Why Are Women Still So Under-Represented In The Media?

19 February 2014 by

Angelina is the top earning female actress... and still earns less than her male counterparts (Getty Images)

 Massive pay gaps and fewer speaking roles on screen than men… welcome to Hollywood 2014.

The latest Women In Media report, published this week, makes for depressing reading. Not least because the glaring pay divide that so many of us experience – on average earning 15% less than men for the same job – is also alive and kicking on the big screen.

Angelina Jolie is the top earning actress, getting $33 million for her starring role in Maleficent. In comparison, Robert Downey Junior is the highest paid movie star, earning $75 million for Iron Man.

And that’s not all… in 2012, women had fewer speaking roles in movies than in any year since 2007. Meanwhile of the top-grossing films of 2013, only 16% of the writers, directors and producers were – you guessed it – women.

“The media is failing women across the board,” said Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center, which publishes the report annually. “The numbers tell a clear story for the need for change on every media platform.” The Center is a non-profit organization founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem, and the report focuses on media converage in the US.

Other inequalities include women only being quoted in 19% of news articles, and making up just 36.3% of newsroom staff and only 6% of the top 100 films in 2012 hired a balanced cast of women and men.


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