Quotas proposed to boost number of senior women in the media

23 Mar

The findings of the International Women’s Media Foundation Global Report on the Status of Women in the Media has prompted calls for quotas to create a better balance of men and women filling senior roles in the media.

Directors of communications agencies from across the globe gathered in Washington for the International Conference of Women News Leaders to analyse the results of the survey, and have called for an action plan to address the gender inequity in newsrooms, as reported by Fox News.

The report found that three-quarters of senior management roles in news media are filled by men – and across the radio, TV and newspaper sector, 65% of jobs are held by men, and 35% by women. The study of 170,000 people and 522 news companies found that women were best represented in the newsrooms of Eastern Europe, and had the worst representation in Asia. In the UK, there is a balance between men and women at junior levels, but women hit the ‘glass ceiling’ at senior professional level.

Senior female executives at the conference suggested having strict quotas to address these inequities, and for female leaders to be inspiring role models for younger workers. They felt they had to take action rather than waiting for “social evolution” to create balance.

I was curious to discover how this gender disparity affects the decisions and output of newsrooms – given the often heated debate about the portrayal of women in the media – but these insights, unfortunately, were not covered in the report, and so will have to be revealed another day. In the meantime, we can perhaps draw our own conclusions.


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