Wired magazine came under fire on Thursday for the lack of gender diversity in its bylines. In the latest issue of the magazine, all of the feature articles were written by men. (For comparison, Wired’s September 2016 issue had four feature stories, including a double feature about TV, half of which were written by women.)
In its colophon, a statement that includes production notes, Wired frequently thanks people who supported that issue. For the latest issue, the magazine staff came together to thank the “wonder women” who helped put it together.
In the list of females, a dog named Coconut was mentioned before actual women who work at the magazine, along with a list of women in the staff’s lives. After Twitter users discovered the list, they proceeded to call the magazine out.
Later in the day, executive editor Maria Streshinsky replied on Twitter that she was proud of all her colleagues. Streshinsky clarified that the staff has always had fun and contributed to the colophon, and this particular one was written soon after Wonder Woman debuted in theaters.
“It seemed like a good time to honor the ‘wonder women’ who get the magazine out, and that isn’t simply support staff,” Streshinsky wrote. “Colophon is not a ranking. Wired staff is more than half women: from editors and writers to the entirety of our photo department, to video, social and production teams. We are proud of them. To us, it was a way to honor them, within the liner notes of Colophon.”
In 2016, a survey conducted by The Open Notebook counted the bylines produced by top publications in science and technology. After looking at 11 publications, it found that the gender disparity overall was not that large. But it also looked more closely at individual publications, and the difference became clear.
At the time, Wired’s statistics showed that 73.6 percent of features were written by men and 26.4 percent were written by women. In fact, stories of any length were more likely to be written by men at Wired.
Streshinsky did note that the magazine takes the issue of gender balance seriously and that no one likes it “when we end up with a feature well that is all male-written.” She also included her email for any writers interested in contributing to Wired.
While the Wired staff may be more than half women, according to Streshinsky, publications may need to take a closer look at their writing staffs.