Why the next editor-in-chief at The Age should be a woman

The departing words of The Age’s editor-in-chief, Mark Forbes, who resigned this week amid allegations of sexual harassment, spoke to a gender ideal at a time of reputational damage for the newspaper, "… our dealings with all women must be respectful and equitable at all times"

These words reflect the socially progressive agenda (relative to the times) of the 159-year-old masthead from the days of the Syme brothers to the digital age. Yet, as progressive as The Age can be, why has it never had a female editor-in-chief?

The answer is clearly more complex than the paper’s editorial position. It leads to a much broader conversation about gender representation in Australia’s public and private institutions.