It’s no secret that there are few women in Davos. The corporate and political worlds are notoriously male-dominated, so it’s no surprise that, despite the World Economic Forum’s efforts to improve diversity via gender quotas, this year only 18% of participants will be women—one point up from 2015, and nowhere close to an equal representation.
Along with the politicians, scientists, economists and social entrepreneurs, the Forum invites so-called ”media leaders”, that is the senior leadership and editors of media organizations, as well as the “reporting press”, the grunt journalists who will be doing the day-to-day reporting at Davos.
Out of the 2500-plus official participants to the five-day annual event, there are 248 media leaders flying into the snowy Swiss mountain resort, accompanied by another 236 reporting press.
Most of them are, unsurprisingly, men too.
Of the accredited reporters at Davos, 39% are women; of the “media leaders”—the senior editorial staff—the figure is 25%, a number that seems to confirm that women are more underrepresented as we climb up the editorial ranks. Outside of Davos, findings from the Global Media Monitoring Project released last November suggest that just about 37% of reporters across newspapers, TV and radio are female worldwide. And out of their stories, only a small percentage focus on economic and governmental issues—major topics at an international event like the WEF.
Despite remaining a minority across print and radio, women do make up 57% of all TV presenters. Worst represented in political and governance coverage (31%), the areas where women are most involved are science and health, at roughly 50%.
The press numbers recorded at Davos reflect well the current state of the media industry, highlighting its persistent gender imbalance and the slow rate of progress achieved towards a more inclusive and diverse media ruling class.
*Editor’s note (Jan 19): “Media leaders” do not include owners of media organizations, as previously stated.