The media is a male business

The leadership of the 100 largest international media corporations is dominated by men. Thirty corporations have no women whatsoever in their top management, according to new statistics compiled by Nordicom.

Nordicom has mapped men and women in CEO positions, positions in top management generally and seats on boards of directors, based on the list of the top 100 international media corporations published by the Institute of Media and Communications Policy in Germany. The result shows a significant lack of women among the leadership of these corporations.

Mostly men on all levels
The chart indicates a huge gender gap. The male dominance crosses national borders and is visible in all types of media corporations. On average, 80 per cent of directors are men, 17 per cent of top management officers are women and there are only six female CEOs leading corporations on the top-100 list.

“Men-only indicates a single-minded leadership in the media corporations. Not only because their products and services are aimed at both men and women. They are also probably missing out on competence”, says Maria Edström, one of the researchers behind the data.

Although the chart shows no clear patterns based on the location of a corporation’s headquarters, Asian corporations are more male-dominated than those in other regions, both in terms of their top management and their board members.

“Everyone is looking for new business models to save the media industry. Gender equality should be part of that equation”, says Edström.

The headquarters for the corporations on the top-100 list were located in 21 countries: USA, Japan, The Netherlands, China, Germany, Great Britain, France, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Sweden, India, Norway, Finland, Spain, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland and Belgium.

A fact sheet (PDF) and the full top-100 list, with sex-disaggregated data on CEOs, top management and board members is available at:

For more information:

  • Maria Edström, PhD, JMG, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, phone: +46 31 786 4992, e-mail:
  • Ulrika Facht, Media Analyst, Nordicom, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, phone; +46 31 786 1306, e-mail:

Other information
Nordicom is a knowledge centre in the field of media and communications research at the University of Gothenburg. Based on academic research, Nordicom collects and adapts knowledge, mediating it to various user groups in the Nordic region, Europe and elsewhere in the world.   

The data compilation was made by Maria Edström (JMG, University of Gothenburg), Ulrika Facht (Nordicom, University of Gothenburg), Greta Gober (Center for Gender Research, University of Oslo), Gunilla Ivarsson (IAWRT – International Association of Women in Radio and Television) and Suzanne Moll (Independent Media Consultant, Copenhagen).

Mia Jonsson Lindell
Tel: 076–618 66 22

University of Gothenburg is one of the major universities in Europe, with about 37 800 students and a staff of 6 200. Its eight faculties offer training in the Creative Arts, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities, Education, Information Technology, Business, Economics and Law, and Health Sciences. The University’s unique breadth in education and research provides an interdisciplinary environment conducive to collaboration with private enterprise and public institutions. The quality of the University has earned recognition in the form of numerous awards, including a Nobel Prize, and a steady stream of applicants at all levels.





Everyone is looking for new business models to save the media industry. Gender equality should be part of that equation.
Maria Edström, PhD