Emily Ramshaw shares career updates since her 2019 cover story and how women are uniquely impacted by the coronavirus.
Photo by Ilana Panich-Linsman
This month, like countless other small businesses and local companies, Austin Woman was faced with the financial ripples of COVID-19. A May issue was no longer a guarantee—without some help. Our founder, Melinda Garvey, turned to the women who have always been our loudest and best cheerleaders: our former cover women. She asked if they would lean in and support us, so in turn we can continue to support all Austin women. The responses were immediate and humbling.
Emily Ramshaw, the co-founder of The 19th and a 2019 cover woman, was one of the many women who leaned in. We’re so grateful for her support and we hope as she supported us, you will support her. We asked Ramshaw what she’s been doing since her cover story and how the coronavirus is uniquely impacting women.
Austin Woman: Your Austin Woman cover story followed your journalism career and your role as editor-in-chief at The Texas Tribune. What have been some career highlights since your 2019 cover story?
Emily Ramshaw: The biggest news is that in January, I left the Tribune after an extraordinary 10 years to launch The 19th, the nation’s first nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom at the intersection of gender, politics and policy. The 19th has three primary goals: 1) To elevate the voices of women of color and women off of the coasts in American media. 2) To advance equity for women with journalism that exposes gender disparities across virtually every arena, whether it’s women and the economy or women and the health care system. And 3) To help more women advance into news leadership, with generous pay and benefits, and flexibility like six months of fully paid family leave for new parents, four months of fully paid caregiver leave to care for sick or elderly relatives, and fully remote workspaces. Our full launch is expected later this year and we couldn’t be more excited to hit the ground running.
AW: The 19th has been producing stories on how women are uniquely affected by this pandemic. Why do you think women are experiencing this differently and how is that showing up in different industries?
ER: Women are overrepresented on the frontlines of this pandemic, from the health care system to the caregiving space to the retail and hospitality jobs that are being lost fastest. They’re managing homeschooling their kids and keeping tabs on their elderly parents and just generally keeping the wheels on. And while men are dying of the coronavirus at higher rates than women, women of color are taking a very disproportionate hit—which is incredibly troubling to watch. The 19th has an obligation to highlight these women, to ensure their voices are heard amid this pandemic and that their stories don’t fall on deaf ears.
AW: How can Austinites support you and The 19th right now?
ER: The 19th certainly didn’t imagine it would be launching in the midst of a global pandemic, which will almost certainly affect our fundraising and corporate revenue in this critical first year. If you can, please join us by becoming a member (even $19 helps!) and signing up for our free newsletter at 19thnews.org. You can also keep up with us @19thnews on Twitter. We need you in our corner!
WHAT’S BEEN ON YOUR READING LIST OR NETFLIX QUEUE DURING QUARANTINE?
I can’t tell you what’s been on my reading list because it’s top secret! I’m on the board of the Pulitzer Prize, which is just about the coolest book club ever. Every year, I’m up to my eyeballs in top contenders between Thanksgiving and April. Like everyone else, I binged Tiger King. I started Chernobyl, which was too intense for me under quarantine. Lately I’ve been laughing out loud with Schitt’s Creek.
Read more stories of our former cover women who joined our Lean In campaign.