The missing perspectives of women of colour in news
12:30PM Dec 7, 2022
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another conversation at the Reuters Institute of journalism. Very glad to have all of you joining in. This is a special one. It's also an issue that's quite close to my heart and I think it will probably resonate with each and every female journalist across the world and more importantly for female audiences. Well, what we're looking at today and we're really going deep into the conversation is what's happening in newsrooms? Why is there such a wide gap in terms of gender diversity? It's not an issue that hasn't been addressed before. But it is clear that disparities and inequities still exist, what's happening with the female audience? Why are we not catering more to what they need and what they would like to hear and most importantly, what's happening with the crucial issue of leadership? Why is it that women get filtered out when we're looking at key roles of responsibility, editorial or otherwise within newsrooms? I am delighted to present this report today and I think they will be so much to talk about so let me get straight to it in terms of introductions to the authors of the report. May I introduce first Luca Kosova, who is the main author of this report. She is also the author of reports for runners and she's been looking at this issue for a while. The Missing perspectives of women in news was the first report She followed that up with a COVID focused report on what was happening with women across newsrooms, and she is of course director and co founder of the international audience strategy consultancy, aka is welcome Luba and welcome as well to Richard Addy, who is of course director and co founder at the same organization. He is the primary lead for the quantitative research that this report has revealed. And he has interestingly, and I think, fairly importantly, addressed the issue of the economics of this. Why does this make business sense for newsrooms, both in terms of what they do with female employees, and of course, what they do their female audience. Welcome to both of you and to our audience that's joined in and of course, a very special welcome as always, to our Reuters fellows who have also joined him for this conversation and I imagine would have a wealth of perspective to add from all the countries and regions that we represent. lowball. I thought we may start very briefly by just setting some context before you walk our audience through the takeaways of your report. You know, there's there's sort of multiple issues that you have tried to address over here. You're looking at what's happening with gender diversity, you're looking with what we can do in terms of inclusion, and this is across regions like South Africa, the USA, the UK, and really the issue of persistently low visibility. Why don't you quickly you know, sort of give us a broad overview of what you found at this point when you came back to revisit the topic.
Thank you, Metallian. I'm so excited to be here speaking with you. Thank you for the opportunity to share the findings. So, as you said, this is the third in a series of reports of the missing perspectives or boards, which is called from outraged opportunity. And the most important thing is in the way to solutions that we're offering in this report compared to the previous do what we we zoned in on two very critical challenges that that hadn't been unlocked in terms of progress for for decades. The first one is, as you said, the blogging representation of women in US leadership, but also very importantly, their exclusion, cultural exclusion, even when they're part of the team of the leadership team. So we wanted to understand why, why they're excluded and what can be done to unlock progress. And the second objective, then barrier that we explored very deeply is why there is such a persistence of invisibility of women in news coverage of contributors, features whether and mostly as protagonists, and very importantly, what can be done a game to unlock progress. This time around, we looked at leadership by exploring the highest profile beat in US politics, economics, business, foreign affairs, and we also looked at health in the context of its high profile during the pandemic. And we also expanded the lens to look at women of color in South Africa, UK and US which are three of the countries we looked at, but we also looked at India, Nigeria, and Kenya. And that's revealed enormous new insights for us. So I will go through the key finding, but if I had to summarize, very top line, just to address a question, what we found is that there is a very high persistence of marginalization of women, particularly in high beads. There is a there are differences by countries and we'll go into that women of color suffering extraordinary level of marginalization, both in terms of representation, but also exclusion, and that is a big take out. As the author of the previous two reports, I had no idea how Hall does some women have it than other women. So it's really important to look at women intersectionally rather than rather than as a homogenous group, and this is a learning for me as an author as much as for anyone else. And finally, on the hope side, there is enormous creativity within us leadership and newsrooms, and there's so many solutions available to us. And I was particularly excited to to follow the analysis that Richard did that uncovered there's such enormous opportunity as a revenue opportunity for attracting if new newsrooms and news coverage attracted more women. So there is more. There was more a lot on the outreach side that we found but also so much on hope and opportunity.
Well, I'm so glad to hear that because I think that's the most important point of conversations that we have right? What is the impact we can make over here to really create positive change or change towards the betterment of the issue we're talking about and I think on on the point Luba of women of color facing this kind of exclusion, it's probably a lived experience for any female journalist of color who's logging into listen today. Richard, it is a trite cliche, but it's true. It's the economy, stupid, right? Just like women contribute to the GDP and need to be integrated into the workforce. You had some pretty clear findings in terms of the economic sense of bringing more women both within organizational decision making platforms as also a female audience.
You're on mute. That's right. The really important dimension before I talk about the business case, however, is that we found quite a bit of research showing that it's important not to lead with the business case, because many members of staff and potentially some audiences will see as this a cynical ploy to get your, your kind of ad dollars. So for for sustainability in organizations, it's quite important that organizations do the kind of work that needs to be done. across the whole value chain. And then as a result of doing that, they start to reduce what we call the gender consumption gap. And I'll go into that in more detail. But we were quite shocked by the disparity in consumption of news between women and men. globally. And it's an extraordinary opportunity to slowly but surely, in a deliberate way, close that gap. And when that when we close that gap globally, there's an 11 billion pound cumulative revenue opportunity in the next five years and 38 $38 million, I should say, revenue opportunity in the next 10 years.
Excellent. Can't wait to hear that. And I might argue back that given the situation for newsrooms, they should be listening very hard when someone is making a business case for including more by way of audience. So here's the flow of events, I will hand over to Luba who will walk you through the key takeaways of her report. She hands the baton over to Richard where we talk about the business case for this. And then of course, lots and lots of questions so we can really get our teeth into this discussion. lobar let me hand over to you.
Thank you. So much. Mitali let me share my screen with everyone and right Oh, my screen has frozen I'm so sorry. I will stop and start again. But whilst whilst I'm doing that I just want to walk you through the through the presentation. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to zone in on the findings from the regarding new leadership, and then I'll move on to coverage then women audiences dilutions before handing over to Richards so I will try to resolve my connection issue very quickly. Apologies for that. Of course, when we tried it, it worked really beautifully before but it never does.
Law don't worry about it at all.
So the way we've structured the solutions in the report and generally we will look through the news value chain. So looking at the new sector, news organization resources, including leadership and new leaders, the news room, a neutral gathering news coverage and new consumption. I already shared with you what the key challenges we aim to resolve are so I'm not going to repeat that. However, one thing I think will be of interest to this audience is that there are multiple methodologies that we use to research the the challenges and the opportunity, opportunities amongst them in depth interviews, 41 interviews with editors from all over the world. That's something new that we hadn't done previously. We'll look for example 168 News initiatives with gender dimension. We analyzed 45 Diversity reports 1600 66 News rolls, editorial roll, the 16 180 online news brands and not 100 million stories. So it's very, very robust. So moving forwards with women in youth leadership. So what are the key findings? Firstly, we found that women are underrepresented in most senior editorial roles in highest profile data, statistically, politics, foreign affairs and economics. This here, here in yellow, you'll see the proportion of women and in green, the proportion of men health is the only beats that we looked at where their gender parity has been reached in five of the countries and in Nigeria, it's almost at parity 45 cents. Politics is is the bead that represented least well where women are most underrepresented. But before moving forward, I should say that South Africa has the most equal representation in the most senior editorial roles, and that's aided by their very progressive constitution. However, we'll get to the point where we talk about inclusion. And this is far from being the case in terms of inclusion of women in new leadership when we talk about South Africa. As I mentioned, women, most senior editors are mostly underrepresented. In politics. However, there is a real variation amongst different countries. We can see here that in Kenya, and in regional news in India, there are no women at all and high position in political beats. In Nigeria, the proportion is five men to one woman in the UK for men to one woman in the US two men to one woman and in India nationally. national news media is two to one as well. Here is a quote from a senior Mel editor who explained the gender bias in politics. It's very well. Some of our best political writers have been women, but for some reason, very few of them went up to become political editors. Maybe when it comes to promotion, the men get those jobs. As I mentioned, for the first time, we looked at women of color in the three multiracial society, South Africa, the US and UK. And what we found that women are significantly underrepresented in a senior editorial role compared to their proportion in the working population. For example, in South Africa, 46% of the working population are women of color, but only 25%. In most senior roles are women of color. In the US, it's 21% versus 8%. And in the UK, 8% versus 1%. There is so much inherent implicit and explicit bias against people of color in this business. It never ends. This is a reflection very poignant reflection by senior new leaders from the global know about the racial bias. We found shockingly that in the UK, no women of color occupy most senior editorial roles in politics, foreign affairs. Or health. And in the US, women are underrepresented in politics and foreign affairs. And senior editors are by a factor of seven and five compared to the working population. But even when women are in power, when they are very senior leaders, they often find that they're not included. They don't they're not listened to the mic is not given to them as readily as it's given to men. So I asked the editors that I interviewed what were the key barriers to inclusion barriers and the top three that came back were first representation, the fact that there are often fewer women impedes on their inclusion, but also the persistent cultural stereotypes around assigning death. Place placing often or assigning softer desks to women such as health education, social affairs versus harder news, which is politics, economics, and foreign affairs. And it is from those hard news that that usually editors in chief are recruited, and women are less likely to make it into those roles. And these cultural stereotypes have persisted for decades and they're still very much apparent today. Finally, the third factor is power and authority gender gap that women feel they they have to deal with in new leadership. Women of Color in editorial roles face a whole set of other battery of barriers. On top that stem from their race on top of the gender barrier barriers that I just described. When asked called the key barriers they are for women of color progressing in two new leadership roles besides the obvious one which was related to their race based exclusion, there is a sense of that there is evidence that systematically sidelined and also their careers souls because there is a lack of support for their growth within leadership and within organizations. Here is a quote the sounds the problem. Women of Color consistently discouraged from applying for leadership roles. So where the work could be, but we're not supposed to be a leader. This is from a senior female news leader from the Global North. So to summarize the problem that women of color face, it's a quadruple bind, really. Firstly, they experience all the gender barriers that they stem from the gender but on top of that, there is the back there, they're overlaid the barriers stemming from their race, or ethnicity. And on top of that, they're often expected to resolve the problem of their own on the representation by being thrusted in the initiatives, whether they want to or not be involved in them. And they're also very often the pillar the crucial support for those above below and then their colleagues. So as a result of that women of color are more in leadership, and more likely to burn out and ultimately to leave organization. At higher rate than other groups. Moving on to the key insights in terms of women in news coverage. So firstly, there is bad news that the missing perspectives of news report found that there was very marginal interest in covering gender equality issues, which was on the under percent when we did the previous report. And now we've found that that interest has shrunk further post COVID. The news organizations are really losing interest in gender equality. Issues, despite the structural barriers that women say are becoming more significant post pandemic. We also looked at understanding to what extent the share of a voice of women is marginalized compared to man's and we found that that still is very much the case in each of the six countries and globally. But it's particularly acute in India, Nigeria, where men are six times in India and five times in Nigeria more likely to feature in the news than women. And this is significantly worse than the global average ratio of three to one.
The, through the research that we've done to take CAS we've identified their seven structural gap that puts women at a disadvantage to men. Then they are the pay the health, the power, confidence, safety, authority and ages and gap. So we went to and we wanted to understand to what extent these gaps are covered in news coverage. So we analyzed 900 million stories from G dal, a database, and we found that essentially, news coverage of the seven gap is largely absent only one in 5000 stories makes a reference to one of these seven gaps, which is much smaller than one in 200 stories that contain gender equality related term, which already is very low. So what I did during the interviews, I asked editors, which of those gaps they felt should be covered most urgently, and the only gap that commanded majority of their votes was the pay gap. And there was some very interesting differences between South and North when it came to some of the other gaps. For example, 27% of the editors suggested that it's important to prioritize the confident covering the confidence gap, and all of them were from the Global South, whereas vast majority of those that prioritize the authority gap also 27% Were actually from the global No, ageism gap is completely under the radar of everyone. And that it's really interesting to point that this priority of the gaps actually mapped out when you look at the coverage of these gaps. It is the same priority, as you see here, which came from the interview. And that goes to show how important the lived experience of editors is in terms of the stories that they ended up connecting. I just want to take you through one gap the health gap to to to illustrate how many stories are actually missing from the coverage. So first of all, in the majority of measured countries, there is a health ranking gap in favor of men. So health ranking of women is lower than that of men. In fact, in 90 out of 156 countries, including the UK, US, Nigeria, and Kenya. And if you look at the UK, for example, there is enormous amount of coverage. of day to day crisis the National Health Service faces in the UK. However, there were rarely there's rarely focus on gender differences in health issues between men and women. For example, did you know that the UK has the 12 out of 156 country's largest health ranking gap globally. Also, women are twice twice as likely to die as men in the 30 days following a heart attack due to Mr. tribution of their of their symptoms to the physical symptoms to psychological issues are in fact dismissal of their symptoms altogether. There is a serious racial bias in healthcare that leads to worse care and poor health outcomes for ethnic minority populations, especially for women. However, not a single person of color is the health editor, the news in the UK. So these stories are myths. They're missed on the basis that gender is not a length and they may miss on the basis of race and ethnicity not being aligned within for edited very quickly in based on your own very data. Reuters Institute data. We looked at women audiences from the perspective of trying to understand the gap in interests between men and women in different news, John, and what we found was fascinating that out of the 16 genres 11 Jones are actually favored more by women than men. But the fun shows where men are significantly more interested than women are those that are edited heavily by men in editorial roles. This is international news, political, business news, science, tech and sports. So, I will focus now on the solution before I hand over to Richard, who is also obviously talking about a very significant solution. The power to make this happen is firmly in our hands that lowers the length of flow from Bloomberg who wrote the foreword to the to the report. We have organized the 12 solutions around each element. Of the news value chain that I alluded to the beginning of this presentation. And it's really important to highlight that there is no silver bullet often organizations decide that, for example, they're frequently they just hire women, women are more minority people from minority from ethnic minority groups, and they think that's job done. However, all the research that we've seen shows that that's not enough. There needs to be intervention that is part of the news value chain for change to happen, even if it's changing it by a little bit. So for example, in US leadership, we have bathroom solutions that focus on improving representation of women in youth leadership, and another battery that particularly aimed to help the representation of women of color. Also battery solutions, helping to improve inclusion of women in new leadership, and those that would specifically help women of color. In terms of, for example, news coverage, there are battery of interventions that aim to help improve the representation of women as contributors or that that ensure that storytelling is relevant to women, or in fact that their portrayal is improved because the portrayal of women is very much stuck in stereotypes in US sales. Here are examples of tactical solutions for improving representation, and inclusion of women in leadership. They're amongst my favorite so conducting gender audit, which usually exposed that there is a lot more of skew towards men. That then editors or journalists thought there would be identifying barriers, inclusion barriers, but actually rolling out surveys that measure sense of belonging, measuring diversity inclusion intersectionally because only then will it become apparent what the barriers are for women of color. And currently they are intersectionally invisible within a new organization, a developing talent retention program targeting mid managers because it is at that point where there is most likely attrition and support being offered by representatives of the majority group who should offer to support initiatives aimed at people of color rather than relying on them to resolve their own problem. And here are some tactical solutions that aim to make coverage more equitable, and I'm happy to go into any of them in more detail in the q&a. But some of the great ideas that came back from from the conversations with editors is introducing interesting storytelling 360 degree editing that looks at the problem from the perspective of different communities, appointing newsroom inclusion champions that fought the expansion of perspectives at the grassroots level, launching gender or race deaths concurrently with a flying gender and race lens, horizontally across a be increasing coverage of the seventh gender structural gap. Measuring how women are portrayed, and also targeting women audiences that with stories that don't alienate men looking for those stories. So before handing over to Richard, I just want to say that very frequently during the interviews, editors raised the issue they wanted to know what's the opportunity that women would bring to the business and here is the quote, the news model is broken in so many ways, and inclusion is one of the ways to survive. And this is why Richard went out on a quest to understand the business case for diversity for gender diversity in response to that demand. Over to you Richard.
Thank you very much, leave it. So the first step and what we did on the next on the next slide, is understand what the landscape of research was currently. And we found just over 200 pieces of research, which specifically looked at the gender equity business case. So the articles and papers and what we found in those was that half of them didn't actually have a sense of what the what the variable that was changing was I wasn't you're changing a CEO, was it you're changing your content, so it's very hard to understand what was driving the impact less than half of them even though there were business case, specifically talked about financial benefits. We found no, very few actually, that referenced the news industry, but no study provided a comprehensive quantitative approach. across the whole value chain. And then we also looked at diversity reports from from organizations and in particular for the UK news media. There were 90% of those diversity report reports made no reference to revenues, profits or costs. So they were actually almost separated from the business imperative. So that led us to have a strong base for the next slide, which is to really understand the news industry space. So we took four well known forecasts, two of them from one ephra, who produce a Wonderful World Press Trends report every year. PwC is media entertainment work and two other proprietary surveys, averaged them out and then projected what the industry would look like in terms of the next 10 years and specifically, we're looking at the Global newspaper industry, because the data available there is much more of a robust compared to other other platforms. And the sad news is that should the trends continue. In fact, the trends are slightly softened, that the news global newspaper revenues will be a quarter less than they are now. So in 2022, the projection is that about 90 million by 2030 to 69 million. Next slide please. One of the things we really wanted to understand was the gender consumption gap. So we needed to look at the online gender consumption gap in the offline with the online we used some work as a software tool called SimilarWeb, which enabled us to understand the difference between men and women's consumption in terms of their monthly visits to websites. And this is where we looked at 1680 online news brands globally. We found that online gender consumption gaps up 22% But it ranged from 29% and twin in India 25% gap, percentage point gap in Nigeria, and as much lower seven percentage point gap in South Africa. We then apply that more generally. Next slide please. Once you once we took account of the smaller gender consumption gap for newsprint, we had a full gap of 15 to 16% which we saw will be continuing if no action was taken between 2022 and 2032. However, we recognize that the industry can't be responsible or can't address some structural gaps that are very hard for any news organization or any organization in general to bridge so we took a structural element of the gender consumption gap using work from the World Economic Forum to find and what we call an addressable gap, the news of between 11 and 12%. And in the next slide we show you this is the picture you saw before of the decline over the next 10 years. And then if we overlay the cumulative revenue opportunities from a very, from a very conservative case, where there's just a 1% close every year in the gender consumption gap, you'll see those yellow blobs there. That's the additional cumulative gap. Next slide. Please. And then the cumulus statements which I mentioned to you before the next five years, $11 billion next 10 years $38 billion. And this is simply by this slowly moving from one from from closing the gap by 1%. The year from from taking the actions that Luba talked about earlier. And then we broke it down in next slide by each country. I won't go through all the numbers, but this is some highlights here. USA have a 10 years cumulative consumption cumulative revenue opportunity of nine and a half billion dollars, India $2 billion UK won at nearly one and a half billion dollars over the next 10 years. And Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, all significant. New money is being pulled through. Next slide, please. And then over to you labor.
Thank you and just to finish off, I want to highlight that we we interviewed and built nine case studies of trailblazing organizations that are actually making a difference and improving sometimes in more than one element of the value chain from all over the world. So the New York Times means Bloomberg African women in media capillaria nation Media Group, the full of project, Guardian and a media so please do check them out in your own time. And finally, here is the URL to the landing page that has a lot of resources including an implementation guide for organizations that would like to actually give it a go and start making changes. So have a look at that. We are happy also to provide any of the slides or the inside of the whole presentation. So over to you metalli.
Excellent, thank you very much for that. And there's so much to discuss Luba but I imagine there will be many questions from participants. But let me start by also sort of just setting the borders of you know, what you were studying for people to understand this better? A the fact that you were working only with English news, newsrooms and an audience. And the second were you looking at any particular end of the industry or did you have an equal break up between television news rooms, digital, you know, print only?
I think this question is best answered by Richard but what I can say is that for the editorial exercise that we did, looking at news, news leadership from a top news leadership, actually we didn't just work with English speaking way. In India, for example, we looked at many regional news providers and fats for the for the insights, they're mostly based on online news industry. They're derived from from correct me if I'm wrong, Richard, but they're mostly from the analysis of digital news consumption.
Yeah, so in terms of the business case, as I mentioned, the business case was solely focused on the revenues generated by the global newspapers space, in terms of the 1166 editorial roles, and 354 News brands. That was across the whole that was any news brand so it could be television, it could be radio, it could be online. And then in terms of what did the other piece of Oh, yes, in terms of the coverage. What we were using was the online news from GE dealt but obviously obviously, even if you go to legacy news provider, his broadcast that they will all have an online presence. So in that sense, we are covering all those brands.
Okay, great to hear back. I'm smiling because as I speak, I can see so many of the female journalists in in our conference room raise their hands and say I have a question. I have a question. And so the male journalists, so I'm going to, you know, wind down anything that I want to say and dive right in there. Edie, I think is our first fellow who has a question. Go ahead, Evie. Hi. Oh,
thank you for your talk. It's very interesting. Actually, we have a talk with our Ukrainian reporter here a few days ago and she actually mentioned the Ukraine right now she feels like there are way more female journalists active than the male journalists. I'm just wondering, in your research, or maybe not this one or in your reading of other literature. Are there any scenarios where or kind of society or mentor you tend to see more female journalists working in what are those situations?
Yeah. Great. So Richard, shall I take this funnel? Yes. Okay. So this is a great question. Thank you so much. Oh, I just have, I want to say so much. But if we look at Ukraine, actually, we did some research recently based in April, just after the war started, which in fact show that as you say, there are a lot of most of June. In fact, there is gender parity in Ukraine in terms of journalists, however, when it comes to the share of voice of women, a news about the war, the actual proportion was 18% for Ukraine, which was lower than 23%, which was the proportion the global proportion of news stories that the global proportion of women featured in news stories about the war. So even though women there are many journalists, when it comes to using contributors, they perpetuate the biases that everyone falls into is to give more prominence to to men than women, despite the fact that for example, 37% of the of the army in Ukraine is comprised by women. And so we would like to see higher proportion of them in coverage, but that wasn't the case, then in the report that I also want to highlight very quickly, because I'm sure there are the questions. There is a really interesting analysis as well, in my view that I've done a Bulgarian news and I'm Bulgarian so I understand the language and I consume the news and Bulgaria is a real outlier. The best performing country out of 123 countries in the world in terms of proportion of women, in reporters and also proportion of women use this protagonist in the news, so it's doing really well on them gender media. Gender Equality media index that has just been launched in 2020. However, when you look at portrayal of how women are portrayed in the news, they're portrayed mainly in traditional roles, often derogatory language is used to them. They are described in terms of their appearance, and overly sexualized. Metaphors are used for women. So there is a real difference and, and an even representation doesn't mean there is actually equality or equity in perspective, the respect and so on and so forth. And the problem that isn't being resolved look by news or anyone is other social norm. This is what we need to be measuring what are the social norms in the country that will determine how what voices women get and how much they're seen as experts versus case studies or witnesses and stories are in fact just VoxBox
Okay, let's move to leader next who has a question.
And I think it's one of those that not enough is being done to get a discrimination and as a result, I can give an example like Previous research has shown that most meditation backgrounds so do you think alike enough?
Oh, thank you so much for this question. So the quick answer is No, nothing's been done because ageism is not on the radar of editors or decision makers in organization. And what we found and there is a whole chapter on ageism, which I recommend that you look at, but one of the things we find consistent ly in youth is that women are penalized for their age, disproportionately to men, for example, 21% of reports globally. About women this is from gsmnp data. Sorry, news reports are explicit about the age of the women contributors versus 11% of men. So the age is the is the focus and undue focus in coverage. And also what we found through the research is that the pay gap increases between men and women as women age. So that's also another very unfavorable thing as you just said, they are being replaced by women are valued more for their appearance on screen and men for their expertise. Therefore, when women age, even though they have high expertise, they tend to be displaced. Whereas men remain in jobs. McCauley, you're on mute
and it's only 2022 regime is up next with a question I think you're on mute as well regime we can't hear you. Hi.
I'm originally from the fitness center so much for your presentation. I found that very curious because in the local consciousness in my home country, our live the most visible editors are actually perfect when it comes to politics when it comes to being average. But I was speaking with a sports journalist from my own country, and she had a lot of complaints over her presentation of lemonade, in fact, and that does show sometimes the use of terms like levy bells have been offered to women in sport so I was wondering if you guys took a look at that. And in detail are typically first question. The second question is in geeks where the culture is prone to be. There's a bit of a brutal culture or it can be a bit of a sausage press. What could you what measures could be taken to kind
of make so I think I understood the first parts about have we looked at both B but Metalia Would you mind summarizing because it's very bad.
Summarize that helps in apart from sports, other industry beats like technology or finance, where it tends to be very masculine. Have you did you have any similar findings or other findings as with the sports beat and the tendency for a lack of under-representation?
So Richard, perhaps we can both take this on because you can build on your knowledge, but what I can say is that we focus on food, the business economics, on politics, foreign affairs, and that's not only in the US and UK and then help B but what we have been enriched Richard, you're much better place to answer is that the under representation of women will be persistent in sports and technology, beats and certainly that impacts coverage. But Richard, I wondered whether you wanted to think
yes thankfully. But so for the second report, the second series in that report, which was the missing perspective of women in news, we actually had a very extensive discussion or actually Luber produced a very extensive discussion using data from ICFJ. They did a Global Report, and they showed the extent to which Women Journalists, the percentage of women journalists in each particular role and sport was amongst one of the worst performers technology also a bad performer. And just to be clear, that was all journalists. Whereas the work we've Leber's focused on in this particular report has been at the leadership level editorial. And so we're very happy to share with you the past research which actually goes quite in depth into a whole wide range of genres.
I am conscious of time, so I'm going to move quickly to our next question. Tanmoy has a question.
Oh, yeah. Hi, thank you. Um, I'm wondering about the really astronomical revenue gains that you are predicting if the gender gap in US consumption were to be breached. And I'm thinking where is this money going to come from? Because print circulation is in secular decline, advertisers are washing their hands off the medium, and there is mixed evidence of whether advertisers value women audiences more because in beats like lifestyle, for instance, advertising tends to be more expensive sometimes. So I'm wondering where this additional revenue gain is gonna come from.
Thank you. So that was for me, I think. So there is an absolute shift from ad revenues, to an ad and circulation revenues to direct subscriptions, etc. From audiences. And one of the really profound things that we found both in the business case but also a really important case study from an organization, a news organization, based in Norway called a media. They showed conclusively that if if there was a relation if there was a higher number of the women, writers led to a much higher level of women protagonist in content, which lead to a much higher level of the proportion of women who are subscribers at the content, which obviously leads to higher revenue. And so there are two things here going on. One is that you're making the content much more much more relevant to women. Who, who there is no reason why there should be this 11 to 12% gap in consumption. We've taken away the structural reasons around time and discrimination. This is just around the being a consumption gap, especially when you're seeing that after 16 genres that roids you and your colleagues looked at a level of them women had a higher level of interest, so profoundly in marketing terms and in market terms. There is an unmet need here. There's an unmet need that should the product be much more relevant to women than there are much more likely to engage in that product, either subscribe, or come to that come to that product and if they come to it in terms of eyeballs, then that is, by definition, increased advertising revenues. And remember, we haven't done a dramatic case, it's actually quite a conservative case, which is just a 1% increase in closing the gap each year. If you made that a half percent increase, you're still bringing additional revenues to an industry that is dying on its feet because it's not taking the innovative and audience lead approach that's needed.
Okay, who's up next?
It's me. Hi, I'm Vanessa from Austria. Thanks for being with us. This afternoon. I want to go back to that slide with working B versus leadership so that women or people of color work a lot but never get through the management floor more or less. So in politics or companies, they have maybe a quota system if that's the word we use for that. Would that be any solution or should we just so my question is, should you just wait till things are changing or would that make sense or is this the wrong signal? I don't know.
Thank you so much. Great question. So what we found and we've actually seen the report is that when we look to the power gap, is that in the proportion of women in parliament, around the world, has increased by 0.6 10 to 26.1%. of all members of parliament, and this small incremental increase is entirely attributable to countries which have introduced a quota system. And in fact, in countries where there is the there are quotas, 32% of members of Parliament's are women, and in countries where there hasn't been and there were elections only 20% were women. So it makes quite a difference. Also, in some real life case study we could we could look at South Africa because they essentially operate from a quarter system, due to their very progressive constitution. And in terms of representation that they're doing really well. The problem they face is inclusion and portrayal of women and obviously patriarchal values that really prevail. But in terms of increasing representation there there is real evidence that quotas work, but I think journalists are very averse to them. Because the the argument is, well, the mayor it has to be on merit. There is a lot of resistance to them is my understanding, but they are showing to work elsewhere.
I think we have just enough time for one more question that Ashima I believe it's you.
Can I pop one little comment in about South Africa. I think it is really worth noting that the quota system did work in South Africa, but it also worked in a peculiar way in where companies were required to hire for diversity. And those who were perhaps still stuck in some apartheid thinking were very quick to hire white woman. So there's a huge employment of white woman in South Africa and it makes it look like oh, wow, they fixed the gender problem, but actually it's just racism in disguise. So that I just wanted to pop that in.
And actually such a great point and Richard do much better place to evidence is that what we found is that it's extremely hard to see data for South Africa cops intersectionally it's, it's just lacking the backs up your points. Yes.
And I can add anecdotally we have heard from many women of color from South African concerns about how they just don't see themselves represented in any leadership position with Cheema.
Hi, I'm to share my from the US. Thank you for your report on bridging the gender gap. I'm curious if you think the findings that you came up with can be used in gender diverse communities like trans and non binary journalists. And if the answer is yes, if so, how? And my second question is, do you have any future plans to conduct a report like this for gender diverse communities?
Richard, do you want to take this?
Yeah, absolutely. So we first thing around the kind of funding we got funding for a very specific area and therefore diverse communities for wider Deaf communities that we weren't able to look for in an ideal world. We would love to be able to look at a wider range of audiences because the intersectionality discussion is needs to be much richer and much fuller. But there's obviously resource implications about what could be done in the time available. Broadly speaking, we would argue very strongly that the findings are very applicable to two different groups, because the fundamental thing we're asking organizations to do at the get go, is to do an audit of where you stand now. To make individuals and communities visible, both inside your organization and outside your organization. And often in particular groups are just not measured, just not talked about just not included. So that first step of getting the organization socialized into understanding their gaps will be incredibly important, and we think is is widely needed. The little that we did do when we looked at wider groups and trans organizing, we didn't find enough research there. So it's a really enormous space that needs much more work.
Guys completely out of time, I'm afraid. But thank you so much. It's been a fascinating conversation for those interested in logged in as Luba and Richard pointed out, they've pointed you to where the resources are, I think speaking for journalists from across diverse communities one can only say that everyone has a story about how they were excluded from a newsroom, or excluded from a decision or a conversation. And that makes it even more important to bring this kind of data found out and center for news organizations to look it in the face and say what are you specifically doing to address this, but thank you both for your time. Thank you for sharing the takeaways. Congratulations on another report, and I hope it's one of many more to come.