80% of radio presenters are male, still a gender pay gap: Industry Study

A study by university researchers has found that a large gender pay gap still exists in the professional radio industry, and that far more presenters are male than female.

Griffith University’s Dr Heather Anderson, one of the study’s authors, focussed on the radio industry statistics. She has told radioinfo:

“I don’t think the statistics are particularly surprising, for those of us who have worked in and around the Australian radio sectors.

“The next step in our research is to identify best practice initiatives that enable equal representation, not just for women but other under-represented groups working in the creative and cultural industries”

The study, titled The devil is in the level’: understanding inequality in Australia’s Film, TV and Radio industries, found that there is a 21.8% gender pay gap in these industries, and that 80% of radio presenters are male.

Other statistics in the study include that women aged over 45 are most absent from on-air breakfast radio roles and that 9.8% of male journalists earn more than $144K, compared to just 1.2% of females.

On the programming side of the radio business, a very low proportion of women are employed in content production jobs.

Women do, however, outnumber men in radio newsrooms.

Similar patterns are found world wide, according to the study, which uses census date from the period 2011-2016.

This paper highlights the intersections of gender, age and income within the CCI occupational codes that comprise what can be broadly described as radio and screen industries.

We argue that the ‘devil is in the level’, and that – in Australia as elsewhere – what may seem to be an appropriate, equal or somewhat representative level of employment may be occurring predominantly at lower levels of seniority, lower incomes and with higher precarity.

This is significant as not taking these into account can give a false perception of equality in the presence of stark power differences; clearly, all jobs are not equally valued, secure, creatively empowered and/or accorded high status.

Across all the radio and screen job categories, the only roles where women outnumbered men were: Radio Journalist, Artistic Director, and Media Professionals ‘Not Further Defined’ (NFD).

Employment in Film, TV and Radio 2011 and 2016 by Gender.

Main Photo: Shutterstock.

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