A new report by the Australian advocacy organisation Women in Media has shown entrenched and ongoing issues within the media industry, with one-third of women surveyed wanting to leave their roles because of a lack of opportunities.
The Women in Media Industry Insight Report 2023 surveyed 263 respondents from their membership across print, digital, radio, social media, PR and other sectors on their views on the industry’s action on gender inequality. Incredibly, 53% viewed the Australian media industry’s commitment to gender equality as somewhat or very weak.
With a gender pay gap of 16% (based on weekly earnings), the sector is worse than the national average of 13.8%. New federal legislation passed this year means that from 2024, organisations with 100 or more employees must publish their own gaps, with hopes that this will go some way towards addressing the so-far persistent issue.
The key findings of the report showed the majority of women (85%) want gender pay audits to be introduced, with 63% wanting programs to provide hands-on learning and mentorship opportunities.
Incredibly, over half of women surveyed (54%) were unsure or explicitly dissatisfied with their career progression, with a lack of opportunities noted as a key obstacle.
Sub-standard pay, limited training and development, and disengagement with their roles were noted as some of the key reasons for wanting to leave or leaving a job in Australian media.
These figures dovetail with the findings of Luba Kassova’s landmark report, The Missing Perspectives of Women in News, with the consistent lack of diversity in leadership and bylines across media organisations only serving to perpetuate long-standing silence on women’s issues and coverage of gender inequality.
Building on these findings, Women in Media have called for greater progress on training, support, development and pathways for women in Australian media.