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Deep Gender imbalance and inequality in the media must be addressed – Lynn Boylan MEP

18 April, 2018 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan has welcomed the vote on her chapter of a report on gender diversity in the media.  

Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms Boylan said:  

“Gender imbalance in the media remains persistently high in the EU.  Despite women making up the vast majority of media and journalist graduates, only 16% of women are in top management of media organisations. 

“This inevitably leads to a power imbalance that is exacerbated by the precarious nature of media work, leaving women more vulnerable to sexual harassment.

"A recent international report found that two thirds of female media workers have experienced intimidation or abuse and almost 32% of that abuse was perpetrated by a male boss. Media Organisations such need robust internal procedures to assist victims to speak out.

“However, to fundamentally reform the media sector, public and private media need to mainstream gender equality in all of their content and avoid gender stereotypes. There must also be equity in reporting. In 2015, the Global Media Monitoring Project illuminated how men reported on 62% of articles compared to 38% by women.

“My report also highlighted other areas that need work, such as the gender pay and pension gaps that still persist across the EU. In Ireland, a limited review of pay disparity within RTÉ showed a 4% pay gap but this report calls on Governments to introduce pay transparency measures so that the full picture can be seen within public and private media organisations.

“It is also critical to note that women of different ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and those with a disability face additional barriers to equality that must be addressed. Ireland certainly has a long way to go in improving the diversity of those who are represented in our media organisations.  An EU funded report from 2016 scored Ireland in the worst category for the ability of minorities to access media.

“I hope that Irish media organisations take on board the recommendations contained within this report.”

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