November 20, 2023, 14:37

Media companies mostly owned by men, every fifth regional media outlet has no women executives – survey results and necessary solutions

Today, many women work in the newsrooms of Ukrainian media. However, in 38% of cases, men are the ultimate beneficiaries of media companies, while women own 25% of news outlets. In addition, some regional newsrooms have no women representation among the positions involving strategic planning.

Such are the results of the survey “Gender balance in decision-making of Ukrainian media companies,” which was presented at BrainHub, country’s main discussion platform, at Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform.

According to Liza Kuzmenko, Head of Women in Media NGO, there are no women in management positions in 17 regional news outlets out of 168 Ukrainian media companies whose representatives took part in the survey. Effectively this means one in five regional media, out of those, whose representatives participated in the survey.

According to her, the survey uncovered a trend that if more than two people hold a leadership position in a company, the risk of gender imbalance potentially increases – the more positions there are in a media company, the greater the chance is that women will be less represented in leadership positions.

Some respondents pointed out that the media has very low revenues, which are related, among other things, to the decline of the advertising market due to the full-scale invasion and war. This is the reason why the newsrooms mainly consist of women, as men simply refuse to work for small fees.

More than a third of respondents indicated that there is no formalized equality policy in their companies, mainly 34% of those surveyed said so. And in those organizations that had equality policies, the least common policy was female leadership. At the same time, despite the existence of such policies, during the year the newsroom staff did not undergo any training on issues of gender equality, tolerance, non-discrimination, etc.

According to Liza Kuzmenko, most media are interested in gender equality policy. However, she noted that this policy was not implemented as the media outlets did not have enough resources and time to actually do it.

The Head of Women in Media NGO noted that the results of the survey suggest that there is a lack of systemic measures at the state level that would help the media to invite more women to decision-making positions. In her opinion, this could be tax benefits or the creation of special funds to support media content.

In addition, she emphasized that it is important that national indicators of gender equality be implemented in the media.

According to Liza Kuzmenko, it is essential not to forget about the education of media professionals, because, according to her, there is currently no course on gender equality for media majors. That’s why it is important to organize such a course starting from the first year of study.

“At the same time, the survey is important for media reform, we have a new media law, it is very regulatory, and here it is important to give the media an opportunity to self-regulate and adopt such codes of conduct themselves and promote gender equality, the expansion of gender equality in the media,” she concluded.

You can learn more about the survey at:

BrainHub is the country’s main discussion platform created by Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. It brings together experts from the state and civil society sectors. BrainHub hosts intellectual discussions around the issues of the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. It’s the birthplace of the best ideas that will become the foundation for the road map of Ukraine’s reconstruction in all sectors: economy, infrastructure, education, agriculture, security, digital, etc.

Read more: