SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST Global
With a series of company-wide initiatives, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) is making a concerted effort to boost women’s readership and increase the visibility of women across all of its products. The development and implementation of the initiatives were put in motion following the SCMP’s 2018 Hackathon, which highlighted the gap between men and women readership, the disparity between women and men sources in stories and the difficulties in finding expert women sources in various fields. Building on the findings from the project, the SCMP launched a campaign asking readers, partners, and external contacts to nominate women experts via an online form promoted via direct outreach, social media and newsletters.
To date, the SCMP has received nominations for women with expertise as diverse as nanotechnology, economic empowerment, retail, cloud accounting, gender equality and healthcare. The nominated experts are verified by an internal team and made available to the entire newsroom in a searchable database. With regards to tracking gender balance, the SCMP has taken advice from the BBC’s 50:50 project and uses some of the same metrics and guidelines.
Collaborating with other news organisations provided the SCMP with invaluable advice and helped them avoid some of the problems others faced. “I was inspired by the response we got when we reached out to other organisations who are so willing to share their experiences,” says Laura Warne, the SCMP’s digital editor.
“Everyone can do better in this area. It isn’t about competition. It’s about improving the media landscape around the world.”
Bloomberg is pursuing the same goal and implemented a company-wide mandate in 2018 to increase the representation of women sources in both online and on-air content. The 2,700 journalists and analysts working for the editorial division in 120 countries were asked to get to know the women experts in their beats to help establish a database the entire organisation can draw on. It now features more than 2,300 names, up from 500 at the start of 2018. At the same time, Bloomberg is trying to increase the number of women who are media trained and approved to speak to the media by their employers via its New Voices initiative. As part of this, Bloomberg offers and funds media and communications training for senior women and other diverse executives from leading financial firms.
In 2019, the company is sponsoring training for 12 women executives in each of the programme’s locations: New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Dubai, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Sydney.
RINGIER GROUP Switzerland
The Ringier Group launched its EqualVoice initiative in November 2019 setting an important precedent within the Group. At its core is the EqualVoice Factor – a measurement tool which provides data on the proportion of women and men in articles across Ringier’s media titles.
The initiative, however, is more than simply measurement and tracking. The initiative includes plans to launch a series of events, a special magazine and online channels (across all titles) on equality. A group-wide list of female experts is also currently being developed and a nationwide call for a photo challenge is being launched to depict the reality of women and men in the world of work and to equip image databases with these images.
The EqualVoice initiative is chaired by publisher Michael Ringier and CEO Marc Walder, and supported by members of the Ringier Group Executive Board and a dedicated Advisory Board.