Letter from the editor: I am Chapwoman

Women journalists have come a long way from the days of being confined to the clippings desk. After years of taking jobs as secretaries, writing and reporting stories without appropriate compensation or a byline, they spoke out, filed lawsuits and demanded better treatment. I am thankful for that.

But we still have a long way to go.

Women still make up only about a third of newsroom employees overall in 2016, according to a survey by The American Society of News Editors. Even at online-only news sites, the numbers are hardly any better.

We cannot discuss equality in journalism without looking at the wage gap. A survey by Indiana University in 2012 found that the median income for female journalists was 83 percent of their male counterparts.

This is slightly better than the national ratio of 78.6 percent. That makes the median wage $39,621 for women, compared to $50,383 for men, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

I’m proud to say that The Panther does not suffer from this problem. Part of that is, of course, that Chapman’s demographic is 60 percent female and that our pay is not a subjective process. Another part is that the candidates we’ve hired are the best, and they just so happen to be mostly women.

My experience in the working world is in the field of journalism, but the issues that affect women spread to all corners of professional fields and all aspects of private life.

We hope that, with this issue, we can depict how the global issues that women face affect our own community. We also want to be clear that when we say “women’s issues,” our goal is to be inclusive to people who identify with any aspect of womanhood.

Women have come so far, and this special issue of The Panther is here to celebrate that. But women still have so far to go, in terms of equality, and this issue is here to emphasize that.

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