“The same as many major cultural industries, the gender imbalance in media is significant, and the representation of women and minorities has been perpetually narrow and stereotypical,” said Prof. Shanshan Wang from the Sacred Heart University School of Communication and Media Arts (SCMA).
Some say that production and media have a larger male representation than female, but Wang is proof that women can be successful despite the imbalance.
“To tackle this problematic reality, more and more women should be encouraged and given the opportunity to join the media workforce,” said Wang.
According to Sacred Heart’s website, “Shanshan Wang, MFA, is an award-winning experimental filmmaker and new media artist. Her research-centered practice focuses on exploring digital humanities and socio-political interactions.”
Wang has been exposed to the industry and has observed the gender inequality, and some students entering the industry have also seen it.
Senior Kali D’Agostinis is currently studying Media Arts and recently completed an internship with Z100.
“It’s important to get women in the media industry because women have such powerful capabilities and talents to project through the media and within their work,” said D’Agostinis. “There are countless women across the industry that have significantly changed the way the media is portrayed. As more and more women are becoming a part of the media industry, the more change is happening, and we need that.”
D’Agostinis says that she looks to shows like “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show” and “The Talk” for inspiration.
“Many years ago, it was extremely rare to see a woman reporting the news on television or interviewing an iconic figure for a news segment,” said D’Agostinis. “Nowadays, I feel that it has completely flipped.”
Similar to news and talk show positions, some say the sports media industry is becoming more inclusive as women step into roles traditionally held by men.
“I feel that the media industry is rapidly diversifying,” said Lauryn McNair, Sports Communication and Media Graduate Assistant. “Women are moving up into leadership positions in so many aspects of the media industry.”
McNair is currently working towards her master’s degree in Sports Communication and Media.
“In sports specifically, there could be more women, but again, the number of women entering sports media, especially behind the camera, is multiplying every year, which I think is absolutely great and welcoming as I will be transitioning into the workforce in the next year,” said McNair.
Wang, as a veteran of the industry, has witnessed the breakthrough that women have been able to make firsthand but says there is still more work to be done.
“The issue here is that women in media are largely employed in entry level positions,” said Wang. “The dominating patriarchal leadership culture limits the development of the female career. Film and TV industries should recognize this gender inequality and strategically promote more women to be in leadership roles.”
Carolyn Beddow contributed to this article.