Women in Communication Leadership

Step by Step. That’s how we are launching a Center within a Center.

Our focus is squarely on Women and Communication Leadership and creating a Center within CCLP for training and research. It is surely something needed as more and more women (and men) in the Communications Industry find themselves out of a job or forced to reinvent their skill set in this challenging and complicated economic time. Our goal is a robust training institute for women in Communication Leadership. But, first we needed a baseline look at the industry.

In the last month, we, (Dr. Stacy L. Smith and CCLP junior fellow Rebecca Shapiro and a team of students) started an extensive study of Media Conglomerates to examine the numbers of women in key positions at these companies. We have included a handful of digital media companies as well. We realized that the last time a study of this type was released was in 2001 by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania entitled Progress or No Room at the Top PDF At that time, former FCC Commissioner Susan Ness said, “the glass ceiling is firmly in place.” That was a long time ago and we wanted to look at today’s landscape as more and more women in America become breadwinners.

Speaking of female breadwinners we have also partnered with California First Lady Maria Shriver on her Woman’s Nation Project. In about two weeks — October 15th — she will issue the Shriver Report on the status of Women today. My colleague, Stacy Smith and I have co-authored an essay for the Shriver Report on today’s Media and the Portrayal of Women. Shriver has partnered with the Center for American Progress and NBC News and Time Magazine and the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy for this study.

For the first time in our nation’s history, women represent half of all workers and are becoming the primary breadwinners in more families than ever before.  The shift is generating a transformation in the American family and this report will outline the changes and the impact and potential impact on society.  Stay tuned for more on this as we move toward October 15th.