Some things, unfortunately, do not change
Well, this one’s a bit of a downer: despite all the news of women making progress in the corporate world and the rise of women in leadership positions within the public relations industry, the media that covers all this business remains a field overwhelmingly dominated by men. Ditto for tech and entertainment.
“The Status of Women in the U.S. Media“, the latest study conducted by the Women’s Media Center, didn’t just find that most syndicated columnists happen to be of the male gender. We have more disturbing stats for you!
- Men are quoted three times as often as women as “experts” in front-page New York Times stories
- The percentage of female staffers in newsrooms (~36%) hasn’t changed since 1999
- Only 25% of the guests on Sunday talk shows (Meet the Press, etc.) are women
- Obituaries of men outnumber those of women by nearly 75%
- Women only had 28.4% of the speaking roles in 2012’s top 100 movies
- The highest-paid actress (Angelina Jolie) makes the same total per film as the men who rank lowest on the “movie star” ladder (Denzel Washington and Liam Neeson)
There are many more unfortunate numbers, of course—let’s not even approach the subjects of sports journalism or radio broadcasting or op-ed writers not named Kathleen Parker or Maureen Dowd. The worst part about these findings is that so few of the totals have changed over the past decade and a half.
The most disturbing fact of all: Adam Sandler somehow still makes $5 million more per movie than Jennifer Lawrence.
In short: yes, we’ve made progress, but we still have quite a ways to go. And if you specialize in general media relations, your contact list will remain overwhelmingly white and male for the foreseeable future.