Jou Nerdin

Magazine industry glass ceiling is cracking

September 19, 2013

While women such as Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington have led fashion magazines, women like Nancy Gibbs are leading more political, business magazines. She became Time magazine‘s first female managing editor Sept. 17.

Vogue holds elegance and history, but it is not important to society as a whole. Fashion lovers enjoy them. It keeps them in the loop, but I rather learn about the world and what’s happening that I can’t see at home. Besides, I don’t need anyone telling me what I should wear. I wear what I want — and I rock my clothes damn good.

Anyway, Time magazine covers current, worldly topics, ranging from new technologies like the new Apple softwareto Syria. Even iOS7 matters more than Fashion Week.

But reaching the top of Time magazine took dedication and hard work — nearly three decades worth of hard work. The New York Times says she began her Time career as a fact-checker 28 years ago. The industry finally is taking women more seriously and placing them in more managerial positions.

As the Times article states:

“Ms. Gibbs added that she had been surprised at how many young women at Time said they were excited about her promotion, even at a time when breaking “this glass ceiling has become so commonplace.”

In January, Time Inc. named Martha Nelson editor in chief of its magazine division, the first woman to hold that job.

Ms. Gibbs said that these moves seemed to have resonated with employees. “This is a historic institution and there is something that excites people about seeing a woman run it for the first time,” she said.

Reporting is rewarding, and nothing beats getting down and dirty, but women need something to look forward to, too. Nelson reinforces the magazine industry’s change in perspective toward women executives. However, women’s struggle throughout the magazine industry isn’t over. Male bylines continue to dominate female bylines. Sure, a majority of bylines belong to on-ground reporters or contributors, but they become editors one day (eventually, hopefully).

VIDA, an association dedicated to women in literary arts, released its 2012 survey of print publications’ female representation titled “The Count.” Unfortunately, women continue to lag behind men overall — bylines especially. Men dominated Harper’s Magazine 76 to 17 bylines. The New Republic also was patriarchal with 230 male bylines and 52 female.

Gibbs promotion does inspire me that women acceptance is growing. I only wonder how much longer will the inequalities exist. Either way, I won’t let society’s chains link me to the ground. I’m shooting for the stars.

1 Comment

  • Reply Ruthann Alexander September 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I’m glad you found something like this to write about. I don’t see enough stuff on women in the magazine world. Maybe I just haven’t looked hard enough.

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