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EU Employment Committee backs Report by Lynn Boylan MEP on Gender Diversity in Media

23 January, 2018 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has welcomed the resounding support on the European Parliament Employment Committee for her report on gender diversity in the media.  Ms Boylan, a strong advocate for media reform, said:

“This timely report draws attention to the worrying levels of harassment experienced by women working in the media sector. A recent study found that 64.8% of female journalists experienced intimidation, threats, or abuse in relation to their work and over one third of those said that the abuse was carried out by a male boss or co-worker.  My report commends the #MeToo campaign and calls for media organisations to establish structures that assist victims of harassment and facilitates whistleblowers.

“Harassment in the workplace is compounded by the high level of precarious working conditions in the media sector. Women are over represented in these atypical contracts and the precarious nature of their work leads to a greater risk of their exploitation.

“I have also called for greater transparency in pay systems to address the issue of pay inequality which stands stubbornly high at 17%. This, of course, feeds into the pension gap.  

“Transparency is also called for in recruitment and promotion processes. Despite women making up 68% of media and journalism graduates, less than 32% of those are senior staff and only 16% hold high level strategic positions. Women are also less likely to receive workplace funded training than their male colleagues.

“I would hope that both public and private Irish media organisations take on board the recommendations in this report.  RTÉ’s recent report into the pay gap was a missed opportunity, given that many high profile presenters were excluded from the study. Within the private media organisations, we have even less information regarding salaries, not to mention a distinct absence of women’s voices on private radio stations during peak listening hours.” 

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