April 9, 2005
Women Missing In Upper-Level Positions
“I am not being extremely conceited by focusing only on my study,” said Shayla Thiel Ph.D. from DePaul University. “It’s just that there is nothing else out there,” she continued, opening the third and final panel of the International Symposium on Online Journalism.
Exploring the state of women in online journalism positions, Thiel found that women generally do not occupy the top spots at online news outlets.
Her rapid-paced presentation was filled with quotes from 11 women who had been in high positions in online journalism during the mid- to late-1990s.
Rachel, a former upper-level editor, was quoted as saying “there’s no place for a talented young person to go up, so they go out.” Emphasizing a “cultural capital” that puts a value on masculinity, Thiel theorized that women editors are viewed as too prone to creating “cultures of care” that encourage femininity in the newsroom.
“Women often cope with the masculine newsroom culture by co’opting males norms and behaving like one of the boys,” Thiel said. That is, if they remain in the newsroom at all. All of the women in Thiel’s study have since left the field and are pursuing other career options.