Women in Canada’s news industry still face glass ceiling: Study

Senior management, production, technical areas male-dominated

Canadian women journalists hit the glass ceiling in senior management despite making gains that reach or exceed parity at most other levels, according to a new International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) global report.

The Canadian portion of the survey — led by Mary Lynn Young, director of the University of British Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism in Vancouver and Alison Beale, director of Simon Fraser University’s School of Communication in Burnaby, B.C. — found women are under-represented in key roles in media governance and senior management.

Women accounted for nearly 40 per cent of top-level management and one quarter (26 per cent) of governance roles. They were also likely to be underpaid when they reached senior management with men making significantly more money.

“These results are disappointing but not surprising,” said Young. “The good news is that women are making significant progress at most of the other levels.”

Women overall have hit parity with men in terms of numbers up to the glass ceiling. For example, 55 per cent of executive editors, bureau chiefs and news directors in Canada are women, 50 per cent of middle managers and 54.8 per cent of the producers, writers and directors, found the study.

Areas that still need attention in Canada are the production and technical arenas, which were “strongly male-dominated.”

The Canadian part of the study examined women in news at 11 companies and media institutions in 2009. It was part of a two-year international study on the status of women in news, providing data on approximately 14,000 employees, including 7,538 men and 6,262 women in Canada.

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