What hierarchies, structural, and institutional barriers exist that hinder gender equity, especially in the media industry?

In the media industry, specifically in the four main sectors of journalism, film, gaming, and advertising, women are well represented, but female leaders are still a minority. This is mostly due to the hierarchical structure of the media industry, as well as the various structural and institutional barriers to gender equity in the media industry, such as the gender pay gap, gender bias, and gender discrimination.

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In journalism (news media, press, TV, radio and online media) and communications, women outnumber men as media workers, but the number of women that hold leadership positions is significantly lower. Only 27% of executive positions in the media industry are held by women.

In the film industry, there is a large number of female actresses, and a small number of female directors, producers and cinematographers; all face the same problem known as the gender pay gap.

In the gaming industry, there is a low number of female workers and an even lower number of female leaders, while the number of women in executive positions in the advertising sector is significantly lower than the number of male executives.

Women with children tend to work at lower corporate levels than women without children, which is why motherhood is often presented as a structural barrier to gender equity; maternity leave and childcare are sometimes insufficient, unaffordable or even absent is some places.

Thus, structural barriers to gender equality in the media industry come in the form of various practices that favor men and disadvantage women. There is a lack of female leaders in the media industry not because women are unwilling to advance in their careers but because the hierarchical structure of the media industry is often more biased towards men. In journalism, gaming, and advertising, men are often seen as the bigger experts in their respective fields, while female film directors and producers aren't given the same respect and reputation as male directors and producers do.

Many women, for example, believe that it is necessary to be "tougher" and more masculine to succeed as a female leader in the media industry and the workplace in general, which is an unfortunate mindset developed mainly due to the patriarchal systematization. On the other hand, women that display competence and greater levels of confidence, may be perceived as more arrogant and unpleasant, which is due to stereotypes and gender bias.

In fact, gender discrimination and gender bias are some of the main institutional barriers to gender equity and equality in the media industry, which is why media companies are more likely to both hire and promote male workers rather than female workers, and why the number of male leaders is greater than the number of female leaders.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

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