VIDA, an organization for women in the literary arts, has just released its annual "VIDA Count," which calculates the gender ratio of authors published by major English-language magazines and journals in 2015. This year VIDA has expanded their survey to take into account race and ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, and ability, calling it the "year of intersectional thinking."
In terms of gender parity, some of the worst offenders were The Atlantic, where women accounted for only 30 percent of pieces published in 2015, and The Times Literary Supplement, where the same figure was 29 percent. Below is a summary from the VIDA website of how other major publications fared. The full report can be found here.
Two years ago, we celebrated a great turnaround at The Paris Review as the publication reached gender parity with women representing 51 percent of the pie. In 2014 we reported 40 percent representation. In 2015, women make up just about one-third of the pie, at 34 percent overall. The silver lining? Interviews of women are 64 percent.
Harper’s overall numbers reflect executive editor Christopher Beha’s public commitment to improvement. In 2015 the share of the pie for women was 38 percent (83 bylines by women), its highest since VIDA began counting. Bylines by women increased by 11 percentage points since last year, following last year’s 10-percentage point increase.
Poetry's consistently good pies reflected 49 percent (185 bylines) were by women. Since VIDA began counting, women have represented 40 percent of the pie or more. Poetry‘s bylines in 2015 also included writers who identified as trans women — transfeminine and trans women — genderqueer/genderfluid, which taken together comprised 0.8 percent of the pie.
Granta continued steady progress toward gender parity in 2015. Women represented 49 percent of contributors, up slightly from last year’s 48 percent.
Last year we reported that The New Republic made good on its promise to change, with slight improvement in most categories. In 2015, we observed a dramatic increase, as women’s share of the pie increased to 45 percent, up 18 percentage points from 2014’s 27 percent.
Of the six years VIDA has counted, at The Times Literary Supplement women writers have made up less than one third of the pie. In 2015, overall, 917 pieces by women writers made up 29 percent of the pie. This reflects a 1-percentage point increase from last year’s 28 percent. Three book reviews and one author reviewed identified as trans women, comprising 0.1 percent of the pie.
The count favored women in the categories of book reviewers, authors reviewed, and in-brief at the Boston Review. Overall, women made up 46 percent of the pie, which is the highest percentage over the six-year period we’ve been counting, up from 33 percent in 2010.
Last year we were cautiously optimistic about progress at The Atlantic, which saw an 8 percentage point increase to 40 percent women overall. Unfortunately, this trend did not hold for 2015, as the overall percentage for women dropped to 30 percent, its lowest percentage for the last three years. Men took home a greater share of the pie in every category, including bylines (70%).