Factors contributing to the under-representation of women in managerial positions in the print media in Kenya
The purpose of this study was to investigate factors contributing to the under-representation of women in managerial positions in print media houses in Kenya. Gender equality in places of work is paramount in ensuring fair representation of men and women to create a gender balanced environment. For the media industry to effectively mirror the society, gender balance is crucial especially in decision-making levels of the organisation. The lack of representation of women in decision-making positions in the media is reflected in the poor representation of women’s issues and concerns in the society. Therefore, underrepresentation of women in managerial positions in print media has its implications in achieving objectivity and addressing biases in delivering news. The specific objectives of the study were: to establish the extent to which ‘glass ceiling’ in the print media affects the representation of women; to identify whether gender roles affect the representation of women in print media houses in Kenya and to establish whether the socio-cultural factors affect representation of women in top leadership in print media houses in Kenya. The target population was 131 employees of four media houses in Kenya and a random sample was used to obtain a sample of 131 from the staff of the print media houses. The study adapted the materialistic theoretical framework that uses cross-cultural data on the status of women and men to explain inequalities as an outcome of the society. Primary data was collected and analysed using quantitative and qualitative techniques and then represented using tables, diagrams and graphs. Percentages were also used to represent the data. Upon computation of the variables, it was evident that lack of gender equality policies was the highest contributor to poor representation of women in managerial positions in print media houses in Kenya. The study recommends that media houses put in place and adapt affirmative action to effectively develop women’s careers in the organisations.