<![CDATA[The news media, in all their electronic, television, and print formats, shape our understanding of the world, of ourselves, and of each other. Even the advertisements we see connected to our news sources shape our sense of beauty, sexuality, and gender roles. Doesn’t it make sense, then, that those who make decisions about what content is important and what images we see should represent diverse perspectives? Consider these facts about the lack of gender balance in the newsroom:
- Women make up less than a quarter of the top management positions and less than a third of governance positions worldwide in the news media, according to the International Women’s Media Foundation’s “Global Report.”
- In the United States, only 10 percent of supervisory or upper management positions in newsrooms are occupied by women.
- A report by the Women’s Media Center found that at the New York Times, only 31 percent of reporting bylines belong to women.
- When a significant proportion of the news media’s customers are women, and media companies everywhere are struggling to survive, including women in leadership roles will help ensure that programming and reporting will attract a broad audience.
- Women leaders tend to create more gender equity in their companies. In the case of Jill Abramson—the first woman to be hired as senior editor of the New York Times in its 160-year history (before she was fired)—she developed and promoted several senior female editors and achieved 50 percent female representation among the newspaper’s top editors for the first time.
- Diverse teams are more effective teams. Differences in perspective and life experience bring better solutions to problems.
- More representation for women can help keep the spotlight on issues of equity and fairness that will benefit us all.