Examining The Gender Gap


What is the gap between women and men in broadcast media with respect to gender diversity? Attendees of the FCC’s Communications Equity and Diversity Council Media Ownership Diversity Symposium received fresh insight and intelligence on the subject as Maria Brennan, President/CEO of The WICT Network, virtually presented findings of the “Par Study on Diversity and Inclusion.”

A total of 18 companies participated, representing 7 operators, 7 programmers and 4 technology suppliers.

Doesn’t sound like a lot? Brennan shared that 69% of the industry workforce was covered by the survey. An 80% rate of return was seen.

The big takeaway from The WICT Network’s Par Study?

Of those surveys, women in the industry increased by 5% despite the pandemic, compared to 2019, going to 38% from 33%. “This is not only surprising but it’s particularly heartening because of things like the ‘Great Resignation’,” Brennan said.

That said, she added, “we’re still not at the critical mass where we’d like to be. That number should be closer to 50%.”

Women of color made up 23% of the overall workforce, a six-percent jump from the 2019 survey. “That’s also positive news, but we won’t celebrate until we get to parity,” Brennan said. “For us parity is the key to equity.”

Meanwhile, there was a 15 percentage-point increase in the number of female hires in 2021 compared to 2019.

This, Brennan said, helps resolve the “leaky budget” syndrome.


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