Women in media call for gender audits as industry pay gap exceeds national average

With a gender pay gap above the national average, 84% of women in the Australian media industry are calling for their organisations to implement gender pay audits, a Women in Media study has found.

The not-for-profit’s inaugural ‘Women in Media Industry Insight Report’ surveyed female professionals in journalism, communications, production sector, public relations, publishing and digital media, pinpointing the issues crucial to women in the media sector. 

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Among those surveyed, over half of women are either unsure or explicitly dissatisfied with the progress of their careers, and think that the industry’s commitment to gender equality is somewhat or very weak. 

With increasing workload and lack of resources, female media professionals stress the importance of support from learning programs or their leaders.

41% want follow-the-leader “shadowing programs” to provide women with more access to leaders and hands-on learning, and 38% believe support from leaders and managers is crucial to creating pathways to promotion.

Adapting to changing consumer habits is also a priority, as 40% urge “micro-learning” to build digital skills for this purpose. 

Among causes of leaving, the participants identified the reasons to be remuneration (27%), lack of opportunities (24%) or leadership (13%). This corresponds to the top reasons women stay in a company, which are opportunities for growth/development (28%), better pay (21%) and being appreciated (11%).

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The organisation has identified four overall factors prohibiting women from progressing in their careers: industry commitment to address gender equality and pay transparency, pathways to promotion, support from leadership/direct managers and access to upskilling.

Women in Media national board member Anita Jacoby AM says the survey highlights the opportunity for the industry to step up.

Anita Jacoby AM

“Media organisations need to take the voices of women on board, making equality a priority. Failure to do so ultimately hurts women and their families and isn’t good for business.

“A majority of journalism graduates are women. But only a handful are found in senior media leadership roles. Our members have identified solutions to help media organisations retain female talent and support them to thrive in their careers.”


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