Tag Archives: Alicia Shepard

Where are the Women?

So if you don’t know me, I study gender in Rolling Stone in 1975, and lemme tell ya – female music journalists are very hard to find.  After 35 years, women are still hard to find behind the news desk or in other traditionally male occupations.

Today I wanted to share two interesting pieces of information on women’s occupations.

First, I read an article on the presence of women at NPR.  Although NPR is leading the industry in hiring female correspondents and hosts, NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard says that NPR utilizes very few female commentators and sources.  What’s more, Shepard says that compared to the rest of the news, NPR is golden:

“Admittedly, the relative lack of female voices reflects the broader world. The fact remains that even in the fifth decade after the feminist revolution; men are still largely in charge in government at all levels, in corporations and nearly all other aspects of society. That means, by default, there are going to be more male than female news sources.”

Here’s just one of the neat graphs that reveals the discouraging percentages of women on NPR.

What does all this mean?  When you donate your money to the annual pledge drive, say, “I want to hear more women.”  I will.  And therefore I’m going to give a shout-out to some of NPR’s leading ladies: Michel Martin, Cokie Roberts, Ann Taylor, and my favorite, Terry Gross.

So where are these women?

I was SHOCKED to learn from the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor that in 2009, more women were secretaries than any other occupation!  More women are cooks, cashiers, waitresses, childcare workers, and MAIDS than journalists or news correspondents.  Which really shows you that you can’t separate gender from class.

Click to take you to DOL

And you know what was really frustrating –  I was trying to find the Department of Labor’s statistics on men’s top occupations, but there’s no section on men!  Look here at how they divide their demographics.  Men are essentially the default!

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