Like many of you, I was so thrilled and proud of our American women on the Olympic team. Our athletes, male and female, received 121 medals – and the next highest country in medal count was a whopping 51 lower! And guess who won over half of them? Women, at 53%.
The media coverage was excellent, with some minor exceptions when the stellar female wasn’t placed in the headline with the supersize type, but got considerably smaller, less visible coverage in some newspapers. I just want equal type for equal performance.
Business Insider did a very nifty graphic going back to 1896 which showed the upward and downward path women have taken in the Summer Olympics. Since about 1976 it has been on a really meteoric rise. I hope a couple of things come out of this wonderful coverage.
First that we realize we need to fully support women’s athletics. They need good access to the same kind of playing field, literally. We Americans are justly proud of our athletes – let’s show it for all our athletes.
Second, let’s talk about the glowing successes of women more often than every four years with a global event. We have women every day across the country doing wonderful things and it just isn’t reported.
I’ve been watching the media for a while now and the coverage of women was wonderful…but how come we have to wait for a once every four year barrage to celebrate women?
The media are the great source of our information and I have been doing a bit of looking at how women are even employed in the media. If you aren’t employed there, it can be hard to be recognized. Nearly 70 % of college graduates with degrees in communications or media are women. But are they employed by the media? Not so much.
The New York Times staff has 32% women, the Wall Street Journal and LA Times are at 40%, and the Chicago Sun Times at 55%. The national average is 37%. Same kind of numbers are in evening TV, women at 32%. In Texas we have a dismal low at the San Antonio Express News of 27% and the high of 41% at the Dallas Morning News.
Let’s celebrate women every day – through every form of expression. We are celebrating men as we should, and let’s do the same for women. Go girl go!