Making a deliberate effort to create more inclusive and diverse products makes business sense. After all, women make up 50% of the world’s population. If a certain societal group cannot relate to the content you produce, be it because they feel underrepresented or because the topics you cover don’t resonate with them, chances are they will not choose to consume it. That reality means that many news organisations are ramping up efforts to tap into women audiences and engage them more effectively. The BBC’s R&D team conducted research among women in the UK aged 28 to 45 and found that they have a strong appetite for stories that have direct relevance to their lives, and value practical information. The research also suggested that local news becomes increasingly important when women have children. At the South China Morning Post, audience research revealed that topics such as diplomacy, regional news and society, which covers a broad range of social affairs, including education, issues of equality, and cultural trends, were of particular interest to women audiences. (See Champions tapping into women audiences).
Others have already found evidence which points to the ways in which increasing the visibility of women in content can have a positive business impact. Norwegian media company Amedia found that newspapers with more stories containing women sources had higher readership among women. At the Financial Times, a newsletter aimed at women achieved higher open rates on average than the publication’s other newsletters. Bloomberg found that featuring more perspectives from women in its reporting gives it an edge over competitors. (See Champions tapping into women audiences with engaging content).