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Gender gap greater in the media than the U.S. workforce as a whole

I’m excited and honored to be a panelist today at the NewsCertified Exchange “Influencing the Headlines: Empowering Women in the Media” workshop in Chicago with former CNN correspondent Rusty Dornin (a VP at NewsCertified Exchange); Emmy Award-winning Lynn Sherr, former ABC News correspondent; best-selling author Sharon Lechter; Sarah Evans, owner of Sevans Strategy and #journchat founder; and Janan Hanna, a former reporter for The Chicago Tribune, currently an instructor at Medill.

In honor of the workshop, I took a look at the gender breakout by media type of influencers in the United States in Cision’s media database. The results are interesting:

According to the United States Department of Labor “women comprised 46.8 percent of the total U.S. labor force” in 2009. Compare that to the 39% of women in the media and we find a media workforce that skews towards the male gender… particularly in radio and industry research firms.

Add those facts to the ones found on the NewsCertified Exchange workshop site (quoted below) and it’s no wonder men get more media attention:

“Although women now comprise roughly half of American workers and earn nearly 60% of university degrees,1 only 24% of the people heard or read about in print, radio and television news are female.2

To bring it full circle in our own public relations industry, according to an article last month in OC Metro, “Nearly 85 percent of P.R. professionals in the U.S. are women, according to the Public Relations Society of America.”

About Heidi Sullivan

One of PRWeek’s 40 under 40 in 2012, Heidi Sullivan is Senior Vice President of Digital Content for Cision and a self-proclaimed social media metrics nerd. She leads the company’s digital and broadcast content teams, the global research team for Cision’s media database, Cision’s social media community team and the company’s content marketing strategy. You can find her on Twitter @hksully.

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