As the media environment continues to evolve, journalists are engaging with their audience more than ever.
However, a new report has revealed what most female journalists already know – with that engagement comes risk. More than 41 per cent of women journalists are bullied, trolled, stalked and harassed online.
The experiences of women in the media range from mild instances to death threats, stalking and many needing to take extra care to protect their families. Some have been silenced, or changed career. Attacks on women for having an opinion on issues or a public profile, are commonplace.
The report, Exposed: Women journalists and online harassment, is based on a survey of women in the media and also addresses issues such as appointments of ‘mates over merit’ and the declining number of women in senior positions.
Almost half of those surveyed reported they had experienced intimidation, abuse or sexual harassment in the workplace and one in three did not feel confident to speak out about their experiences of discrimination.
The research also found evidence of a gender pay gap of 23.3 per cent in the information, media and telecommunications industry.
Today, on International Women’s Day, female journalists are among those to #PledgeforParity.
Today is a day to celebrate all that women contribute to their families, friends, communities, workplaces and globally. A day to celebrate the achievements of women across all sectors.
And a day when women across the world stand united in a call to action for accelerating gender parity. We need to create a culture where women and men feel equally valued, included and able to contribute based on their skill sets, free of gender-based judgement and discrimination.
And how can we do this? Internationalwomensday.com – a website calling all women and men across the globe to action – makes some recommendations:
We can help girls and women reach their goals, recognise the advantages to having women in leadership positions, show and afford them opportunities and allow them to reach their full potential. We can challenge challenge conscious and unconscious bias and we can call for gender-balanced leadership.
Nicole Ferrie, editor