Women in media & entertainment: searching for respect

The state of the workplace for women in the media and entertainment industry - facts and numbers.

EXPONOMY NEWSLETTER — what media & entertainment executives need to know.

What you’ll find in today’s issue:

1) the state of the workplace for women in the media and entertainment industry - facts and numbers

2) a curated list of media and entertainment-related articles

Thank you for reading!

Women in media & entertainment: searching for respect

Framing Britney Spears,” a new FX documentary, sheds light on Britney Spears’ highly controversial conservatorship and the way she — and other women in the industry — were treated by media at the time. In addition to looking into the controversial #FreeBritney movement, this documentary shows the heartbreaking truth of how women were treated in the entertainment industry, where they are still underrepresented and sometimes — often? — disrespected.

Speaking of disrespect, a McKinsey & Company report suggests that women in media and entertainment experience a more hostile workplace than their male counterparts. This is mostly due to microaggressions (brief, often unintended, actions that can slight or marginalize a coworker —McKinsey & Company). Besides, women in this industry tend to experience microaggressions more often than women in other sectors.

More generally, most women think they’re held by different standards than their peers in the media and entertainment industry. This resonates strongly with Grace, a single mother and music publicist based in Melbourne. In this Audiofemme interview, the publicist states that she would often bring her son backstage during concerts and faced a lot of criticism about it. “I do find there’s a certain demographic – normally middle-aged men – who just don’t respect me if they see me backstage with a child. My client barely even spoke to me when I showed up with my child recently,” says the publicist.

Almost half of the women in our research said they believe that women in the industry are judged by different standards than men. More importantly, they consider these gender-biased appraisals to be one of the biggest challenges to getting equal numbers of women and men in management at their organizations. - McKinsey study

When it comes to integrating more women into the workplace, McKinsey & Company reports that media and entertainment companies are actually doing pretty good, but only when it comes to early tenures. Indeed, the closer you get to the top, the fewer women you’ll find. The study shows that only 27% of C-suite positions in the industry are held by women, and reaching the top level is even harder for women —and men— of color. Gerry Smith enforces this argument in Bloomberg by mentioning many studies urging the industry to promote more women to boards and source them from diverse pools. When we know that women consume entertainment more than men, it seems logical for them to be represented behind-the-scenes and have some type of control over the industry.

Women hold only about one-fourth of the top jobs at media and entertainment companies despite being promoted more often, according to new research that shows the industry falling short on gender equality. - Bloomberg / McKinsey

When it comes to women’s representation on screen, Hollywood has made some progress in the past two years. According to the World Economic Forum, “[in 2019] 40% of the 100 highest-grossing films featured a female protagonist – the largest percentage ever. Women accounted for 37% of major characters, up one percentage point on the previous year.”

Progress still needs to be made, but it seems like the industry is on the right track.


Shattering the glass screen, by Lucas Beard, Jonathan Dunn, Jess Huang, and Alexis Krivkovich - McKinsey & Company report

For Single Moms in the Music Industry, the Battle for Respect is Real - Audiofemme

Britney Spears Documentary Brings Validity to #FreeBritney Movement, While Putting Misogynistic Media on Blast - Variety

Women Are Promoted in Entertainment Industry, But Not to the Top - Bloomberg

Here's how gender stereotypes are plaguing Hollywood films despite progress - World Economic Forum


'When you are teaching art, you're helping people realise who and what they are' - Creative Boom

Smith says that the best art teachers aren't those who "teach" in the traditional sense – telling or dogmatically guiding – but those who give pupils agency: "Don’t tell the student to look at Duchamp…ask instead what it is they want to do. Ask them how they are going to throw pebbles into the pool of culture that will cause ripples.”

"There has to be a transformation in the way we teach art. It needs to be built on ideas of self-expression – that’s the way it is done in the best art education. Make more. Encourage students to manifest the things they feel are important."

Netflix and Disney Plus Are Taking Different Tracks in Asia-Pacific (Report) - Variety

Japan is poised to emerge as the largest market in Asia for Netflix by the end of this year, according to a new study. Rival streaming platform Disney Plus is forecast to see its Asia-Pacific subscriptions double in the current year, and revenue increase by 160%, but its core market in Asia remains low-yielding in India.

Report: 15% of podcasts capture majority of industry revenue - Advanced Television

The podcasting wave continues to grow as consumers spend more time listening to podcasts. More recently, the competition has intensified, with media and tech companies looking to capture consumer time/attention and spending via podcasts. Recent examples include Spotify (multiple) and Amazon (Wondery) seeking access to new content creation and audio capabilities and new technology to support and monetize their podcasting endeavors.

Indie Sales Agents Headed to Berlin With New Strategies for Virtual European Film Market - Variety

“We have to work on the marketing earlier than ever before and work closely with film publicists to ensure that select journalists have watched films prior to the world premiere and get filmmakers involved,” Emily Georges (Memento) says. “The role of publicists has been crucial through the pandemic to get the attention of the media and distributors.”