Female journalists fear job cuts in pandemic

Female journalists fear job cuts in pandemic

The pandemic has affected women disproportionately by job cuts and a regression in equality both at work and at home as they are more likely to be part-time, freelance or juggling childcare, according to a survey of 92 female journalists by Women in Journalism Scotland with Gender Equal Media Scotland and presented in Pressgazette.co.uk.

The survey was carried out in November and December showing that 18% had lost their job in the past year and another 29% are fearing they could lose their job within the next year.

  • 78% of women with children under 16 who participated in the survey said childcare and home-schooling responsibilities had fallen to them – and 31% said their employers had not been accommodating.
  • Some 11% of the women had to cut back their work hours, some entirely, to fulfil family responsibilities.
  • 79% of the women said juggling childcare and working was difficult but they had no other choice.
  • 56% of the women said they had been given extra responsibilities or workload without compensation, half said their mental health had suffered to their extent their work was affected, and 36% said they had received abuse of some kind while doing their job – many of whom described it as “just the norm” or “par for the course”.

Catriona MacPhee, co-chair of Women in Journalism Scotland, told Press Gazette: “It has been quite heartbreaking to go through the results of this survey and read of the experiences of not just a few, but dozens upon dozens of women, who say they are barely coping. This has undoubtedly been a terrible year for everyone, but it’s clear that women have been disproportionately affected by cuts in the industry and by the regression of equality in the workplace and at home. This has serious implications when media reporting has never been more important.”

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