Gender

Boxed In 2016-17: Women On Screen and Behind the Scenes in Television

For the last 20 years, Boxed In has tracked women’s representation in prime-time television. The project provides the most comprehensive historical record of women’s onscreen portrayals and behind-the-scenes employment available. The study examines dramas, comedies, and reality programs appearing on the broadcast networks, basic and premium cable channels, and streaming services.
Overall, 68% of the programs considered featured casts with more male than female characters.
Across platforms, females comprised 42% of all speaking characters.
Females accounted for 42% of major characters on broadcast network, cable and streaming programs.
The percentage of female characters featured on broadcast network programs was the same in 2016-17 as it was nearly a decade earlier in 2007-08.
Across platforms, programs are becoming more racially and ethnically diverse.
Regardless of platform, gender stereotypes on television programs abound.

Why I Was Fired by Google

[Commentary] I was fired by Google Aug 7 for a document that I wrote and circulated internally raising questions about cultural taboos and how they cloud our thinking about gender diversity at the company and in the wider tech sector. I suggested that at least some of the male-female disparity in tech could be attributed to biological differences (and, yes, I said that bias against women was a factor too). Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai declared that portions of my statement violated the company’s code of conduct and “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

My 10-page document set out what I considered a reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument, but as I wrote, the viewpoint I was putting forward is generally suppressed at Google because of the company’s “ideological echo chamber.” My firing neatly confirms that point. How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument? If Google continues to ignore the very real issues raised by its diversity policies and corporate culture, it will be walking blind into the future—unable to meet the needs of its remarkable employees and sure to disappoint its billions of users.

[Damore worked as a software engineer at Google’s Mountain View campus from 2013 until this past week.]

Tech’s sexism doesn’t stay in Silicon Valley. It’s in the products you use.

We’ve heard lots about Silicon Valley’s toxic culture this summer — its harassing venture capitalists, its man-child CEOs, its abusive nondisparagement agreements. Those stories have focused on how that culture harms those in the industry — the women and people of color who’ve been patronized, passed over, pushed out and, in this latest case, told they’re biologically less capable of doing the work in the first place. But what happens in Silicon Valley doesn’t stay in Silicon Valley. It comes into our homes and onto our screens, affecting all of us who use technology, not just those who make it. It’s bad enough for apps to showcase sexist or racially tone-deaf jokes or biases. But in many cases, those same biases are also embedded somewhere much more sinister — in the powerful (yet invisible) algorithms behind much of today’s software.

Democrats more likely than Republicans to say online harassment is a major problem

Some 14% of US adults say they have been targeted for online harassment or abuse because of their political views, according to a new report from Pew Research Center. And while Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to have been harassed online because of their political views (15% vs. 13%), there are some notable partisan differences in their views of the issue. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they have heard a great deal about the topic of online harassment (38% vs. 25%). In addition, a larger share of Democrats than Republicans (69% vs. 54%) consider online harassment to be a major problem.

Regardless of political affiliation, women in both parties are more likely than their male counterparts to view online harassment as a major problem, to think offensive content online isn’t taken seriously enough and to prioritize safe spaces over people being able to express themselves freely online.

Since Trump’s Election, Increased Attention to Politics – Especially Among Women

Following the 2016 election, which had one of the largest gender gaps in history, women are more likely than men to say they are paying increased attention to politics. And while far more Democrats than Republicans say they have attended a political event, rally or protest since the election, Democratic women – especially younger women and those with postgraduate degrees – are among the most likely to have participated in such a political gathering.

The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted June 27 to July 9 among 2,505 adults, finds that 52% of Americans say they are paying more attention to politics since Donald Trump’s election; 33% say they are paying about the same amount of attention, while 13% say they are paying less attention to politics. The new survey also finds that, nearly nine months after the election, most people (59%) say it is “stressful and frustrating” to talk about politics with people who have a different opinion of Trump than they do; just 35% find such conversations “interesting and informative."

RTDNA Research: Women and minorities in newsrooms

The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey finds the minority workforce in TV news rose to 24.4%. That’s up more than a full point from a year ago… and is the second highest level ever in TV news.

The minority workforce at non-Hispanic TV stations rose to the highest level ever. The minority workforce in radio is up 2.3… but still well below the level in 2014. Women numbers were mixed in both TV and in radio. Still, as far as minorities are concerned, the bigger picture remains unchanged. In the last 27 years, the minority population in the U.S. has risen 12.1 points; but the minority workforce in TV news is up just over half that at 6.6. And the minority workforce in radio is less than 1 point higher.

Online news outlets employing more women than print, TV: Report

In March, the Women’s Media Center released “The Status of Women in US Media 2017,” its annual report to assess “how a diversity of females fare across all media platforms.” The study found that men outnumber women both in bylines and as sources in stories. Journalism’s gender problem, however, looks a bit different outside male-dominated print and TV news. Online-only news outlets have come much closer to achieving gender balance, and a few journalism fellowships have made strides to better support female journalists. Women fared better in print news, according to the report, but not by much: men produced 62 percent of content.