Submitted by Bloomberg
News coverage should strive to be fair and balanced, yet the media continues to be dominated by male voices, both within newsrooms and in sourcing. As recently as 2018, 41 percent of bylines across print and digital news outlets in Europe were written by men, compared with 23 percent by women, with the remainder either non-bylined or citing an institution. More recent studies show significant under-representation for women in newsroom leadership. In the UK: just 30% of economics/business editors are women, 20% of political editors are women, and 37% of editors-in-chief are women.
Clearly, there’s an urgent need to amplify the voices of women and other underrepresented experts across the news and media sector. That’s why at Bloomberg, we have a number of initiatives to ensure we are improving representation at every level of the newsroom and in sourcing across every platform, helping make the news industry more accessible to women and those from other underrepresented communities.
Our Global Business and Financial Journalism Education Initiative aims to provide career access and opportunities for journalists from diverse backgrounds. Through this, we work to inspire the next generation through bespoke mentorship schemes – for instance, our Bloomberg Journalism Diversity Program is targeted at U.K. students. We also invest in talent through our non-profit partner network, such as by contributing to the NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund. And our support extends to experienced professionals through media fellowships and Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa’s financial journalism training program.
Bloomberg established the New Voices initiative in 2018, with the goal of increasing the representation of women and other under-represented experts from the financial industry as sources on our media platforms. Through this program, we sponsor intensive one-on-one media training workshops for female and ethnically diverse executives in business and finance worldwide, preparing them for interviews on Bloomberg TV and other news outlets.
As a result of these efforts, we have more than tripled the representation of female guests globally on Bloomberg TV. At the end of 2022, 34% of external guests on-air were women, compared with 10% in 2018. To date, New Voices has sponsored media training for 500+ executives – from CIOs and CFOs to research analysts and venture capitalists – in more than a dozen cities around the world. In addition, we’ve created a definitive global database of female experts in business and finance with 8,500+ names, up from just 500 in 2018. Overall, feedback has been highly positive: In the words of a 2022 New Voices participant, “what you are doing to give voice to women in the business is fantastic.”
However, we’re not stopping there. This year, the New Voices initiative expanded to more cities across EMEA, beginning with Paris in March and Frankfurt in May. To date, over 110 EMEA-based candidates have participated in the program, and we hope to train an additional 120 executives globally in 2023.
“We’ve launched New Voices in the world’s most important financial centers, and there’s no question this is the right time to be starting in Paris,” says Laura Zelenko, New Voices Founder and Senior Executive Editor of Standards, Training, Diversity and Talent at Bloomberg News. “It’s very clear there are so many more important female experts in France’s finance and business space whom we should be featuring in our coverage.”
This is reinforced by the city’s growing importance as a business hub. “Paris is booming. In the race to be the region’s financial capital, it’s gaining ground on London fast,” says David Merritt, Head of Media Editorial at Bloomberg. The Paris bourse has a total market capitalization of $3.13 trillion – exceeding that of London by $250 billion. “With more jobs, trading and capital moving to Paris, it’s urgent that Bloomberg showcases the best experts from the city on our platforms, and that means sourcing and promoting the newest voices too,” Merritt adds.
As Jacqueline Simmons, Senior Executive Editor for EMEA at Bloomberg News, sums up, “this is an interesting moment for French finance and Paris in particular”. As such, it is more important than ever for news platforms to reflect the views and perspectives of local experts such as Caroline Connan, who has been a Paris correspondent for Bloomberg TV since 2012.
“We need more women here in Paris to come on our radio and news platforms,” Connan says. She encourages all eligible female executives to apply for the New Voices program – even those who lack confidence when it comes to public speaking. “Don’t be ashamed of your accent. It is part of your diversity and you’ll be an asset for your local market,” she adds.
At the end of the day however, change begins with the people behind the camera: those determining what – and who – hits the airwaves. “We decide every day who gets to speak on our platforms, whose opinions get included in our storytelling, and whose voices get to tell our audiences what the state of play is in the financial markets and the overall economy,” Zelenko says. “We need to continue the critical work of pushing against the status quo of traditional sourcing. After all, our coverage is stronger, fairer and smarter when we include diverse voices that are representative of the industries we cover.”
Want to learn more about the New Voices media training program? Sign up for the mailing list, apply to one of the 2023 global cohorts, or nominate someone here.
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