Women are promoted in entertainment industry, but not to the top

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(Feb 21): Women hold only about one-fourth of the top jobs at media and entertainment companies despite being promoted more often, according to new research that shows the industry falling short on gender equality.

Women make up half of the total workforce in the media and entertainment industry. They ask for promotions more frequently than men and are promoted to a manager-level role twice as often, according to the report, by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

But their progress up the corporate ladder starts to slow as they near the top. Almost half of the 1,700 employees who responded to McKinsey’s survey said women in the field are judged by different standards than men.

Women in media and entertainment “experience a more hostile workplace than men and face a glass ceiling that prevents them from reaching top leadership roles,” the study says.

The study looked at companies that focus on news, film, marketing, ticket sales, event management and sports. While women make up only 27% of C-suite jobs in those fields, that’s slightly better than the 21% of women who hold those positions across all industries.

When media and entertainment companies hire from outside the company for C-suite jobs, they choose a man 79% of the time, the study found.

Women of color are especially underrepresented, holding only 4% of C-suite positions, the survey found.

The report suggests ways to close the gender gap, including mandating that companies consider hiring from a list that includes women and minority candidates and appointing women to board positions who might then influence gender parity for senior-level positions.