'Glass Ceiling' Still Confronts Most Women Journalists in Newsrooms Around World
The Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media from CIMA on Vimeo
Three-quarters of the top jobs in newsrooms around the world are occupied by men, creating a “glass ceiling” for aspiring women journalists.
That is the finding of the IWMF’s Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media, which was examined by a panel at the Center for International Media Assistance and the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington this week.
“Women confront a glass ceiling in every region except Nordic Europe. In only one-quarter of the nations studied did we see a pattern of relative parity,” the study’s author Howard University Prof. Carolyn M. Byerly told a gathering. “In seven regions studied, men outnumber women by two-to-one in the profession.”
Washington Post Deputy Managing Editor Shirley M. Carswell, a panelist at the event, said the economic downturn has hurt newsroom diversity and training of minorities and women. “It’s still a white man’s world in newsrooms, but women and people of color have changed some coverage.”
Panelist Monica Villamizar, an al-Jazeera Engish reporter, complained that sexual harassment of women journalists is widespread in the Middle East – with many complaints of groping. “The danger is editors will use this as an excuse not to send them,” she said.
IWMF Executive Director Liza Gross told the crowd “the news agenda is determined by the people at the table in newsrooms” so women need to be represented equally. “There must be equity in the newsroom,” she said.
While women in South Africa are “almost at parity with men” in the media, female journalists in France face daunting challenges, Byerly said. “The researcher in France just threw up her hands…she had so much difficult gathering data. In Western Europe women face a great challenge standing up to institutionalized patriarchy.”