While the community broadcasting sector prides itself on its diversity- just how diverse is the gender balance of its national organisations? Would it surprise you that 75% of board members are male?

Last year, the independent publication New Maltilda published a series of articles on women in the media series of articles on women in the media. In particular, they looked at the gender balance on the boards of a range of Australia media organisations. They also looked at whether a man or woman held the CEO position.

Major Broadcasting Organisations

Here are some of the New Matilda findings on the following major media companies in Australia- Nine Entertainment Co., Seven West Media, Channel 10, Fairfax Media, News Corporation, APN, Foxtel, Southern Cross Austereo, Macquarie Radio Network, ABC and SBS:

  • Out of the boards they identified – – there were 95 board members.
  • Of these 74 are men and only 21 are women. That means women make up about 22%of board members of major media companies.
  • All of the Chairpersons were male.
  • Of the 24 CEOs they identified, 23 are men. That 95.83%.

Community Broadcasting Associations

So how does the community media sector shape up against these figures? We looked at 8 national peak organisations representing community media. These were the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF), the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council (NEMBC), the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), the Australian Indigenous Communications Association (AICA), the Indigenous Remote Communications Association (IRCA), Radio for the Print Handicapped Australia (RPHA), the Community Media Training Organisation (CMTO) and Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF). Figures were not available for ACTA (the Australian Community Television Alliance). We did not count non-voting members.

Here are the findings in a table for easy comparison.


Who Makes the decisions?

        Community Broadcasting Sector             Commerical and Public
Board Members 71.6% Male 77.89% Male
 Chairpersons 75% Male 100% Male
CEO’s 87.5% Male 95.83% Male


  • Out of the boards we identified- there were 60 board members.
  • Of these 43 were men and only 17 were women. That means women make up about 39.5% of board members.
  • All of the Chairpersons were male with 2 exceptions- the NEMBC’s Tangi Steen and the Acting CMTO Chairperson Christina Spurgeon). This means that 75% of the sector’s chairpersons are male.

Why does this matter?

In a nutshell, the organisations mentioned above are the decision makers in the Community Broadcasting Sector. They discuss the sector’s future strategies, make decisions about funding and represent us to government and other stakeholders. They also decide on national projects in the sector and most importantly represent ALL of the people who work and volunteer in the community broadcasting sector.

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