I spoke this evening at a Women in Journalism event that launched its study “Women in Journalism: A-Gendered Press?”, marking International Women’s Day. These are some thoughts from it…
The results of the report will come as no real surprise to anyone who works in the media. To take a few of the headlines: “74% of news journalists are men, whilst women make up just one third of journalists covering business and politics. Just 3% of sports journalists are women. Women are less likely to be in senior positions, with eight out of the top ten newspapers having almost twice as many male editors as women editors.”
You can, of course, look at this from different angles. When you consider that nearly 90% of the directors of FTSE 100 companies are male, and nearly 80% of MPs are male, you could say that (with the notable exception of sport), the press isn’t doing too badly.
If, however, you reflect that the press plays an important place in creating our view of the world, then the results are disgraceful.
There are two big questions really: why? and what can we do about it?