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US media/entertainment industry faces sizable gender pay gap


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US media/entertainment industry faces sizable gender pay gap

Opinions expressed in thispiece are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of SNLKagan.

Doyou think I add 6.6% more value writing this blog than a woman would? I don't.

Yet menearn an average 6.6% more than women in U.S. media, entertainment, arts andrecreation industries, according to a new studyon gender pay disparities.

Mediaand entertainment/arts/recreation industries are tied for fourth in pay gapsamong 25 industries.

Smallerpay gaps exist in U.S. information technology with 5.9% for the sixth-highestpay gap (in a three-way tie) and U.S. telecommunications with 4.6% for a rankof 12th (including a two-way and three-way tie ahead of telecom).

Amongspecific U.S. occupations, two in the media and communications industriespainfully stand out. Male computer programmers earn 28.3% more than females —that's the highest gap among 15 specific occupations. Video game artists rank10th with a 15.8% pay disparity in favor of men.

Thecomprehensive 49-page report by Glassdoor Economic Research attempts to "demystify"the causes of the gender pay gap in five countries — the U.S., the UnitedKingdom, Australia, Germany and France.

Thepay gaps are adjusted for differences in age, education, experience, job title,geographic location, industry, company and scarcity of each gender. Theunadjusted gaps are wider.

Overall,men earn 24.1% more than women unadjusted, which means women are paid only 76cents per dollar. But the pay gap shrinks to 5.4% on an adjusted basis.

Still,that equates to women earning 94.6 cents per dollar, or a pay loss of $64,100over a 30-year career on a job that pays $39,621 per year. The career pay losssoars to $160,000 on a $100,000 annual salary.

TheU.S. does not fare especially well globally on gender pay gaps. In a 2014report by the World Economic Forum, the U.S. ranked 65th among 142 countries,according to an articleby CNN Money.

Thenews business is also struggling with gender pay gaps.

Forexample, full-time women earn about 87 cents for every male dollar paid tofull-time men at Dow Jones properties owned by parent The gap was revealed March8 in an analysisby the Independent Association of Publishers' Employees union 1096, whichrepresents about 1,400 workers in North America.

Thepay gap is even more pronounced by race at Dow Jones, according to a March 25 pieceon IAPE data by The Washington Post.White women earn 24% more than African-American women, while white men are paid36% more than black women. Male reporters make 11% more than female reporters.The same gap exists for senior special writers.

TheIAPE report and subsequent news coverage prompted Dow Jones CEO and The Wall Street Journal PublisherWilliam Lewis to respondMarch 23 with a companywide email vowing to urgently address gender anddiversity issues and make improvements.

TheIAPE applauded the response by Lewis, but also noted that a similar review ofgender and race disparities at Dow Jones in 1991 prompted the company to agreeto nondiscrimination clauses in its collective employment agreement.

"Sadly,in 25 years' time, there has been little progress," said the IAPE in itsnew study.

Theadvertising industry has also been implicated.

Theghost of the hit series "Mad Men" seemed to haunt a major advertisingconclaveMarch 21-24 in Miami Beach when sexism and racism became the focal pointfollowing a recent high-profile lawsuit.

OnMarch 17, the CEO of major ad agency J. Walter Thompson, Gustavo Martinez,resigned one week after the company's chief communications officer, ErinJohnson, filed a federal lawsuit accusing Martinez, the company and the company'sparent WPP Plc of sexism and racism.

Twoindustry leaders at the Miami Beach conference, however, appeared to have differingviews of discrimination and diversity issues in advertising.

MartinSorrell, the chairman of WPP, said there is definitely an industrywide problem,while his rival Maurice Levy, CEO of competitor Publicis, said the Martinezaccusations were not indicative of a wider problem.

NancyHill, the head of the ad industry's 4A trade group, which hosted theconference, sided with Sorrell. She said that sexism and racism in advertisingis indeed a problem, and it "happens more frequently than we think."

Although"women control 80% of purchasing decisions" in the U.S., advertisingagency co-owner Madonna Badger of Badger & Winters wondered why 91% "donot feel like they connect to the advertising they are seeing" during agender equality panel at the 4A's conference.

Anotherpanel member, Shelley Zalis, CEO of creative agency The Girls' Lounge, alsonoted a recent McKinsey & Co. studythat says gender parity in the corporate suite could take 100 years at thecurrent rate.

Ifyou go back 47 years to 1969, you might recall a dark satirical comedy, "Putney Swope" about racismand sexism in advertising. It is still relevant today.

Inresearching this post, I came across similar assessments about gender andracial issues in other media and entertainment industries, including the music business, technologyand especially the videogame industry.

Butthere are some bright spots.

Twomajor technology companies that impact media and communications recently saidthat they have achieved gender parity in pay.

Chip-makerIntel Corp. announcedin February that it paid its male and female workers equally in 2015. Inc.announced on March 23 that women earned 99.9 cents for every dollar men make inresponse to pressure from an activist shareholder to disclose gender payequality.