‘There’s a critical need for industry-wide, systemic change’: Latest Women in Media report reveals industry dissatisfaction

There is growing dissatisfaction among women working in media, with the majority holding a negative view of the industry’s commitment to gender equality, according to the results from Women in Media’s annual Industry Insight Report.

Released today, the report highlights aims to point out key areas of improvement in media to improve diversity, equality, and inclusion for all women in the industry.

Now in its third year, Women in Media is urging employees to prioritise what women are saying will help them in the workplace.

Petra Buchanan, strategic advisor at Women in Media, told Mumbrella the survey helps make women be heard, with 56% holding a negative view of the industry’s commitment to gender equality.

“They just want to be be in the middle to feel like they have opportunities to grow and to make the best contribution they can,” she said.

“Women are willing to take steps to be more productive in their roles. They want to advance their knowledge and their skills, and we’re making that more known.”

She said there is a “critical and urgent need for industry-wide systemic change”.

Alarmingly, the report found that 57% of women are unsure or explicitly dissatisfied with their career progression – up three percentage points from last year, and over one-third (35%) are considering leaving their jobs – up six percentage points.

There were notable spikes among mid-career women, with 49% of women with 5-10 years experience not progressing as desired. Of the 35% of women contemplating leaving their jobs, the majority were senior and mid-career professionals.

These numbers are driven by concerns of pay and a lack of promotional opportunities.

58% of women are concerned about better pay, up 11 percentage points from last year. While 69% still call for gender pay audits to address the industry’s gender pay gap, it is significantly lower than last year’s 85%.

Petra Buchanan

“It’s still a high statistic,” Buchanan said. “But it’s a representation of what the WGEA is now doing – providing transparency. There’s progress being made.”

58% of women also worry about the availability of senior roles, while 47% are concerned about limited promotional opportunities, and 25% fear being made redundant.

Constructively, the report highlights areas for skills development, with 46% of women prioritising learning about AI, followed by podcasting and digital technology.

“The clear takeaway is that the media industry needs to be more vocal around their commitment to gender equality,” Buchanan told Mumbrella.

“How they communicate that, how they deliver on it, what it looks like in their various workplaces… They need to elevate their communication around gender equity and what it means.”

The organisation is urging media companies to prioritise supporting women’s careers across four key areas: Commitment to gender equality, clear pathways to promotion, access to upskilling, and managerial support.

Buchanan concluded: “These core areas are crucial.”

Women in Media’s annual national conference will be held in Sydney on August 9, with an Oration Dinner honouring Caroline Jones AO set to take place on August 8.


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