Where are the top-ranking female editors? Not at Forbes, that's for sure. Following the announcement that Nancy Gibbs is taking over at TIME, she noted she was "the first managing editor to wear pumps — so far as we know." The Daily Beast ran with the comment and examined the uniqueness of her situation. Turns out that, despite the glass-ceiling-shattering editorial strides of their own editor-in-chief Tina Brown (who is on her way out in January), Condé Nast's Anna Wintour, The New York Times' Jill Abramson, and Mother Jones' Clara Jeffery — women are still, very much, a minority in the ultimate boys' club of media. Which publications are some of the least lady-editor-friendly? The Beast explored.
Take the 124-year-old Wall Street Journal, which now has Rebecca Blumenstein as deputy editor-in-chief, but a male (Dow Jones CEO Gerard Baker) still runs the show as managing editor. As the Beast points outs, 40% of women are now breadwinners, meaning they have just as much reason to be interested in business news and culture as men. Would it kill WSJ to reflect these demographics in its hiring decisions? It directs the same question toward The Atlantic and The New Republic, whose top positions are currently occupied by men, as they always have been. The latter currently has a 29-year-old editor-in-chief in Chris Hughes. (To be fair, while a woman has never been EIC in the progressive rag's 99-year history, there are several key females on staff, including managing editor Amanda Silverman.) Back in June, The New Republic actually did a feature on the plight of "serious journalism" in women's magazines, which is worth a read.
Then there's Popular Science. Other tech/science-leaning magazines like Wired and Scientific American have been helmed by women at various points, but not at this old chestnut, which has been around since 1872. And finally, we saved the most insular for last: Forbes. Not only is it heavily male-dominated, but it's also super-nepotistic, having a long bloodline of the magazine's namesake family running it still. All we can say is, hopefully, we're the disruptive generation that will help rewrite the future of gender politics in publishing — and all creative fields. These women certainly give us hope. [The Daily Beast]