WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Same Job, Less Pay

May 27, 2014

The Shop Talk panelists discuss a survey that found women journalists earn 17% less than their male counterparts.

The study was done by Indiana University and was reported on by Monica Anderson for Pew (and there was a follow up article by the Poynter Institute). Anderson noted the finding on women journalists' salaries is roughly in line with what women in all occupations earn compared to men.

It’s an improvement over recent years, but Shop Talk panelist Rich Egger said it still falls short of where it needs to be – which is equal pay for equal work.  Fellow panelists Lisa Kernek and Jasmine Crighton concurred.

Kernek said part of the problem might be that few women are in management positions in journalism, and even those who are in positions of authority sometimes get shortchanged.  For example, former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson discovered she was being paid 85% of what her male predecessor was making. 

Kernek also said sexism might be part of the problem, even though some news shops are unionized and pay levels are supposedly negotiated into union contracts.

Crighton feels women are still trying to make up a lot of ground in the industry. She said journalism was a male-dominated field for so long that women have only begun to make inroads in recent decades.

Crighton also said women need to do a better job of negotiating starting salaries and pay raises.