More difficult for women to make career in media – Survey

More difficult for women to make career in media – Survey

96% of journalists in the UK think it is media’s duty to reflect the diversity in the society but only 19% of women journalists believe there is adequate gender diversity in journalism. 73% of journalists say it is more difficult for women to make a career in journalism than it is for men, according to a survey of 1 200 journalist published by consultancy Man Bites Dog and Women in Journalism.

The study -The Gender News Gap – concludes that among actions needed are to put diversity on the newsroom agenda, create women journalist communities and take the opportunities created by normalized remote working.


95% of UK journalists believe we need a diversity of journalists to be relevant and interesting to readers and 92% of journalists believe a balance between male and female journalists is essential to properly represent key societal issues.

70% of female journalists complain that the most senior roles remain dominated by men, which may be contributing to a ‘macho and intimidating culture’ in some media organisations, called out by male and female journalists alike, the report says.

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81% complain that ‘high status’ journalism specialisms – such as hard news, business, finance and politics – remain male dominated.


23% rate gender diversity in the media as good or excellent. The study says that “repeatedly, it’s revealed that male journalists are seemingly unaware of the challenges experienced by their female colleagues.” And less than a quarter of media directors and founders said their organisation measures the gender or ethnic diversity of their journalist workforce.

61% of female journalists say the pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health due to domestic work, childcare and/or caring responsibilities. Job security was also affected, with female journalists being more than twice as likely to be furloughed 3 as male journalists, and 40% more likely to be made redundant over the course of the pandemic.

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The study has identified possible actions to get to grips with the disbalance:

  • Promote greater diversity at the top and put diversity and inclusion on the newsroom agenda. The right leadership is critical to creating inclusive cultures; three in five (61%) journalists would value and feel empowered by greater diversity at board level.
  • By investing more energy in nurturing a diverse talent pipeline, organisations can ensure female journalists, and those from ethnic minorities, are not excluded from the ‘glass newsroom’, and are able to advance in their careers. This includes actively tackling gender discrimination, age discrimination and the concerns about poor pay raised by women in journalism.
  • Seize the opportunities created by normalised remote working. Despite the strain on mental health and work/ life balance, the changes to working practices implemented in response to the pandemic present an opportunity for more diverse talent to enter the profession and could make it easier for parents to return to work without compromising their career ambitions. Looking to the future, 87% of journalists believe that flexible and remote working introduced as a result of COVID-19 should make it easier for journalists living in suburban and rural areas to access the profession, and eight in 10 (82%) journalists believe flexible and remote working should make it easier for women to return to the profession post maternity leave or after a career break.
  • It’s time to see greater demand for female and diverse expert insight from the media, and better supply of female and diverse expert commentators from business and public sector
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Moonshot News is an independent European news website for all IT, Media and Advertising professionals, powered by women and with a focus on driving the narrative for diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the industry.

Our mission is to provide top and unbiased information for all professionals and to make sure that women get their fair share of voice in the news and in the spotlight!

We produce original content, news articles, a curated calendar of industry events and a database of women IT, Media and Advertising associations.

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