Women Hold Less Than Third of Top News Media Jobs, IWMF Says

Caixin Media Editor-in-Chief Hu Shuli
Editor-in-chief of Chinas Caixin Media Hu Shuli is among delegates attending a conference organized by IWMF in Washington this week to examine gender barriers in the news business. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

Women represent less than one third of the main decision makers at news companies worldwide as gender inequality leaves top management and governance dominated by males, the International Women’s Media Foundation said.

Women occupy about 27 percent of the leading managerial jobs such as chief executive officer and about 26 percent of governing board positions, according to a survey of 522 newspaper, radio and television companies by the Washington-based advocacy group. Women hold 39 percent of the senior management positions that include managing editor and bureau chief, the two-year study released today shows.

Alexandra Wallace, vice president of NBC News, and Hu Shuli, editor-in-chief of China’s Caixin Media, are among delegates attending a conference organized by IWMF in Washington this week to examine gender barriers in the news business.

A so-called glass ceiling exists at companies in 20 of the 59 nations studied, mainly for senior jobs and in middle management, which includes chief correspondents and design directors, the IWMF said. The foundation, which surveyed 170,000 people, said it will discuss strategies to “level the playing field” at the conference in Washington this week.

“Women in every region of the world still face many barriers -- whether it is lower salaries than their male counterparts or lack of access to decision-making jobs in the newsroom,” IWMF Executive Director Liza Gross said in a statement.

Women are close to reaching parity in news-gathering, editing and writing jobs, representing 41 percent of those positions, the study shows. Overall, women represent 35 percent of the full-and part-time journalism workforce worldwide.

Eastern European Countries

Female media executives in the U.S. include New York Times Co. President and CEO Janet Robinson and Radio One Inc. Chairman Catherine Hughes. In the U.K., Rebekah Brooks is CEO of News International, the unit that oversees News Corp.’s newspaper titles in that country.

In the U.S., women hold about 23 percent of top-level management jobs and 35 percent in governance. High levels of equality were seen in Eastern European countries including Russia and Bulgaria, as well as in Nordic nations Finland and Sweden, the study shows. Areas with low representation of women in the media include Argentina, India, Japan and Kenya.

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