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Outsiders Still: Why Women Journalists Love – and Leave – Their Newspaper Careers

By Vivian Smith

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 11.45.48 AMDespite years of dominating journalism school classrooms across North America, women remain vastly underrepresented at the highest levels of newspaper leadership. Why do so many female journalists leave the industry and so few reach the top?

Interviewing female journalists at daily newspapers across Canada, Vivian Smith – who spent fourteen years at The Globe and Mail as a reporter, editor, and manager – finds that many of the obstacles that women face in the newspaper industry are the same now as they have been historically, made worse by the challenging times in which the industry finds itself. The youngest fear they will have to choose between a career and a family; mid-career women madly juggle the pressures of work and family while worrying that they are not “good mothers”; and the most senior reflect on decades of accomplishments mixed with frustration at newsroom sexism that has held them back.

Listening carefully to the stories these journalists tell, both about themselves and about what they write, Smith reveals in Outsiders Still how overt hostility to women in the newsroom has been replaced by systemic inequality that limits or ends the careers of many female journalists. Despite decades of contributions to society’s news agenda, women print journalists are outsiders still.

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