Manmade Media? The Muffled Voices of Women

Knowles, D., Snijders, S., Clarke, L., Michielsens, E. and Goodacre, H. 2017. Manmade Media? The Muffled Voices of Women. 10th Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference. Brunel Business School, Brunel University London 28 - 30 Jun 2017

TitleManmade Media? The Muffled Voices of Women
AuthorsKnowles, D., Snijders, S., Clarke, L., Michielsens, E. and Goodacre, H.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

News content is dominated by what men consider to be newsworthy (Melki and Mallat, 2013), marginalising both women’s interests and issues relating to gender equality (Edstrom,2013). Women are stereotyped, rendered invisible, or excluded (e.g. Ponterotto, 2014; Fawcett Society, 2015). Their voice is unheard.

The proposed developmental paper will focus on newspaper pages of letters to the editor, with the example of the Financial Times (FT). These letters function as arenas of public discourse which may be claimed as valid reflections of the concerns of contemporary society (Reader et al, 2004). In a BBC (2014) Radio 4 discussion of the dearth of women’s letters in the letters pages of serious newspapers, the comment was made that, “people who write into newspapers also make history”. The FT publishes approximately ten letters per day on topical business and political issues, but the authors of these letters consist overwhelmingly of men. History therefore is being made by men. Research both on letters to the editor concerning specifically business and management issues and on women’s participation generally as newspaper letter writers is generally lacking. Extant research interest in letters to the editor tends to focus on issues such as the anonymity of writers and access by members of certain social classes (e.g. Silva and Lowe, 2014).

This subject area links to The Beijing Platform for Action launched in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women when governments agreed to “support research into all aspects of women and the media so as to define areas needing attention and action and review existing media policies with a view to integrating a gender perspective”, a message reaffirmed in the 2015 twenty-year review (UN Women 2015).

Research in many countries over the past forty years has found continued discrimination against women working in the news media and that a “hard news/soft news”; “public-sphere and private-sphere”; “’fact’ vs opinion” binary favours male journalists in assigning them to cover serious news stories about business and politics whilst pigeon-holing women as the writers of features and news about cultural events (e.g North 2012; 2016; Ross and Carter 2011).

Drawing on a critical discourse analysis of letters published in the FT over the past two years (2015 and 2016), and interviews with a letters page editor and prolific writers of published letters, this study investigates the gendered distribution of subject matter and language. It reveals those subject areas which are of interest to women (as evident from the c2% of women letter writers) and some of the reasons why their participation is low. The FT letters page is thereby taken as a case of an informal cultural arena where men are dominant and women’s voices are marginalised. This is symptomatic of the under-representation of women in national and international business and management discourse, as well as in the fields of finance, politics and economics. This research thus seeks to contribute to the literature and debate on women’s involvement in the media, including their silence, and the ways that they and their concerns are portrayed. What can the informal media arena of the letters page in a serious newspaper learn from more formal media environments where women’s voices are heard?

Year2017
Conference10th Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference

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Clarke, L., Michielsens, E. and Wall, C. 2006. Women in manual trades. in: Gale, A.W. and Davidson, M.J. (ed.) Managing diversity and equality in construction: initiatives and practice London, UK Taylor & Francis. pp. 151-168

Enabling and disabling labour market sectors; disability and employment in Britain and the Netherlands
Bingham, C., Clarke, L., Michielsens, E. and Miller, S. 2006. Enabling and disabling labour market sectors; disability and employment in Britain and the Netherlands. 24th Annual International Labour Process Conference. London, UK 10-12 Apr 2006

Gender and ethnic minority exclusion from skilled occupations in construction: a Western European comparison
Byrne, J., Clarke, L. and van der Meer, M. 2005. Gender and ethnic minority exclusion from skilled occupations in construction: a Western European comparison. Construction Management and Economics. 23 (10), pp. 1025-1034.

From craft to qualified building labour in Britain: a comparative approach
Clarke, L. 2005. From craft to qualified building labour in Britain: a comparative approach. Labor History. 46 (4), pp. 473-493.

The European construction social partners: gender equality in theory and practice
Clarke, L., Pedersen, E.F., Michielsens, E. and Susman, B. 2005. The European construction social partners: gender equality in theory and practice. European Journal of Industrial Relations. 11 (2), pp. 151-177.

How do voice regimes influence conflict in the workplace?
Urwin, P.J., Michielsens, E. and Murphy, R. 2005. How do voice regimes influence conflict in the workplace? People Management. 11 (18).

Employee voice regimes and the characteristics of conflict: an analysis of the 2003 survey of employment tribunal applications
Urwin, P.J., Michielsens, E. and Murphy, R. 2005. Employee voice regimes and the characteristics of conflict: an analysis of the 2003 survey of employment tribunal applications. CIPD Professional Standards Conference. Keele, UK 27-29 Jun 2005

Financing strategies of women small business owners
Knowles, D. 2005. Financing strategies of women small business owners. 2005 50th World Conference of ICSB: Golden Opportunities for Entrepreneurship. Washington, USA 15-18 Jun 2005

"Torn between the two": work/life balance of women small business owners
Knowles, D. 2005. "Torn between the two": work/life balance of women small business owners. Gender, Work and Organisation: 4th International Interdisciplinary Conference. Keele, UK 22-24 Jun 2005

"In the eye of the beholder": women entrepreneurs' measures and sources of success
Knowles, D. 2005. "In the eye of the beholder": women entrepreneurs' measures and sources of success. BAM 2005: Challenges of Organizations in Global Markets. Oxford, UK 13-15 Sep 2005

The charter of fundamental rights: what guarantee of the social equity of reforms?
Clarke, L. 2005. The charter of fundamental rights: what guarantee of the social equity of reforms? Institut de la Protection Sociale Européenne Conference. London, UK Jul 2005

Ethnically segregated sectors: forces of exclusion and inclusion
Clarke, L. 2005. Ethnically segregated sectors: forces of exclusion and inclusion. Trade Unions Against Racism (les Syndicats Contre le Racisme) Conference. Paris, France 20-21 Oct 2005

Divergent divisions of construction labour
Clarke, L. 2005. Divergent divisions of construction labour. in: Khosrowshahi, F. (ed.) Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference, SOAS, London, September 2005 Reading, UK ARCOM.

Approaches to skills and training
Clarke, L. 2005. Approaches to skills and training. ARCOM Doctoral Workshop on Skills, Training and Development in the Construction Industry. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK 30 Nov 2005

A European skills framework? - but what are skills? Anglo-Saxon versus German concepts
Clarke, L. 2005. A European skills framework? - but what are skills? Anglo-Saxon versus German concepts. Second International Conference on Training, Employability and Employment (CTEE). Prato, Italy 22-23 Sep 2005

Cost vs. production: labour deployment and productivity in social housing construction in England, Scotland, Denmark and Germany
Clarke, L. and Herrmann, G. 2004. Cost vs. production: labour deployment and productivity in social housing construction in England, Scotland, Denmark and Germany. Construction Management and Economics. 22 (10), pp. 1057-1066.

Apprenticeship and applied theoretical knowledge
Clarke, L. and Winch, C. 2004. Apprenticeship and applied theoretical knowledge. Educational Philosophy and Theory. 36 (5), pp. 509-522.

Cost vs. production: disparities in social housing construction in Britain and Germany
Clarke, L. and Herrmann, G. 2004. Cost vs. production: disparities in social housing construction in Britain and Germany. Construction Management and Economics. 22 (5), pp. 521-532.

Now you're in, now you're out: women's changing participation in the building trades in Britain
Clarke, L. and Wall, C. 2004. Now you're in, now you're out: women's changing participation in the building trades in Britain. in: Clarke, L., Pedersen, E.F., Michielsens, E., Susman, B. and Wall, C. (ed.) Women in construction Bruxelles, Belgium CLR/Reed Business Information. pp. 24-47

Introduction
Clarke, L., Pedersen, E.F., Michielsens, E., Susman, B. and Wall, C. 2004. Introduction. in: Clarke, L., Pedersen, E.F., Michielsens, E., Susman, B. and Wall, C. (ed.) Women in construction Bruxelles, Belgium CLR/Reed Business Information. pp. 8-22

The institutionalisation of skill division in Britain and Germany: examples from the construction industry
Clarke, L. and Herrmann, G. 2004. The institutionalisation of skill division in Britain and Germany: examples from the construction industry. in: Warhurst, C., Grugulis, I. and Keep, E. (ed.) The skills that matter Basingstoke, UK Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 128-147

Regulation for survival: training and skills in the construction labour market in Jersey, Channel Islands
Arkani, S., Clarke, L. and Michielsens, E. 2003. Regulation for survival: training and skills in the construction labour market in Jersey, Channel Islands. Journal of Vocational Education and Training. 55 (3), pp. 261-279.

The state of construction training and employment in the local economy of Jersey
Arkani, S., Clarke, L. and Michielsens, E. 2003. The state of construction training and employment in the local economy of Jersey. Local Economy. 18 (3), pp. 196-207.

'Front-loaded' vocational education versus lifelong learning: a critique of current UK government policy
Winch, C. and Clarke, L. 2003. 'Front-loaded' vocational education versus lifelong learning: a critique of current UK government policy. Oxford Review of Education. 29 (2), pp. 239-252.

Segregated authority: first-line manager roles in single gender reporting lines
Knowles, D. and Hales, C. 2003. Segregated authority: first-line manager roles in single gender reporting lines. British Academy of Management Annual Conference. Harrogate, UK 15-17 Sep 2003

Ditch-dragging and bridge-building: working towards interdisciplinarity in women's entrpreneurship research
Knowles, D. 2003. Ditch-dragging and bridge-building: working towards interdisciplinarity in women's entrpreneurship research. 13th Annual Small Business and Enterprise Development Conference. Surrey, UK 03-04 Apr 2003

EU enlargement: construction labour relations as a pilot
Clarke, L., Cremers, J. and Janssen, J. 2003. EU enlargement: construction labour relations as a pilot. Brussels, Belgium Reed Business Information.

Do policies change practices?: ethnic minorities in the Netherlands and the UK
Beck, V., Michielsens, E., van der Meer, M. and Roosblad, J. 2003. Do policies change practices?: ethnic minorities in the Netherlands and the UK. International Employment Relations Association Conference. London, UK 08-11 Jul 2003

Gender and ethnic segregation in the British labour market: marginalisation and inclusion
Beck, V., Clarke, L. and Michielsens, E. 2003. Gender and ethnic segregation in the British labour market: marginalisation and inclusion. 3rd International Gender Work and Organisation Conference. Keele, UK 25-27 Jun 2003

Comparative leadership study: women in executive management
Michielsens, E. and Liddle, J. 2002. Comparative leadership study: women in executive management. XV ISA World Congress of Sociology: the Social World in the Twenty First Century: Ambivalent Legacies and Rising Challenges. Brisbane, Australia 07-13 Jul 2002

What do we learn from longitudinal research?: second interviews with women entrepreneurs
Knowles, D. 2002. What do we learn from longitudinal research?: second interviews with women entrepreneurs. Small Business and Enterprise Development Conference: theoretical and empirical advances in internal entrepreneurship. Nottingham, UK 15-16 Apr 2002

Gendering first-line management roles
Hales, C. and Knowles, D. 2002. Gendering first-line management roles. Employment Research Unit Annual Conference. Cardiff, UK 12-13 Sep 2002

The institutionalisation of class divisions: education and training for professionals and operatives in the construction industry.
Clarke, L. and Herrmann, G. 2002. The institutionalisation of class divisions: education and training for professionals and operatives in the construction industry. First International Conference on Training, Employability and Employment. London, UK 11-12 Jul 2002

Regulation of the labour process vs. control of the building product
Clarke, L. and Beck, V. 2002. Regulation of the labour process vs. control of the building product. 20th Annual International Labour Process Conference. Strathclyde, UK 02-04 Apr 2002

Gender and ethnic segregation in the British labour market: mechanisms of marginalisation and inclusion
Beck, V., Clarke, L. and Michielsens, E. 2002. Gender and ethnic segregation in the British labour market: mechanisms of marginalisation and inclusion. Gender Research Forum: the Gender Pay and Productivity Gap. London, UK 08 Nov 2002

Equality for women and ethnic minorities in an unequal labour market: comparing the UK and Germany.
Beck, V., Clarke, L. and Michielsens, E. 2002. Equality for women and ethnic minorities in an unequal labour market: comparing the UK and Germany. BUIRA 2002 Annual Conference. Stirling, UK 04 Jul - 06 Jul 2002

Gleichstellung von Frauen und ethnische Minderheiten in einem von Benachteilingungen gepraegten Arbeitsmarkt: Das Beispiel Grossbritannien
Beck, V. and Clarke, L. 2002. Gleichstellung von Frauen und ethnische Minderheiten in einem von Benachteilingungen gepraegten Arbeitsmarkt: Das Beispiel Grossbritannien. Zeitschrift fur Frauenforschung Geschlecterstudien. 1/2, pp. 89-97.

Regulation and control of the labour process and the division of skill
Arkani, S., Clarke, L. and Herrmann, G. 2002. Regulation and control of the labour process and the division of skill. 20th Annual International Labour Process Conference. Glasgow, UK 02-04 Apr 2002

How insular is an island?: training, skills and the construction labour market in Jersey, Channel Islands
Michielsens, E., Clarke, L. and Arkani, S. 2001. How insular is an island?: training, skills and the construction labour market in Jersey, Channel Islands. 19th Annual International Labour Process Conference. London, UK 26-28 Mar 2001

From supervisors to team co-ordinators and business unit managers: a reconfiguration or reconceptualisation of the role of first-line manager
Knowles, D. and Hales, C. 2001. From supervisors to team co-ordinators and business unit managers: a reconfiguration or reconceptualisation of the role of first-line manager. British Academy of Management Conference. Cardiff, UK 05-07 Sep 2001

Diverse equality: the example of the construction sector
Clarke, L. and Michielsens, E. 2001. Diverse equality: the example of the construction sector. in: Noon, M. and Ogbonna, E. (ed.) Equality, diversity and disadvantage in employment Basingstoke, UK Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 118-135

Innovation and skills: a transnational study of skills, education and training for prefabrication in housing
Clarke, L. and Herrmann, G. 2001. Innovation and skills: a transnational study of skills, education and training for prefabrication in housing. London, UK University of Westminster Business School.

Cost versus production: disparities in construction labour process in Europe
Clarke, L. and Herrmann, G. 2001. Cost versus production: disparities in construction labour process in Europe. 19th Annual International Labour Process Conference. London, UK 26-28 Mar 2001

Craft versus industry: the division of labour in European housing construction
Clarke, L. and Wall, C. 2000. Craft versus industry: the division of labour in European housing construction. Construction Management and Economics. 18 (6), pp. 689-698.

Women and public power: class does make a difference
Liddle, J. and Michielsens, E. 2000. Women and public power: class does make a difference. International Review of Sociology / Revue Internationale de Sociologie. 10 (2), pp. 207-222.

Balancing acts in construction: a study of two women painters in Denmark and Britain
Clarke, L., Pedersen, E.F. and Wall, C. 1999. Balancing acts in construction: a study of two women painters in Denmark and Britain. NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research. 7 (2), pp. 138-150.

UK construction skills in the context of European developments
Clarke, L. and Wall, C. 1998. UK construction skills in the context of European developments. Construction Management and Economics. 16 (5), pp. 553-567.

Desegregating construction
Wall, C., Clarke, L. and Michielsens, E. 1998. Desegregating construction. Work, Employment and Society Conference. University of Cambridge 14th -16th September 1998

Blueprint for change: construction skills training in Britain
Wall, C. and Clarke, L. Padayachee, V. (ed.) 1998. Blueprint for change: construction skills training in Britain. Policy Press.

A fair day's work: women in direct labour organisations
Wall, C., Clarke, L. and Michielsens, E. 1997. A fair day's work: women in direct labour organisations. London Women and Manual Trades.

Staying power: women in direct labour building teams
Wall, C. and Clarke, L. 1996. Staying power: women in direct labour building teams. London Women and Manual Trades.

Skills and the construction process: a comparative study of vocational training and quality in social housebuilding
Wall, C. and Clarke, L. 1996. Skills and the construction process: a comparative study of vocational training and quality in social housebuilding. Policy Press.

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