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Sexist bias. Women still being shut out of media: report

The media industry has always been a difficult place for women to climb into the senior ranks, but according to a new report by the The Women’s Media Center, the gender gap shows no signs of closing. 

Here are some key findings from the report, which shows the gender inbalance in the media based on 2011 figures:  

  • Women represented 21.7  per cent of guests on Sunday morning news talk shows airing on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and Fox News.
  • Women comprised only 18.1 per cent of all radio news directors.
  • The “Heavy Hundred” the “most important radio talk show hosts in America” selected by the editors of Talkers magazine with input from industry leaders, included only 13 solo women hosts and three women who co-host shows with men.
  • In sports news, women represented 11.4 per cent of all editors, 10 per cent of all columnists, and 7 per cent of all reporters.
  • Of the top 250 grossing films in the U.S., women were 5 per cent of the directors, 14 per cent of the writers, 18 per cent of the executive producers, 25 per cent of the producers, 20 per cent of the editors, and 4 per cent of the cinematographers.
  • In the key behind-the-scenes role in entertainment television, women were 18 per cent of the creators, 22 per cent of the executive producers, 37 per cent of the producers, 15 per cent of the writers, 11 per cent of the directors, 20 per cent of the editors, and four per cent of the directors of photography.

Women’s Media Center co-founders Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem called the report as a wake-up call for media makers and media consumers.

“The sad fact is, gender inequality is so deeply ingrained in our culture, most people don’t realize there’s a problem," said Fonda. "No major issue can be approached effectively without including the needs, views, and talents of the other half of the population.”

Steinem added that “when women’s voices and stories are largely missing from the media – thus silencing over half the country and half the world’s population – everyone suffers from missing crucial stories, facts and solutions."

Click here for the full report.

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