The Reuters Institute factsheet has analysed the gender breakdown of top editors in a strategic sample of 240 major online and offline news outlets in 12 different markets across five continents and found that there are fewer women in editorial leadership roles.

Women and leadership in the news media 2023:

  • Only 22% of the 180 top editors across the 240 brands covered are women, despite the fact that, on average, 40% of journalists in the 12 markets are women.
  • Among the 38 new top editors appointed across the brands covered, 26% are women.
  • In all 12 markets, the majority of top editors are men, including in countries where women outnumber men among working journalists.
  • The percentage of women in top editorial positions varies significantly from market to market.
  • In 11 out of 12 markets, there are lower percentages of women in top editorial roles than women working as journalists.
  • Many countries that score well on the United Nations Gender Inequality Index (UN GII) have relatively few women among the top editors.
  • The percentage of women top editors has decreased over the years, for example in South Africa, in 2020, 47% of women were in top editorial positions and in 2021, it was 60% however in 2023, only 20% of women occupy editorial positions and in Kenya in 2021, 27% of women were in top editorial positions while in 2023, only 13% of women are in editorial positions.

To read the full factsheet, click here.

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