Study of gender make up at WBAI
From: Susan Lee
Date: Mon Sep 2, 2002 7:28 am
Subject: WBAI On Air Gender Study
Years ago at WBAI in the 1970's, a group of women, myself among them, took over an on air WBAI program to protest the male dominance of the station. Women's programs and a certain level of women's consciousness developed. As years went on, much of the women's programming was dropped. Women's consciousness is more often seen now as something negative: no overtly sexist jokes or comments does seem to have taken hold as a baseline. A positive women's consciousness where women have the right to be equally represented both on air and in management and where people think to speak of women's issues as a matter of course does not, as far as I am concerned, exist on a broad level.
Gender imbalance shows itself in all sorts of ways. The study Janet Coleman and I did concentrates on on-air hosts, those people who have the air and decide what goes on their air.
Bylaws are the core of an organization. Bylaws discussions have taken place around the need to include mandates for female representation. Women are incredibly underrepresented in the stations. By having at least 50% women on the local governing boards and on the national governing board, women have a shot at being crow barred into the stations.
People have little idea of how bad the gender imbalance really is. This study tells them.
WBAI ON AIR GENDER STUDY
We knew that the overall sound on WBAI seemed more male than female. We did not know how dramatic the imbalances are between women and men on air. We discovered the following:
" Overall, 69% of air time belongs to male hosts, 14% to female
hosts, 16% to balanced female-male blends, and 1% to tba.
" Weekends are 79% male hosts, 12% female hosts, with 8% blends and
At this point, we are sending this study to the IPNB and putting this study out on the list serves. We are asking the board and other stations to look into gender disparity on air as well as in management in the network. We are asking for support and suggestions as to our next steps.
Sept 1, 2002
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