Seventy percent of journalism school students are women, as are 76 percent of students in Columbia University’s prestigious Master of Arts in Journalism program. So what gives that in real-life newsrooms, 60 percent of the seats are filled by men?
I learned those statistics last night at the annual fundraising gala of The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship, a treasure of business journalism that’s been educating mid-career journalists for one-year stints at Columbia University for 39 years.
The keynote speaker was Elisabeth DeMarse, chairman, president and CEO of TheStreet, Inc. From her talk:
“So Columbia J School is doing its bit — it’s manufacturing a trained, credentialed pipeline of female talent. But we are out of synch. There is a gap in hiring and promotion. There is a gap in giving women and minorities a fair chance.”
And a call to action to younger men more prone to being gender- and color-blind:
“Please be leaders. Please hire and help and lift a hand outside of your image, outside of a narrow idea of clubhouse chemistry. After all, isn’t journalism about fairness and objectivity?”
I am not a neutral commentator on Elisabeth. I’m a journalism fellow at TheStreet Foundation and have known her since I joined Bloomberg News in 1995. (She worked for that guy who became mayor of New York City). So I’m biased. That said, consider the closing of her keynote address, and judge for yourself.
Here’s her closing on gender issues: Continue reading