In the latest version of the Byline survey (September to December, 2011), we broke down op-eds by gender, staff/non-staff, outlet, and subject in an effort to gain a more precise picture of the op-ed writing environment. I don’t mind admitting that the results were fascinating.
As you can see in the charts below, in both legacy media and new media, women authored far more articles on subjects that women have traditionally written about (Pink Topics), and significantly fewer than men on every general interest subject aside from the subject of health in new media (women wrote 53%).
In new media, women wrote proportionally far more of the pink articles than they did in legacy media (e.g., 40% of food articles in legacy vs. 67% in new media), but women also wrote a higher proportion of articles on every other subject, with the exception of national politics, which was 20% for both new and legacy media.
Some of the numbers in legacy media were especially dreary. The worst, in my mind, was that just 10% of economics articles in legacy media were written, or co-written, by a woman. In new media, that number was a less grim, but still sad, 19%.
It’s true that this low 10% figure is, in large part, a result of a higher number of men in economics. In fact, only 9% of economics doctorates were awarded to women in 1974, but the number has been steadily on the rise, reaching 27% by 2000. So, not only is this 10% figure not representative of women in general, but it is not representative of women in the field of economics.
If you would like more information on these statistics, please write me (Taryn), at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Gimther, Shulamit Kahn. Women in Economics: Moing Up or Falling off the Academic Career Ladder. Journal of Economic Perspective – Volume 18, Number 3 – Summer 2004, pg. 193