There are so many things I love about Fall, but when October rolls around it is the annual Women Media Center Awards (WMC) that I really look forward to, and this year was no exception.
This was my second year attending the event along with five hundred fellow women (and some men), feminists, writers and journalists on October 26 at Capitale in New York City.
This year, MSNBC analyst and senior policy adviser to the 2016 Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign Maya Harris hosted, and the honorees were Hillary Rodham Clinton, Maria Hinojosa, Ashley Judd, April Ryan, María Elena Salinas, and Gail Tifford. The event also celebrated the 80th birthday of WMC co-founder Jane Fonda.
Despite a fun and fierce night of celebrating women in the media, the work of the WMC is serious. The organization’s primary focus is to increase the visibility of women in the media, and there remains a lot of work to be done.
A big part of WMC’s work is to expose the “crisis of representation” in American media. Despite the fact that we live in such an ethnically rich country, that is 51% female, WMC believes that the news media caters largely to a single demographic.
A 2014 study by the WMC examined 20 of the most widely circulated, read, viewed and listened to U.S. based TV networks, newspapers, news wires, and online news sites. The findings were not great for women #shocker.
The study exposed a major gender gap in American media, with men receiving 63% of byline credits across the board.
Needless to say, we have our work cut out for us ladies. Let’s get to it!