The coronavirus pandemic became official in March 2020 and has held us in its clutches ever since. Beyond the health crisis, the social, economic, and political impacts of the pandemic have provided many twists and turns, and recovery could take years.
The media industry was hit particularly hard as the decline in ad revenues led to a tidal wave of layoffs and furloughs – a huge blow to an industry that already lost nearly half of its employees from 2008 to 2018.
The 2008 record of 14,265 newsroom job cuts was blown out of the water in 2020, which saw 16,160 job cuts across broadcast, print, and digital media. That's a nearly 200% increase compared to 2019, according to a study from the global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The study reported 30,711 layoffs across the entire media sector, which includes film/TV production and advertising. To put it simply, layoffs in the media industry over the course of the crisis are staggering.
Across all sectors, women represent the single most job loss of any group in 2020. American women have lost over 5 million jobs since February 2020, making up 55% of the overall net job loss during the pandemic. And women of color have seen higher unemployment rates than white women.
How Can You Help?
The most important support system for women is other women. There’s nothing more uplifting than lifting up your own. Sian Beilock, president of Barnard College and a cognitive scientist, has advice for how women can overcome hurdles as they head back to work.
Tap into your network, virtually
In a recent interview with USA Today, Beilock said that networking remains an important way to find a job or new career — and it may be easier to connect now that socializing is done almost entirely online. She suggests setting goals, like reaching out to one person a week. "What you'll find is that those conversations are enjoyable...and lead to ideas and opportunities that you wouldn't have imagined.''
"I would urge women who are looking to reenter the workforce to really flex those connections and know that there are new platforms,'' Beilock says.
Remember what you bring to the table
Women tend to have their own internal biases to overcome before exploring their options. In other words, they need to get out of their own way. Identify what makes you ideal for any position you’re pursuing, and then go for it!
"We have this tendency for that voice in our head to be so disparaging,'' Beilock says. "And certainly if you are part of a group that has been stereotyped, that narrative can be really loud in your head. And so the question is, how do you change it? How do you think about why you should be at the table?''
To celebrate Women's History Month and International Women's Day, we recently provided a few other ways to #ChooseToChallenge the representation of women in media and support and empower women in the workplace.
Career Resources for Women in the Media
Where are women in the media to turn to for help when they start looking for a new position? Here are a few great sites and newsletters we recommend:
1. Poynter | The Cohort
This is Poynter's newsletter for "women kicking ass in digital media and journalism." Recent posts have covered how to overcome empathy exhaustion, what makes a strong application, and FAQs about layoffs.
*Bonus: Poynter also has a media jobs board.*
2. Journalism Jobs and a Photo of My Dog
Mandy Hofmockel's newsletter is one of our favorite media industry newsletters. The weekly email organizes job posts by location and includes industry reads, remote job listings, internships, and freelance opportunities. Plus, there are photos of Hofmockel’s adorable pup, Maggie, so what's not to like?
3. International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF)
The IWMF "provides safety training, byline opportunities, and emergency support tailored to female journalists and photographers around the world." Available resources include webinars, research, fellowships, and more.
This community and job board is developed specifically for millennial women. Employers are vetted and required to be supportive of women. They must also describe how they support women and diversity on their profiles and within their job posts. The site also provides free educational resources to women and minorities.
5. Journalist's Toolbox
This comprehensive list of career resources for journalists is one to save. In addition to links to job boards, the page includes links to tools and recent job-related articles.
6. Women's Leadership Blogs
A recent edition of Blog Profiles lists seven blogs you need to bookmark. These job resources for women offer advice on how to switch careers, get a promotion, confront a coworker or manager, or even quit a job that isn’t right for you.
7. Cision Jobs Board
Whether you are looking for the best journalism, editorial, or PR positions, we can help you find that perfect match. Recent listings include Assistant Editorial Features Editor (Dow Jones), Assignment Editor (Newsweek), and Audience Interaction Producer (Wall Street Journal).
For women, their position in the workplace has taken a serious detour. The road to regaining that position will take extra time and plenty of effort. With the right mindsets and support systems, women will be back in the workforce as if they never left.