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Only 24% of top editors are women

Only 24% of the 174 top editors across 240 major online and offline news outlets are women despite that, on average, 40% of journalists in the 12 markets are women. In 2023, this figure was 22% across the same markets, a survey by Reuters Institute shows. Among 33 new top editors appointed this year and last, 24% are women.

In all 12 markets, the majority of top editors are men, including in countries where women outnumber men among working journalists.

The percentage of women in top editorial positions varies from 0% in Japan to 43% in the US.

“There is notable variation in the percentage of online news users in each market who say they get news from one or more major outlets with a woman as the top editor (whether offline or online). This ranges from, at the high end, 76% in Finland to, at the low end, 17% in Mexico and, given the absence of women top editors in our sample, 0% in Japan.”

“Looking across the ten markets where we have collected data for five years, the percentage of women among the top editors has changed from 23% in 2020 to 25% in 2024. A linear projection suggests that, at this pace of change, there could be gender parity in top editorial positions by the year 2074.”

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“But the change is not consistent across our sample – while the percentage of women in top editorial positions has increased relative to 2020 in six countries, it is the same in Mexico (6%) and Japan (0%), and it has decreased in Germany (from 27% to 25%) and South Africa (47% to 29%).”

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