Where are the women?
Let's start with some facts:
-The Global Media Monitoring Project (2010) found that overall in a study of media platforms from 100 countries that 37 percent of stories were reported by women. That percentage was 36 percent in the monitoring of online news sites from 16 countries. (View the full report here, see if your country was included and view its numbers: http://www.whomakesthenews.org/)
-The Global Media Monitoring Project also found that women were 24 percent of news subjects – people heard or read on traditional platforms like newspapers, television and radio in the sample. They were 23 percent of news subjects in the websites monitored.
-The International Women’s Media Foundation’s “The Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media” (http://www.iwmf.org) that came out in March uncovered similar trends in its look at nearly 60 countries and more than 500 companies. The study found that 73 percent of the top management jobs were occupied by men. Overall, women held 36 percent of reporter positions.
-From the look at U.S. news websites I've been a part of through the website The Gender Report (http://genderreport.com), I've observed that, at the nine-month mark of one of our studies, women make up 25.3 percent of sources and bylined 38.2 percent of the articles we've monitored.
These numbers speak for themselves: Women are still largely absent from news coverage and absent from newsrooms. Why is that? What can we do about it?
As the co-founder of The Gender Report, a site that aims to monitor gender representations in online news, these are questions I think about on a daily basis. Monitoring media and building awareness about these numbers is only part of any real solution. The best way to move forward is together by having conversations and discussions about our own experiences and what steps can be taken toward change. I hope you'll join in and share your thoughts.