I consider myself a feminist.
Before you get scared and scroll on because you are getting a “she-woman, man hater” vibe, give me a second to explain myself.
This week has been very enlightening and challenging for learning about women’s roles in the newsroom and on Capitol Hill.
I was appalled, but not surprised to hear the statistics about how men still have most newsroom management jobs.
Being a rookie reporter with dreams of covering a presidential election, I found out that during the 2012 election, only 27.02 percent of print bylines on the race belonged to women.
On the other hand, journalism school enrollment is made up mostly of women, yet leadership positions and most newsrooms majorities belong to men.
I’ve never considered myself a great mathematician, but something isn’t adding up. My accountant parents would be proud.
As an intern, I’ve been fortunate enough to have bosses of both sexes. All three have taught me different reporting skills that I will use forever.
However, I was influenced the most by my female supervisors.
They taught me what it is like to work such a fast-paced job and have a family, how to speak up for myself and how to be comfortable in a room where I am the only female reporter.
Their advice helped me during one of my assignments this week.
I had the opportunity to report on the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” The members of the House Judiciary Committee were not arguing the legality of abortion, just its funding through the Affordable Care Act.
While I found both sides to hold their own truths, I was struck by the makeup of the committee. Here they were, talking about abortion, a women’s issue, and there were only five women on the committee of 38. Only three of those five were present to vote.
Abortion is a deeply difficult and life-altering decision. But it is a woman’s decision.
Shouldn’t there be more women’s voices on the committee?
I loved being the only girl in my family as I grew up with two brothers. But I understand how holding your own among men can be difficult. Yet, we live in the 21st century and in a country where women are fortunate enough to have the same rights as men. Why not take advantage of them?
I am encouraged by the larger number of women in Congress and the openness that the reporters and editors at the National Press Club showed toward making improvements in newsrooms to accommodate women.
I still believe we have a long way to go, but I am happy to be a part of a generation that I hope will promote a more female-friendly working environment and government.