By Co-Publisher Jillian Zynomirski
Written on International Women’s Day 2019
Think of a newspaper publisher that you have seen in a movie or show that you have watched. You are most likely picturing a male. That’s probably because over the past 150-plus years that newspapers have been around, it’s males, like John Jonah Jameson (Peter Parker’s boss at the Daily Bugle in Spiderman), you’d usually find in these roles.
Katherine Graham was only the second female publisher of a major American newspaper, The Washington Post, assuming the reins in 1963. She led the newspaper through two decades, including through coverage of the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate Scandal, ultimately winning a Pulitzer Prize for her memoir in 1998.
We might often think of men in these roles, but it is strong female leaders like Graham who have paved the way for the powerful women of today by helping to shatter these stereotypical roles.
Kaitlyn and I, and former Publisher Jill Morison, stand in shoes that have, from 1868 up until 2014, been filled by a man. We have met several other female publishers, and they often comment on how nice it is to see young females in their role.
In a world where gender equality is still a huge problem and many countries are still dominated by men, Canada is evolving to give women the opportunity to feel empowered, and to show their strength and authority.
Not only on International Women’s Day, but every day, I think to myself how proud I am to be a woman in this still male-dominated industry.
Two-thirds of Canadians believe that equality between genders is important and think that equalizing pay is the key to achieving equality. On top of equal pay, Canadians say sexual harassment and sexual violence are top issues for women that need to be addressed. Despite this, only 36% of Canadians consider themselves a feminist (defined as the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes).
The boundaries and stereotypes that have historically kept women from achieving their full potential are breaking down more and more. To continue progressing, women and men need to continue advocating for women’s rights, breaking these stereotypes, and pushing these boundaries.
My hope is that future generations of women will take on any role, in any industry, and be able to achieve who they want to be, without fear or judgement.