Q. What is the actual submission ratio of men and women?
A: One of the best hard data points on this comes from a 5-month tracking done by the Washington Post in 2008, in which they found that 90% of submissions to the op-ed page during that period came from men, and 88% of their bylines were male. The data was reported in the Post, under late ombudswoman Deborah Howell, in May 2008. In addition, The OpEd Project has collected estimates from editors/outlets of various sizes. Most of them report a range of 80-90% submissions by men, with the higher ratios mostly applying to the more prestigious outlets. At smaller outlets, the ratios seem a bit better. For example, Josh Burket, Op-Ed Editor at the Christian Science Monitor estimates that women are under 20% of those submitting. The San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Editorial Page Editor Lois Kazakoff found, in an unscientific survey, that during a week-long period in June 2008, 8 out of 25 publishable submissions came from women, or 32 percent. However, she also added that The Chronicle is generally in line with the lower percentages of published pieces by women found in other studies. NOTE: Except in the case of the Washington Post survey, we are relying on editors' impressions. It would be helpful and probably motivational if outlets/editors did a periodic survey to find out who is submitting, in terms of men, women – and perhaps other things as well. That would help editors to know if and how much they might want to reach out to different groups of potential under-represented thought leaders.