As mentioned in the report, journalism is changing, as is the role of women in the workplace, but the two are not always evolving in harmony. Women are better educated and encouraged to achieve more at work – just as journalism intensifies, jobs become tougher, and the economic pressures become greater.
The digital revolution means journalists can work from anywhere, but what is sometimes viewed as the ‘electronic cottage’ may also become the ‘electronic cage’. As news cycles shorten and demands increase for a 24/7 multi-media presence, so the nature of the work has become more challenging.
Meanwhile, women still continue to carry a disproportionate burden in the home (either because society expects it or they want to), which makes things harder to manage if the workplace becomes more demanding.
According to the research, women substantially outnumber men in journalism training and enter the profession in greater numbers; however, the pay gap between men and women still remains wide. Especially older women are finding it hard to retain a place in journalism careers.
What now so often determines whether women are reaching senior posts is whether they have family responsibilities. Roles such as news reporting or senior editor are dependent upon news or output agenda and are difficult for anyone with other responsibilities. The relatively few women who do get these jobs at a higher level have few outside responsibilities.
However, the digital whirlwind in journalism has given women more chances to “make it” in journalism, as they can now find new ways of doing things, branding themselves in new forms, such as blogging.