23 NOVEMBER 2015

Our report published today reveals that 80% of newspaper articles on the economy have a male bias, with men quoted or named in greater numbers than women.  Ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review on 25th November, the Fawcett Society is calling on the media to increase the number of women it references and quotes as part of its economic coverage.

The Where are Women’s Voices on the Economy? report presents an analysis of all coverage of the economy over the period of the general election campaign in 2015 in six national newspapers. In each article we counted two things; the number of references to a man or woman and the number of men or women quoted.  The findings of the research were stark. In the 611 articles addressing the economy, which included quotes or references, over 80% were from or to men.

Commenting on the findings, Sam Smethers, Fawcett CEO, said: “Women are being silenced and sidelined on the economy and in 2015 that is just not on.”

“Just as we saw during the period of austerity and more recently with tax credit changes, measures which will be announced in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review will undoubtedly have a significant and potentially disproportionate impact on women’s lives.  So where are women’s voices on the economy?”

“150 years after the Fawcett Society was first founded to advocate for women’s rights, what this research has found is deeply disappointing. Fewer than 1 in 5 articles quote women and men equally or name women more than men. This failure to include female voices means that the debate and agenda continues to be largely shaped by men.

“Today we are challenging journalists to seek out and include more female voices in their economic coverage.  The imminent Comprehensive Spending Review on 25 November is a great opportunity for the media to take a new approach and ensure that women are given a genuine voice in public debate. Editors should make equal inclusion of women’s voices a priority and contact lists need to be reviewed to identify gaps in female experts.”

You can read the full press release here.

Find out more about our ongoing Views Not Shoes campaign.