European & International News

Global Report on Status of Women in News Media Shows Men Hold Vast Majority of Management Jobs in Newsrooms Around the World

[Brussels, 24 March 2011] A groundbreaking “Global Report on the Status Women in the News Media” examining more than 500 companies in nearly 60 countries shows that men occupy the vast majority of the management jobs and news-gathering positions in most nations included in this study.

The International Women’s Media Foundation commissioned the study to closely examine gender equity in the news media around the world.

In this long-awaited extensive study, researchers found that 73 percent of the top management jobs are occupied by men compared to 27 percent by women. Among the ranks of reporters, men hold nearly two-thirds of the jobs, compared to 36 percent held by women. However, among senior professionals, women are nearing parity with 41 percent of the news-gathering, editing and writing jobs. The new global study shows women in 26 percent of the governing and 27 percent of the top management jobs.

The IWMF study covering 170,000 people in the global news media found a higher representation of women in both governance and top management within both Eastern Europe (33 percent and 43 percent, respectively) and Nordic Europe (36 percent and 37 percent, respectively), compared to other regions. In the Asia and Oceana region, women are barely 13 percent of those in senior management, but in some individual nations women exceed men at that level — in South Africa women are 79.5 percent of those in senior management. In Lithuania women dominate the reporting ranks of junior and senior professional levels (78.5 percent and 70.6 percent, respectively), and their representation is nearing parity in the middle and top management ranks.

The global study identified glass ceilings for women in 20 of 59 nations studied. Most commonly these invisible barriers were found in middle and senior management levels. Slightly more than half of the companies surveyed have an established company-wide policy on gender equity. These ranged from 16 percent of companies surveyed in Eastern Europe to 69 percent in Western Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Some of the key findings of the study for European countries are:

  • Men in Western European newsrooms hold nearly two thirds (64.1%) of the full-time, regular jobs, and more than half (53.3%) of the full-time contract
    positions. By contrast, women make up the vast majority (81.1%)
    of part-time, regular positions, and two-thirds (66.7%) of the
    part-time contract positions.
  • Although women represent 43% of the workforce in the news companies surveyed, they represent only 32.2% of those in middle management, 22.7% of senior management, 26% of top management and 29.8% of those in governance.
  • The greatest disparities in salary are in governance and top management, i.e. in the executive ranks.
  • Eastern European countries fare better than their western counterparts. Women’s greatest
    representation in Eastern
    Europe is in the news
    reporting and editorial
    categories of junior and
    senior professionals
    (59.9% and 56.4%,
    respectively). This dominant presence of women is a rarity among nations surveyed.
  • In Eastern European countries, women are almost half of those in middle management, but their presence declines to 40.9% of senior management, 43.4% of top management and 32.9 % of those in governance.
  • Most of the Nordic nations
    have extensive laws against
    discrimination. These
    promote gender equality in
    the workplace and let people
    combine employment and
    parenthood. Yet institutional
    practices allow men to prevail
    within the news industry.
  • In Nordic countries, women are 43.3% of those at the senior professional level, and 42.6% of middle management. They represent more than a third in senior and top management and 35.7% in governance.

Download the International Women’s Media Foundation Report:

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