Recent reports on the status of women in the media in the United States and the UK have shown the low numbers of women in the newsroom. Today, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) released the full contents of its "Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media," according to its press release. These numbers also displayed a lack of women in management positions in newsrooms across the world.
The 394-page report surveyed more than 500 companies in 59 nations in every region of the world. More than 150 researchers interviewed executives, using a 12-page questionnaire. The study was held over a 2-year period. The news organizations included newspapers, radio, and television. Magazine and internet-only companies were not included due to their difference in structuring and staffing.
In the upper level positions, men take a definite lead. They take up 74.1 percent of the seats on governing boards in seven regions. They also take up 72.7 percent of the top management positions. This number is up from a similar study by Margaret Gallagher in 1995 that showed that women only held 12 percent of top management positions, according to Reuters.
The senior professional positions were the one area where men and women had more equality in terms of numbers. This category includes senior writers. Men make up 59 percent while women hold 41 percent of the positions.
Nordic countries scored higher than most other regions in terms of gender equality. In the survey, women held 43.3 percent of the senior professional jobs, 42.6 percent of the middle management jobs, and 40.5 percent of the production and design jobs.
The full report and a breakdown of the individual countries surveyed is available in PDF format here.
IWMF executive director Liza Gross said, "The IWMF Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media is a groundbreaking benchmark from which to track and monitor the performance of media companies as it relates to opportunities for female professionals. The IWMF intends to break out regional and demographic data and to update the study every few years. This blueprint explains the status quo and will serve as a guide to measure the progress towards gender equity in the news industry worldwide."
Somewhat ironically, the report came out on the same day the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) announced its appointment of Elizabeth Costa as its first-ever female General Secretary. Costa is Brazilian, also making her the first leader of IFJ to come from a non-European country.