The crucial significance of gender balance in the news media is very important. Women are under-represented in the news media all across the world. Women are oftentimes prevented from expanding their professional networks and overall career paths due to social and cultural restrictions. For instance, women don’t have the same access to mentors as men have. Their commitments to their children and often their need to take care of elderly parents prevent them from having the same amount of time or flexibility to pursue their careers.
In this long-male-dominated sector, women are still facing significant difficulties. Some of the difficulties include: income disparity, lack of job advancement, and harassment in person and online. In India, while some good things are happening, women only hold 13 percent of senior leadership roles in Indian media and entertainment companies. In 2021, woman held 10 percent of these positions.
What can be done about this? It will take many years until there is gender parity in the Indian media and entertainment industry. But if you are in this industry today, please pay attention to how you talk to your coworkers. Please offer positive suggestions and resources to aid women who are trying to move up in the industry. Also, make every effort to advance women once you are in a position of authority. While many newsrooms strive for greater gender balance, much more needs to be done.
The culture of newsrooms has to change to be more welcoming to women and other minorities. For instance, the bulk of employees in most media organizations are men. Recognising this, female editors can choose to take the initiative to build a more welcoming workplace that can motivate others to improve their approach towards women in media and journalism. Ageism and discrimination against mothers in newsrooms are rampant. It’s critical to acknowledge that these issues create unfair burdens for women.
Another important element for the promotion of gender equality in media is identifying local champions to help build critical networks and support systems. The advice of local experts and mentors becomes key to tackling local media’s issues—discrimination, unconscious prejudice or sexual harassment—and to developing sensitivity and deep knowledge. Well-placed women in the industry can add a personal and accessible touch through mentorship by drawing on their own struggles for gender equality in media.
Standing up in the face of hostile surroundings and unfair treatment can be difficult and intimidating. Women may be punished for trying to gain power. However, women in positions of power have a responsibility to speak out for their peers, especially other women, and urge people to view them favorably. Speak out if a male boss says something hurtful or disparaging about a woman. Don’t assume that just because you’re among the “in-crowd” that you can’t push back. When you’re higher up in the hierarchy, it becomes your duty to do so.
Anousha Singi is a high school student in Mumbai, India. She is part of the Center on Business and Poverty’s young authors program.
- Women hold only 13% of senior roles in Indian media and entertainment industry: report | Mint (livemint.com) The ‘O Womaniya!’ study, was conducted by media consulting firm Ormax Media and Film Companion with the support of Prime Video