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Programming Tough Area for Women to Crack in Radio

Women in general manager and sales manager roles proving consistent year-to-year

Over the last decade, women in leadership roles at U.S. radio stations has been on the upswing, though one area is seeing significantly less growth, according to the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio group’s annual Gender Analysis Study. While the number of women in general manager and sales manager roles has seen solid growth in recent years, the number of women taking on the role of programmer has seen a minimal uptick.

The latest study by MIW, which accounted for AM and FM stations as of Dec. 31, 2015, revealed that women hold a programmer position in 10.9% of all radio stations. Nine years ago, the report had the number at 10.7%. The numbers see a small boost in the top 100 markets, with 11.9% of stations currently employing a female programmer.

More women are taking over as general managers, according to the report. In 2004, 14.9% of stations had a female GM, but the 2015 report shows that women now make up 17.3% of GMs for the 11,201 stations counted in the report. While just down from MIW’s 2014 report that had the number at 17.4%, there is still an overall growth. In the top 100 markets, 16.3% of stations have a female GM, up from 16.2% in 2014.

Still, the sales manager position has the greatest percentage of women, with 30.5% of stations employing them in this role; slightly up from 2014. Just under 31% of top 100 markets have women in the sales manager role.

MIW’s 2015 Gender Analysis Study was conducted by MStreet Publications.