Media intelligence company Isentia has shed light on lingering gender bias in media and how PR and communications professionals can help make a difference.
Isentia insights director ANZ Ngaire Crawford is at the forefront of delivering research and valuable insights into the state of gender bias using media as the lens. Below are the key highlights that have come from research and analysis by the Isentia Insights team:
- Female athletes face inherent bias in media coverage. They are more likely to be positioned as a partner, or spouse, or mother, and are less likely to be the authority on their own performance
- Complex issues that affect women, including domestic violence, struggle to maintain media attention on education and support when incidents and scandal can drive news
- The lack of women in corporate leadership roles impacts how media report on the behaviours and skills that define great leadership
- As leaders, women are more likely to be positioned as “puppets” of male dominated boards or chairmen
- Women are less likely to be used as expert sources in media coverage across most sectors
“While we’ve come a long way and such findings are gradually changing for the better, the more evidence there is about inclusive representation in the media, the sooner we will make gender bias a thing of the past. It’s time for communicators to consider gender representation as a metric of success. We now have the opportunity to use data and analysis to hold ourselves accountable. PR and comms teams should make it their new mandate to drive and celebrate change,” said Crawford.
“Representation is so important. Where, in what context, and how often we see women in the media, help shape our expectations. When exploring what success looks like for an organisation, diversity, inclusion and representation should be part of that conversation. There is such a great opportunity to advocate for, and drive change – it’s so important to put that opportunity to good use by leveraging data and insightful analysis for greater good,” she added.
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