Journalism and gender (in)equality
Gender inequality has different impacts depending on which social setting we choose to analyse through our "purple glasses." Let's talk about women in the media: in which areas do we have more representation? Entertainment and Culture? What about Politics and Sports? How many trans women or "travestis" have you seen working as primetime news presenters?
According to a report published by the Forum for Argentine Journalism (FOPEA), in 2018, inequality of opportunity and benefits based on gender identity was consistently brought up by over 400 female journalists interviewed.
Following this line, 78% of all interviewees stated that the majority of their bosses (and the members of the boards of directors) were male. On the topic of glass ceilings, 53% of them declared that when positions were made available, their bosses preferred to recommend other men for the promotion. This is a social phenomenon: the negative data matches the results of a survey conducted by Glue Consulting in 2016 which affirmed that barely 4% of all businesses in Argentina were led by women.
"Equality in the media, equality at the Konex Awards, equality everywhere: it's time to democratize our workplace."
-Statement by Periodistas Argentinas
Regarding career development, over half of the women interviewed mentioned the difficulty of combining work and family responsibilities as an obstacle to their growth. Additionally, 61% of them stated that they had to keep more than one job to be financially independent due to the low wages paid in this sector. Although 86% of them completed training courses in the last three years, only 12% were managed by the company for which they work.
Jumping onto a more symbolic level, when asked about colleagues they found inspiring, only 16% chose to name a female renowned journalist. Another interesting point following this line is that almost 60% of them acknowledged that their workplaces had not developed any initiatives for the promotion of gender diversity.
Women in the media see their demands fall into the hands of companies which follow internal operation models that are lagging behind both their expectations and the international regulations developed to build gender equality on a social level.
Last year, two legislative bills were promoted to achieve gender parity in the media. The collective for Argentine female journalists Periodistas Argentinas, created in 2018, was a huge driving force to organize the communicators' demands calling for better working conditions and gender equity.