About 75% of all articles in Swiss media are about men. The 2016 Global Media Monitoring Project shows this figure is even higher worldwide at 82%; scholars speak of a “gender gap.”
As one of the largest multi-national media companies in Switzerland, at Ringier we see it as our responsibility to step up efforts to ensure equal coverage of women and men in the media.
We are convinced that men and women can achieve more together than men or women alone. This led me to initiate the Ringier EqualVoice initiative, which launched in 2019. We are convinced that there are more women worth reporting on. We want to make more female role models visible and give them the same voice as male experts.
The EqualVoice initiative is led by publisher Michael Ringier and Ringier CEO Marc Walder. Equal representation of women and men in the media is supported by all members of the Ringier Group Executive Board, the editors-in-chief in Switzerland, and the EqualVoice Advisory Board.
Metrics that matter
Quantitative analysis of media coverage of women and men in our publications is one of the main goals of the EqualVoice initiative. The core of the Ringier EqualVoice initiative is the EqualVoice-Factor. The EqualVoice-Factor is a quantitative metric that indicates the coverage of men and women on all Ringier and Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland Web sites.
This analysis leads to two EqualVoice scores: The teaser score, consisting of image, headline, and lead. It tells us how visible women are on our pages. The body score refers to the body of the article and identifies the female share of language in all publications.
The dashboards show the current status of both EqualVoice scores compared with the previous month’s scores. The daily display of the EqualVoice-Factor on the journalists’ dashboards supports the editorial team in equal reporting.
The evaluations and key figures of the EqualVoice-Factor are communicated regularly. The increased awareness of gender equality in our media brought about by the EqualVoice-Factor has already led to initial successes such as an increase in the teaser score at Handelszeitung by 7% and the expansion of the Blick body score to more than 30% in 2020.
The EqualVoice-Factor provides editorial teams with a database for developing and implementing gender equality measures. Gender equality is not only a journalistic challenge; equal representation of women and men is a global issue and one of Ringier’s main priorities for the coming years.
EqualVoice-Factor as a service
The EqualVoice-Factor has been developed further in recent months. Ringier now also offers the EqualVoice-Factor as a service for other media companies and corporate communications.
EqualVoice is a social initiative for Ringier, and we want to achieve an overarching change in society. With the newly added features to enhance the EqualVoice-Factor, Ringier is offering other media organisations a service to support gender equality and the coverage of women in the media.
We want to approach other companies to measure their EqualVoice-Factor. These can be other media companies, but non-media companies might want to analyse the EqualVoice-Factor in their communication — for example on their Web site, in their media releases, or in the information they provide to customers.