Women’s Bylines Lacking in “Thought-Leader” Magazines

Women writers continue to be underrepresented at five of the top “thought leader” magazines. An update of a report in last winter’s Ms. magazine reflects that the number of women writers has not increased since last year.

In The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, women earned just 447 of the 1,446 bylinesÑabout 31 percent. Harper’s had the most glaring disparity of men to women writers, with a ratio of seven to one. Moreover, women are often relegated to “hearth and home” stories, rather than to “hard-news” stories.

Ruth Davis Konigsberg, a deputy editor at Glamour and the author of the reports, points out that the number of women writers does not reflect the readership of these magazines. The New Yorker (with a byline ratio of four men to one woman) has a fairly gender-balanced audience of 1,799,000 women and 1,710,000 men. Vanity Fair, with a byline ratio of three men to one woman, has an opposite ratio in terms of readership: three women to one man.

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WomenTK; Ms. magazine Winter 2006

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