Journalism has a woman problem

At The New York Times, Jill Abramson is out and Dean Baquet is in. On the same day across the pond, Natalie Nougayrede was so tired of personal attacks she quit her top post at Le Monde. And at Bloomberg, half a dozen men have been promoted in Washington after the first woman to run the bureau left earlier this year.

A new report out this week wasn’t kidding: Journalism has a woman problem.

“Some of the very qualities that make for great top-level editors, such as firm decision-making ability and willingness to stand up for your point of view against competing interests — are qualities that are often lauded in men and seen as overly abrasive in women,” said Ann Friedman, former deputy editor of The American Prospect. “I think it’s possible for male and female bosses to be both decisive and compassionate, both powerful and well-liked. But we are harder on women who don’t manage — or perhaps don’t even try — to be all of these things at once.”…

“I think what it says to us is there is still enormous challenges for women out there, for women who assume those key and influential roles in journalism,” Ludtke said. “It’s tougher. It’s not a situation where you can point to the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment … We’re in a different zone and how you change attitudes and how you change practices that come out of those attitudes is a whole new challenge for this generation and a challenge that they have to meet without the women’s movement behind them.”