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Survey: D.C. Women Equal in Newsroom, Not Out

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Survey: D.C. Women Equal in Newsroom, Not Out

Article excerpt

LET'S LET FORT Worth (Tex.) Star-Telegram columnist Molly Ivins write the lead from the results of a new survey of women journalists working in Washington, D.C., bureaus: "I though the easy lead is, `All successful women journalists end up old maids,'" Ivins said in a panel discussion about the survey commissioned by the Chicago chapter of the Association of Women Journalists.

Indeed, the survey of 320 female and male D.C. correspondents found that women generally are doing just as well as men: They get the same kind of assignments, their stories get the same play, they feel equally respected and their pay is good -- if not quite on exactly up to the level of their male colleagues.

Where Washington's female press corps suffers, however, is in their personal lives. Nearly half of the women -- 45% -- have never been married, compared to just 22% of the men. And 64% of the women reporters have never had a child, compared with 40% of the males.

Further, when women reporters do have kids, they are more likely to feel it has hampered their careers. Twice as many females as males -- 41% vs. 22% -- believe being a parent has hurt their career "a fair amount" or "a great deal."

"Although it appears women journalists in Washington have made some great strides, the gains have also come with a trade-off in their personal lives," said Susy Schultz, a Chicago Sun-Times reporter and president of the Association for Women Journalists' Chicago chapter.

Age does not account for the differences in marital status or childlessness, said the survey's authors, Dr. …

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