The percentage of women who hold the General Manager position at AM and FM radio stations across the U.S. continued to rise in 2017.
That said, more than 80% of radio industry GMs are male.
According to the latest MIW Gender Analysis Study, released late Monday (2/5) by the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group, 1,974 stations — representing 18.1% of the 11,301 stations accounted for by PrecisionTrak — have women holding the GM position in 2017.
This represents a very small increase from 2016, which was 17.8%.
However, the trend continues to improve for female GMs; in 2004 the percentage stood at 14.9%.
Furthermore, in the top 100 radio markets, the number of female GMs is slightly higher than the national average, with year-over-year being seen.
In 2017, 18.5% of stations in these markets were managed by women, compared to 17.7% in 2016.
Overall, the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management. In 2017, 31.9% of all stations have a female Sales Manager, which is up almost a half-point from last year.
In the top 100 radio markets, 32.7% of the stations have female Sales Managers, which is an increase of more than a full share point from 2016.
Where women are falling short on gaining radio management roles is in the programming department. Female PDs comprise just 10.5% of all radio station programmers, and MIW says that percentage has remained flat for the past 11 years.
While the percentage of female PDs in the top 100 markets is at 11.7%, that’s a decline from last year.
To help combat the issue, the MIW Group announced a new mentoring opportunity in 2017, the MIW-Nielsen Music Mentoring Program.
“Compiling this data is one of the most significant projects we undertake each year,” said MIW Group Spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik, who served as VP/Corporate Communications for 25 years before launching her own Naples, Fla.-based PR firm for music and media companies in 2016. “Our hope is that the MIW Gender Analysis sparks conversation within each company, and at each radio station, about ways to develop internal efforts that encourage the advancement of female leadership.”
The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group is a volunteer organization consisting of top-level female media professionals from across the country, who are dedicated to using their influence and resources to help other women in radio broadcasting develop strong management and leadership skills. The MIW Group is equally committed to advocating for the advancement of women to senior positions in radio broadcasting.
All information in the study is provided by PrecisionTrak, formerly known as MStreet Publications, and MIW says it is subject to limitations of data provided by radio companies. The analysis is dependent upon the accuracy and completeness of PrecisionTrak data as of December 2017.