The Globe’s Point: Women’s History Month reminds us to fight for gender equality

March 2021 is already upon us, Pioneers. 

You may be only thinking about your current classes or the startling fact that it has nearly been a year since the coronavirus pandemic reached its first of many contagious peaks in this country, forcing a nationwide shutdown. 

However, March 2021 is also the month of a much happier occasion: Women’s History Month. 

Women’s History Month is celebrated each year from March 1 to March 31. It is a time to encourage people to investigate, learn and apply women’s history to their lives. Over the course of history, female journalists have paved the way for successes, including Ida B. Wells, Margaret Bourke-White and Pittsburgh’s own Nellie Bly, just to name a few. 

The work of female journalists has always inspired our work at The Globe. In fact, the large majority of the staff is made up of women, and women occupy most of our higher management and editorial positions. This has been the case for a few years now at our publication, an indication—we believe—of our equitable hiring practices and our commitment to ensuring anyone is able to tell stories of Point Park’s campus and the wider world.  

Outside our very small inclusive campus newspaper, though, female journalists continue to face challenges to be represented in newsrooms. Multiple publications have noted that gender parity in journalism has stagnated, while men continue to lead newsrooms by large numbers. For women of color in the news industry, these low staffing numbers, especially for executive positions, only get worse. 

A report entitled “The Missed Perspectives of Women in News” and a special report “The Missing Perspectives of Women in COVID-19 News” from 2019-2020 found that women are being underrepresented not only as media producers but also as quoted sources. The reports examined the U.S., U.K., Kenya, India, South Africa and Nigeria, discovering that only between 15% and 30% of news stories across all six countries focused on female figures. Women are not just not making progress in media; the reports suggested that progress has “reversed in the 21st Century.” 

While these are depressing statistics to reflect on during Women’s History Month, it is important to take stock of where we are now, what progress we have made with the historical setbacks and achievements of those before us. 

At The Globe, we not only believe in representing women in our news staff, but we also strive to represent women with diverse experiences and backgrounds in our stories. Just because we have a female majority among our staff does not mean we are immune to internalized misogyny, and so we are committed to consistently fight for women’s right to be heard and seen in our storytelling.

We cannot backpedal on the advancements made for and, most importantly, by women in news media. And hopefully, someday, some of us at The Globe will make history too.