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Keeping Count of Women
Where do you keep track of women's representation?
Remember to send in anything you’d like included in the Classifieds post I’m running on Thursday. Job postings, reading recommendations, requests for pen-pals—if you think the person you’re looking for is on this listserv, send it in.
And also on Thursday, join me, Ross Douthat, Anna Louie Sussman, and Sarah Williams at Plough’s launch event discussing “The Case for One More Child.” I’ve kept notes on your questions to inform my own remarks.
My former FiveThirtyEight colleague, Ben Casselman (now at the NYT) has kept a running tally of who he quotes in his articles.
This is the second year he’s done this sort of reckoning, and I really appreciate it. There are more details in his thread, and you can also check out his stats from last year (44 percent of experts were women, 40 percent of regular people were women).
One thing I’ve noticed in my own journalism work is that I’m least likely to cite women when I’m working outside my areas of expertise. If I’m new to a topic, and googling around to find experts, I find whom everyone else is citing—and that tends to be men.
Keeping track of who I’m interviewing, whether for a whole year or a single article, helps me lift up women’s voices, but it also makes me double check I’m really doing the work to go beneath the surface. Am I adding anything with my article if I’m citing the same three people as everyone else on this topic?
Outside of my writing, I still find myself counting women:
On the cover bylines of magazines I subscribe to
In the speakers lists for conferences I attend (or speak at)
When I make my list of guests for my Tiny Book Club or for programming in my day job
When I choose art for the top of these posts
That last is the most challenging—I usually want to pick art that shows women and is by women, but my tools for search make it easier to do the former than the latter. I’ve appreciated your suggestions, but it’s a bit frustrating I have no easy way to sort my image results by who made them.
I want to make new discoveries. To that end, I’ve started following #WomensArt, a twitter feed curated by freelance writer and art historian @PL_Henderson1. And I reach out to some of the Binders Full of Women facebook groups for further recommendations.
Where do you find yourself keeping count of women in your life?
Have you made any changes or reached out to groups based on what you found? I sent an email this week to a friend who works for a publication hosting a conference on “The Future of [Redacted]” that, judging by the speakers list, figured that women had no part to play in [Redacted]’s future.
Where do you wish you had better tools or resources to find women?
I’m grateful for the work done by Leticia Ochoa Adams in putting together Catholic Speakers of Color, so that folks can broaden their programming. (I know lots of folks crib from other parishes’ programs—because they’ve told me that’s how they found me! That makes it hard for new people to break in). I’d like more filters to help me find women, read them, and recommend them.
Please share your recommendations for where you find women to lift up, and when you keep count yourself, and I’ll share highlights from your discussion next Thursday.