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Women Make More Gains in Top GM Jobs

But the latest MIW survey shows plenty of room for more growth

The percentage of women serving as radio general managers in the largest U.S. media markets shows “strong growth year over year,” according to the organization Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio.

In the top 100 markets, the percentage continues to run higher than the national average. In 2021, about 24% of stations in these larger markets were managed by women, up from about 22% the year before.

Overall, MIW finds that about 21% of stations in 2021 had women in the general manager position. “This is an increase of almost a full percentage point from 2020 … Notably, this number continues to show consistent growth from 2004, when the percentage of female general managers was only 14.9%.”

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The study is based on data about roughly 11,000 AM and FM radio stations in the United States, as accounted for by PrecisionTrak.

“Overall, the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management,” MIW said. About 34% of stations had a female sales manager, basically flat from 2020.

“The greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be in the area of program directors/brand managers.” Women currently program about 12% of stations, again basically flat.

The organization does not report the number of women in technical management positions.

MIW Board President Ruth Presslaff was quoted saying, “If the glass is half full, we should celebrate any upward movement, even if it’s incremental, as jobs continue to be eliminated in the continuing pandemic. However, it’s disappointing that the glass isn’t filling faster for those in programming and MIW is paying close attention to this issue.”