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Women in Media report: pay concerns, lack of career progress lead to job dissatisfaction

More than one-third of women working in media are contemplating leaving their jobs, according to a new report.

Career dissatisfaction has reached a three-year high for professional women in media, according to a new report.

The Women in Media Industry Insight Report 2024 reveals a growing dissatisfaction among women in the media industry, driven by concerns about pay and a lack of promotional opportunities.

It found a majority of women (57%) are unsure or explicitly dissatisfied with their career progress, and more than one-third are contemplating leaving their jobs.

“Increased levels of anxiety and dissatisfaction are alarmingly evident in this year’s Women in Media Industry Insight Report 2024,” said strategic advisor Petra Buchanan (pictured).

“Career aspirations are being overshadowed by concerns about pay inequity and a lack of advancement opportunities.”

She added, “The financial pressure, being felt across various sectors of the economy currently, is starkly reflected in these findings, with inadequate remuneration topping the list of grievances. Increasingly, senior and mid-career women are considering quiting their jobs driven by worry about the availability of senior roles and increased fear of redundancy. The report highlights recommenda2ons for employers to address inequalities women face in the media industry.”

What is your assessment of the media industry commitment to gender equality?

If you are thinking about leaving your current role in the next 12 months,
are you seeking a new position outside of the media industry?

Why isn’t your career progressing at the rate you would like?

 

Key findings:

  • Career Progress Concerns: 57% (▲3%) of women are dissatisfied or unsure with their career progress, with notable spikes among early and mid-career women:

    • 49% (▲11%) of women with 5-10 years of experience said they are not progressing as desired.

    • 47% (▲23%) of early-career women are dissatisfied.

    • Over one-third attribute their dissatisfaction to a lack of opportunities.

  • Intent to Leave: 35% (▲6%) of women are considering quitting their jobs, particularly senior and mid-career professionals.

  • Perception of Gender Equality: 56% (▲3%) hold a negative view of the media industry’s commitment to gender equality.

  • Pay Concerns: 58% (▲11%) are concerned about better pay.

Desire for better pay outpaced other motivations both as reasons to stay (▲8%) and leave (▲3%) current roles. This disconnect suggests that, for some, salaries are not meeting their current expectations or their cost of living, making higher pay more of an urgent/short-term necessity than a future/ long-term aspiration.

  • Promotion and Redundancy Fears: 58% (▲15%) worry about the availability of senior roles, while 47% (▲9%) are concerned about limited promotional opportunities and 25% (▲10%) fear being made redundant.

  • Support and Resources: 27% believe being engaged or challenged in a positive way is crucial to their career progress, however 48% (▲2%) are concerned about the impact of budget cuts and a lack of resources.

  • Call for Gender Pay Audits: 69% of respondents advocate for gender pay audits to address the media industry’s gender pay gap.

  • Skill Development Needs: 46% prioritise learning artificial intelligence, followed by podcasting and digital technology. Two-thirds of the women surveyed are positive about using AI, primarily for research and content creation.

Recommendations:

Women in Media urges media employers to prioritise the following to support women’s career advancement:

Commitment to Gender Equality: Enhance transparency and commitment to gender equality in the workplace, including pay.

Clear Pathways to Promotion: Define and communicate career opportunities to aid women’s progression.

Access to Upskilling: Focus on providing training in AI, podcasting, and digital technology.

Managerial Support: Foster an environment where women feel engaged and positively challenged.

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