May 28, 2019

A new era for women on Time's cover

2019 is on pace to have the highest percentage of Time covers featuring only women in the magazine's nearly 100-year history. This year is already the first year that there are more covers featuring only women than covers featuring only men.

Why it matters: The company has pushed to include more diverse faces on its covers over the past few years. It's finally reached the milestone of having more female-only covers than male-only covers under editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal.

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Data: TheVault, Axios research; Note: Many Time covers feature both women and men or no people at all; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Some fun findings: Most cover stories about science, aerospace, transportation, space and technology featured illustrations with no people.

  • There are a few repeat covers, and covers that play off of one another, even decades apart. For example, the famous Roy Lichtenstein gun illustration was used in 1968 following the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and again in 1998 following several teen shootings.
  • Dogs, horses, monkeys and bulls tend to be the most popular animals to grace Time covers, as well as donkeys and elephants, of course. Bulls are a go-to cover image for business stories, naturally.
  • Time covers became much more colorful and animated beginning in the 1940s. A large portion of covers featured soldiers or war figures during the World War II era.

Methodology: Axios went through the Time vault and sorted every available cover since 1923 and identified each cover as having "only women," "only men," "both," "neither" or "not available."

By the numbers: In total, we found, 428 covers featuring "only women," 3,199 covers featuring "only men," 230 covers featuring "both," 682 covers featuring "neither" and 265 covers that were "not available."

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
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  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.