Category:  Media Industry

Women in Media – Are We Facing Unfair Challenges?

 

A few weeks ago, The Washington Center arranged a “Women in Media” discussion panel for students who are participating in the media and communications program.  Among the panelists were some of the most inspirational women in the communications field, including women who are involved in private firms as well as non-profit work.

 

One of the panelists was Danielle Belton, creator of the blog “Black Snob.” Upon reflecting on her career as a female journalist, Danielle spoke about her trouble getting promoted at a local paper because everyone assumed young women would get married and moved away. Danielle’s recollection reveals a harsh truth of a traditional stereotype about women that is not limited to the media world but extends into the larger professional world as well. Should a woman’s career be jeopardized based on an employer’s perception that marriage and kids may at some point be in her future?

 

When preparing for a summer internship interview a few weeks ago, a friend who was offering advice explained, “you know, if you are engaged you should never wear your engagement ring to the interview because an employer will immediately assume that the ring means you will be taking off work for the wedding and down the road for children.”

 

Now I am certainly not engaged, but her advice made me further contemplate women’s roles in media and in the larger professional world. It would appear that there is a little bit of a double standard. After all, if a man is engaged and applies for a job, he will be taking the same amount of time off work for wedding events as his fiancé.

 

Will women ever be able to break away from these assumptions? I’m not quite sure, but I am optimistic.

 

There will always be women who will get married and take time off work to have children. However, I am confident that women’s skills, talents, and intelligence can overwhelm employers and force them to move past traditional assumptions. Already, women are more engaged in the professional world than ever before, particularly in media and communications.

 

To all you women out there: keep doing your thing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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