first woman to lead the 143-year-old news organization. A recent survey by the NewsGuild Gannett revealed the median full-time salary for women in fall 2020 was $47,390, while the median for men was $57,235, representing a pay gap of $9,845.
We also have to do a better job at protecting women in the workplace, out in the field, and online as harassment and violence has significantly increased. Some key findings of UNESCO’s global survey on online violence against women journalists found that 73 percent of women journalists who responded had experienced online violence in the course of their work; 25 percent had received threats of physical violence; 18 percent had been threatened with sexual violence; and 20 percent reported being attacked offline in connection with online violence they had experienced.
One of the more devasting results of the COVID-19 pandemic was the amount of burnout and job loss among women. Data collected by McKinsey and Co. showed that “one in four women are considering leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers versus one in five men. While all women have been impacted, three major groups have experienced some of the largest challenges: working mothers, women in senior management positions, and Black women.”
The road is long, but as an entire industry, we must lift each other up because we are better together. At E&P, we are always actively looking for new voices to fill our pages and contribute to our website. I welcome any suggestions and feedback at email@example.com.
Nu Yang is editor-in-chief of Editor and Publisher. She has been with the publication since 2011.