A particular statistic in a new report on the status of women in newsrooms caught the attention of Lydia Polgreen, the new editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. Women wrote only 37% of the articles and op-eds about reproductive rights at the 20 largest news outlets in the 2016 period studied by the Women’s Media Center.
As for why a number like that matters, look no further than the recent photo of President Trump surrounded by men as he signed an executive order reinstating the global gag rule. “If men are dominating coverage of reproductive issues, it is no wonder we have men making those decisions,” says Polgreen, a 15-year veteran of The New York Times who moved to HuffPo in January.
With Polgreen’s hiring, the site Arianna Huffington founded in 2005 has had a female editor-in-chief throughout its history. It is one of the few news organizations that has ever had a woman in that role, or in other jobs toward the top of the masthead. Though there are some bright spots–Joanne Lipman was named editor-in-chief of USA Today a few weeks ago, and Nancy Gibbs is the first female managing editor of Time—men hold most leadership jobs at news organizations from stalwarts to upstarts. Notably, one woman who did rise to the top—Jill Abramson, the first female executive editor of The New York Times–was fired in 2014.