Annenberg: The fiber-optic ceiling


According to an Annenberg Public Policy Center study, "The Glass Ceiling in the Executive Suite,"
a follow-up to last year's study of women in executive posts in communications
companies, there "continues to be a dearth of women in the executive suites and
corporate boardrooms of entertainment companies."

One place where women are finding powerful posts, however, is in network news.
Those operations are the site of the most female executives, according to the
study of communications companies drawn from a Forbes ranking of the top
1,000 companies by revenue.

According to the Annenberg study, women account for almost one-third (32
percent) of news-executive posts at seven major TV and cable networks.

The news is less sanguine when the circle is widened to the corporate offices
of those same companies. At the top 10 entertainment companies -- which include
the parent companies of all of those networks -- the average is 14 percent of
executives, with only one woman among the top executives.

The five above-average companies on that list of 10 companies were Gemstar-TV
Guide International Inc. (25 percent), Clear Channel Communications Inc. (24
percent), Viacom Inc. (20 percent), General Electric Co. (17 percent) and
The Walt Disney Co. (15 percent).

Among the top 23 largest cable and telecommunications companies, 16 percent
of executives were women, but only two were among top executives. Only three of
those companies -- SBC Communications Inc. (29 percent), Broadwing Inc. (17
percent) and XO Communications Inc. (17 percent) -- were above average.

Publishing companies led the list at 22 percent female executives.

The study did find that media companies did a better job in 2002 of featuring
women as keynoters or session presenters compared with 2000.