Women in Media want gender pay audits

By AdNews | 15 August 2022
Credit: Anastase Maragos via Unsplash

A majority of women rate the media industry’s commitment to gender equality as weak, according to the inaugural Women in Media Industry Insight Report released today.

Women in Media is calling on employers to implement gender pay audits in their organisations, an increase in follow-the-leader shadowing programs to upskill future bosses as well as on-going training in digital skills. 

The 2022 survey collected responses from 280 members of the organisation from all over Australia.

The not for profit organisation says the impact of gender equality in the media industry has broader implications for Australian business.

“If our industry – which reports regularly on issues such as gender equality – cannot step up, we can hardly criticise other sectors for the same discrimination,” said Victoria Laurie, Women in Media Patron and National Board member.

Key findings of the report:

  • more than one in two women rate the media industry’s commitment to gender equality as “somewhat weak/very weak”;
  • 84% of respondents call for their organisations to implement gender pay audits to address wage gaps;
  • 41% want follow-the-leader “shadowing programs” to provide women with more access to leaders and hands-on learning;
  • 38% believe support from leaders and managers is crucial to create pathways to promotion; and
  • 40% urge “micro-learning” to build digital skills in line with changing consumer habits. 

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“The majority of graduates starting out their careers in the media are women, yet their numbers drop off dramatically as their careers progress and by the time they reach senior ranks, men vastly outnumber women. According to the Women in Media Industry Insight Report 2022 the problem lies in an inherent lack of transparency and commitment to gender
equality in the industry,” said Laurie.

“The Report is a litmus test of fairness in an industry that society would expect is prioritising gender equality – however the majority of our members say pay is an issue, and career advancement is problematic. Our members feel overwhelmingly dissatisfied with their current career prospects.”

Women in Media believes there are four overarching factors that act as barriers for women over the course of their careers:
1. Industry commitment to address gender equality and pay transparency
2. Pathways to promotion
3. Support from leadership/direct managers
4. Access to upskilling

Women in Media encourages industry employers to more actively embrace gender issues to retain the talent in their ranks.

"Research has shown for some time that companies with gender balanced workplaces have higher profitability, better decision-making processes, and stronger value propositions. We look forward to continued discussion on the issues raised in the Report and how we all can better support women working in media."

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