Red­top boys’ club is alive and well

The Observer - - BUSINESS -

While Of­com opens a new front in its bat­tle to bring diver­sity to the BBC, mon­i­tor­ing class back­grounds and re­gional ac­cents, poor old Fleet Street is still grind­ing away at the bal­ances be­tween male and fe­male staff.

Lat­est in­tel­li­gence from a new Women in Me­dia sur­vey last week: if you’re a fe­male re­porter want­ing a front page by­line, join the Guardian (where 43% of by­lines over a mon­i­tored two months were women’s) or the Tele­graph (35%) or the FT (35%). Steer well clear of the Mir­ror (10%), the Sun (15%) and Ge­orge Os­borne’s Evening Stan­dard (15%).

As for the bal­ance be­tween men and women in 17 des­ig­nated ex­ec­u­tive posts, there’s an un­der­ly­ing cur­rent that seems to help ex­plain those front­page re­sults. The Guardian has 67% of women in se­nior roles, the FT a per­fect 50-50% gen­der split. But down red­top al­ley, the Sun boasts a mere 13% of se­nior women and the Mir­ror 20%.

No more pat lec­tures to the BBC, per­haps. Aun­tie’s 48% of women on the staff looks a tol­er­a­ble out­come, un­til you men­tion pay.

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