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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

One in three media women are thinking about quitting

Women in media are calling for better pay and career progress as a survey shows one in three are considering quitting their jobs in the industry.

Australia's media landscape is facing a tremendous loss as one in three women in the industry contemplate quitting their jobs.

More than half of women in the media game are either unsure about or dissatisfied with their career progress.

Almost one in three are thinking about leaving their roles in the next 12 months, the Women in Media group's Industry Insights Report shows.

The sector has reached a critical moment with mid-career women particularly inclined to quit, Women in Media strategic adviser Petra Buchanan said.

Almost half of women who have been in the media for between five and 10 years are weighing up whether to leave their roles in the next year.

The loss to the country's media landscape would be tremendous if the industry did not urgently change and women walked out, Ms Buchanan said.

"Women are 50 per cent of the population and we need to ensure that their voices are bringing both stories forward (and) a perspective that's inclusive and representative of the Australian population," she told AAP.

"That departure would be a real loss to society, more broadly."

Women surveyed for the report flagged lacking opportunities, pay and engagement as the main factors driving them to quit.

Australian women across all industries make on average $255.30 a week less than men, which is the equivalent of a 13.5 per cent pay gap, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The weekly earnings gap rises to 16 per cent for women in the information, media and communications industry.

Gender pay audits are rare, yet 85 per cent of women in media want them to address the entrenched pay disparity, Ms Buchanan said. 

More than 60 per cent of women in the industry want shadowing programs, an increase of about 20 per cent compared with last year.

If the industry failed to address its issues, there would be fewer women in top jobs leading gender inequality to persist for future generations, Ms Buchanan suggested.

"If we have people in the middle stages of their career leaving, they're the ones that are not going to be progressing," she said.

"All we're going to be doing is filling the bottom up more and having people leave in the middle.

"We know that many studies around the world show that having women in senior leadership positions makes for better-run organisations that are more inclusive and ensure equity at various levels."

More than half of women rate the media industry's commitment to gender equality as weak or very weak, and more than 10 per cent point to bias and discrimination as the reason behind their careers stagnating.

Women cited limited access to training and development and a lack of both managerial support and opportunities as the top reasons why their careers had not progressed.

Women in Media called on the industry to commit to actively addressing gender equality, improve pathways to promotion and support for women, and increase women's access to upskilling opportunities.

More than 260 women were surveyed for the report by Women in Media, which will hold its annual national conference in Sydney in September.


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