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RF MEDIA INSIGHTS 11.17.2023: Women in the Workplace: The Complicated Path to the C-Suite

Nov 20, 2023
RF MEDIA INSIGHTS 11.17.2023: Women in the Workplace: The Complicated Path to the C-Suite

Women are more ambitious than ever, and the evidence supporting this is mounting. This week, Ernst & Young announced it will be the first Big Four firm to hire a female CEO. Janet Truncale, the regional managing partner at EY Americas, will formally take over the 395,000-person company in July, as EY works to “pick up the pieces” after the failed split of its audit and advisory business. It’s not just EY where women are stepping into leadership roles, in fact, McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace report finds that since 2015, the number of women in the C-suite has increased from 17% to 28%, and the representation of women at the vice president and senior vice president levels has also improved significantly.

These hard-earned promotions are encouraging, but McKinsey notes that while progress is steady, it is also slow. Despite more women in the workforce than ever before, women are often less assertive than men in the workplace and tend to apologize or minimize the importance of what they say when they do speak up. For manager and director roles, representation has grown only 3% and 4% respectively, and advancement for women of color is lagging behind their peers’ progress. With former Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO, Rosalind Brewer, resigning this fall, there are only two Black female CEOs of S&P 500 companies. However, the biggest barrier to women’s progression is no longer the ‘glass ceiling,’ but rather the ‘broken rung,’ as women are finding it difficult to get promoted to managerial roles from their entry level positions. As companies work to support and champion women in 2024, it is imperative that they encourage their female employees to set career goals and support their growth.

Kathy Bloomgarden 

CEO, Ruder Finn

2023 Media Layoffs Impact Nearly 20,000 Employees and Counting

In 2023 alone, there have been an estimated 20,000 media layoffs, and that number continues to rise. Volatility in the ad market, high interest rates, and a healthy dose of investor skepticism are creating a near perfect storm for quite a few media companies and often the quickest way to cuts costs is to cut staff. Even Bloomberg Industry Group, an affiliate of Bloomberg L.P. that has an audience of legal, business and regulatory professionals, cut at least 14 employees and shut down its DC office on Monday. Bloomberg has been largely able to avoid layoffs due to its sheer size and reach, and more so due to the massive revenue generated by its famed Bloomberg Terminal that historically offsets any losses in other divisions, specifically news operations. But these layoffs prove even they are not immune to the pain points much of the media industry is facing. Last week, Vice Media, ended several of their shows and laid off dozens of their employees and CNBC Digital let go of over a dozen of their editorial staffers in digital and video operations. While cutting staff may save money in the long run, it’s also creating additional new pressures as newsrooms shrink and those left behind are subsequently tasked with producing more with fewer resources.

Mental Health Lawsuits Against Social Media Giants Move Ahead

Social media giants Meta, ByteDance, Alphabet, and Snap attempted to dismiss the dozens of child safety lawsuits put in place against them by school districts, parents and 42 states, but on Tuesday a federal court made the decision for the lawsuits to move forward. The judge who made the decision stated there is a need for better parental controls, more robust age verification and other improved safety controls to counter reported negative impacts. The negative health effects reported by children from social media range from physical, mental, and emotional with the most intense of effects leading to suicide. As these suits move forward, we may begin seeing shifts in social media policies and formats, but at this time, no plans for updates to these apps have been announced. These lawsuits aren’t the only controversy social media is facing, a continued increase of misinformation is sparking even more calls for social media platforms to make serious changes. With a recent report from Pew Research Center finding half of American’s admit to sometimes getting their news on social media, a staggering 43% citing they use TikTok for news, massive shifts need to be made to guidelines to put an end to disinformation on social media.

AI Risks Found to Increase With Too Much Data

Turns out that while everybody is jumping on the ChatGPT train, companies would be wise to proceed with caution with their AI tool usage because there’s a whole lot of risk right around the bend. A new study by Common Sense Media found that rather than inundating AI tools with large amounts of data to train how they function, AI product developers should instead be more selective with the data these tools are given. AI products that train on the most selective data sets were determined to be the safest, and those that trained on the broadest data were the riskiest. Through creating AI tools that businesses can curate with specific data, risk is decreased and efficiency is increased. OpenAI recently announced a functionality where anyone can build their own customized GPT, making the technology much more personalized and targeted. AI risk is at the top of everyone’s minds with it even being a key point that President Biden discussed with China’s Xi Jinping, both were concerned about the potential risks AI pose and agreed to work jointly to address these issues.




Media Moves

    • Libby Nelson has been promoted to editorial director for policy, politics, and health and science, and is now the senior newsroom leader overseeing the policy and politics teams.
    • Abdallah Fayyad, has been named as a correspondent on the policy team.
    • Jorge Just will join Vox as editorial director of audio.
  • The Wall Street Journal has named David Benoit and Cara Lombardoas deputy Wall Street bureau chiefs.
  • WIRED has announced the following updates and changes to its staff:
    • Leah Feiger has been named politics editor.
    • William Turton has been hired as a senior writer to explore the intersection of digital ecosystems and political campaigns.

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