Just how equal is the media sphere?

Women in media platforms have been significantly undermined to their male counterparts for a substantially long period. The disparity is profoundly evident in the relation to pay, the number of women in newsrooms, as well as the limitations women experience in obtaining higher employment positions.

The understanding that fewer females occupy newsrooms has been evident for more than a decade. In 1999, 63.1% of males occupied newsrooms, compared to a mere 36.9%. What’s astonishing is that in 2012, these figures were exactly the same. What is even more surprising is that in 2013 these figures were even worse, with males occupying 63.7% and females only 36.3%. The rapid transition from print to digital media can be one catalyst for this unequal representation, however the transition has imploded an increase in job opportunities in media as the digital transformation requires new skills and techniques. If job opportunities have increased, then why has the heavy disparity also increased?

In terms of publication, the ratio of male to female bylines in 2012 within UK newspapers was a significant 78:22. Furthermore, women are severely underrepresented in certain reporting areas including politics and sport. When the ’50 leading political reporters in 2012’ was published in the UK Press Gazette, it only included 3 women. When the same paper published the ‘Top 50 sports reporters in 2012’, only 2 were women.

Difference in relation to the income of male vs. female journalists is also prevalent within the industry. Research shows that the median salary of a female journalist is 83% of her male counterpart. it is also extremely difficult for women to receive higher positions, such as CEO and editing positions. The percentage of women in supervisory positions has only increased 1% since 1998.   

If gender inequality in the media is still heavily prevalent in 2014, the question remains; will it ever reduce to non-existence?