Media Talk: The Status of Media Women in Australia

Media Talk: The Status of Media Women in Australia

The Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media has found that of Australian journalists at the senior professional level (senior writers, editors, anchors), just 40.4% are women, while almost none (10%) exist at top-level management. Hence, women are not heavily involved in defining news and shaping company decisions in this country.

Women hold fewer than one third of top media jobs globally, according to the International Women’s Media Foundation, which surveyed 170,000 people within 522 newspaper, radio and television companies across 59 nations.

"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. 

Six Australian news companies – 2 newspapers, 2 television stations and 2 radio stations – participated in the study, together employing approximately 2,000, including 952 women and 1,019 men.

The report found that in UK news companies (16 surveyed, employing 11,8000 people) more women are in management (30.2%) and governance (36.5%) positions but represent just 29.5% of employees at senior management level: "women face a glass ceiling that seems fixed at the junior professional level, where journalists hold junior-level reporting, editing and producing jobs....[and] exhibit entrenched institutional practices of marginalizing women in their newsrooms and decision-making hierarchies"

The report notes that magazine and Internet-only companies were not included, as their structures and staffing are typically different from those of the more traditional companies. Still, noted one online journalist in response to The Digital Gloss Files, Don't you think it's interesting that women may be better users of social media and citizen journalism tools but it's the fellas heading up plans for our digital consumption in our top newsrooms?

Also of note, Fairfax's head of digital is a woman (Pippa Leary) and so too is The Sydney Morning Herald's editor and Fairfax Magazines head. News Magazines has a female chief executive, but at ACP Magazines and Pacific Magazines, there are still fellas at the very top.

Girl With a Satchel