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Australian media industry still ‘not working’ for women: Women in Media report

The majority of women in Australian media remain concerned about gender equality and a lack of industry support, according to the latest Women in Media Industry Insight Report.

Released today, the report highlights a demand for greater transparency about pay and more access to leaders and hands-on learning.

Some 85% of respondents continue to call for gender pay audits, up 1% from last year’s report, to address the media industry’s entrenched higher than average pay gap.

Another 54% of women continue to be either unsure or dissatisfied with the progress of their careers, while 63% call for shadowing programs to provide access to leaders and hands-on learning.

Nearly one-third of women are thinking about leaving their jobs, and majority of senior women are considering changing than keeping their current role.

Strategic advisor for Women in Media, Petra Buchanan, told Mumbrella these numbers highlight a very deep concern about gender equality in Australian media,

“These are numbers that are significant,” she said. “We need to really understand how to help women become more successful and listen to them. Women are being pretty explicit with us in terms of what’s not working and where we can support them.”

Petra Buchanan

Women in media face an industry pay gap of 16%, which is above the Australian average of 13.8% and Buchanan said: “New government regulations are coming where employers must report gender pay gaps for companies of more than 100 employees. And so there’s going to be opportunities for more transparency, which can create more conversations.”

Founding member of Women in Media WA and acting co-chair, Victoria Laurie, said: “Women want to work in environments where they are active contributors, recognised for their achievements and able to progress in their careers. This report shows continued dissatisfaction, especially at the middle stages of women’s careers, which needs to be addressed.

“The data clearly pinpoints where effort can be made to better support women,” she said.

Women in Media has urged employers to address the factors that impede women’s career paths, having identified four key steps – industry commitment to actively address gender equality, pathways to promotion, support from leadership/direct managers, and access to upskilling.

The group is also asking employers to provide increased transparency and engagement with females, to retain them and progress their careers.

This is the report’s second year, and Buchanan said last year’s report saw engagement from a number of organisations who have aimed to step up.

“What we’ve seen, very positively, off the back of last year’s research is organisations that are really stepping into the space and actively holding meetings with their female employees,” she said.

“They’re opening up to have discussions and those are really constructive, positive conversations.

“But clearly, the markers of the research haven’t moved very much so we know more work needs to be done,” she concluded.

Women in Media’s annual national conference is coming to Sydney in September, where more conversations will be had.

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