March is Women’s History Month. Throughout the month we’ll be profiling D.C. based women you should know. Amy Morse, the founder of Ideas Club, is heading the project. Today she profiles Jay Newtown-Small. If you’d like to suggest someone for Amy to profile, tweet at her. -ed.
Jay is a reporter, writer, art aficionado, and proud dog-owner. She is Washington correspondent for TIME, where she has published half a dozen cover stories. She writes about everything from Washington politics to foreign policy and national trends. She has covered stories on five continents for TIME, from conflicts in the Middle East to the earthquake in Haiti to the Scottish independence movement and the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris. She has interviewed numerous heads of state, including Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as senators, governors and foreign dignitaries. Before TIME, Newton-Small was a reporter for Bloomberg News, where she covered the White House, Congress and the 2004 presidential campaign.
Jay spends a great deal of time thinking about women in leadership, particularly how society might be different if more of us were represented in decision-making roles. Women now make up the majority of college graduates yet are not represented in Congress (20%), S&P 500 CEOs and boardrooms (4.8%, 19%), or state legislatures (24.2%). Her TIME coverage of women Senators breaking partisan gridlock attracted a great deal of attention, and led to the development of her forthcoming book on women in leadership.
Jay first became aware of gender disparities in school. She was in the first class of girls at Deerfield Academy. When the change took place, the boys protested on national TV against the school going coed. During her first year there, many of the boys refused to talk to the girls. Some professors wouldn’t call on the girls in class. It was an eye opening experience for Jay. During this time she also noticed how change happened. By the time she graduated, the school was 50% female.
When Jay isn’t working on her fellowship, book or reporting, she likes to volunteer with literacy groups and teaching journalism in high schools. She hopes that more people can be aware of the work that journalists do and how they can help change things.
Woman Who Inspires Her
Hatshepsut, the first great woman in known history. Hatshepsut was renowned ruler and, when she died, the Egyptians erected an enormous palace in her memory. However the palace was looted and defiled by men who resented her power. Her stepson and successor Thutmose III attempted to erase the memory of her reign after her death.
Although Hatshepsut’s mummy was discovered in 1902, forensic analysis did not reveal her identity until 2007. Her body was left anonymously, stripped of all dignifying ornamentation, among others in the Valley of the Kings (incredible story here of archeologists descending 700 feet into tombs searching for her). Historians had described Hatshepsut, the first-born daughter of Thutmose I, as a wicked stepmother, but new information about her reign have opened debate regarding her role as the first pharaoh of Egypt. Check out National Geographic’s amazing photo gallery documenting images of Hatshepsut.
Jay’s Recommendations for Volunteering and Learning More