How we are turning up the volume of female voices in media

March 23, 2020
SCMP Insights

I’m a firm believer in the saying that “two heads are better than one”. This motto guides how I assemble the teams I work with at Morning Studio and how I collaborate with brands to develop their communication strategies. 

However, it’s not just a numbers game.

As a passionate yoga practitioner, I know that it doesn’t matter how many seated, standing, or balancing postures you do. It requires the perfect combination of the various elements – grounding, flow and rest – to lift a session from mediocre to an extraordinary experience.

The same principle applies to media: great content requires a variety of voices and balanced viewpoints. Diversity is the crucial ingredient in the elevation of thought.

As it stands, the media industry could certainly use more than a dash of it.

The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2019 report found that men received 63 per cent of bylines and other credits in print, internet, television and wire news. That means women got 37 per cent.

Collecting evidence from more than 100 countries, the 2015 Global Media Monitoring Project also revealed a gender imbalance.  

It showed that only 24 per cent of the people featured in the news were women, 19 per cent appeared as experts in the stories, and only about  37 per cent were reporting.

Pressing for progress: using data to drive gender-inclusive growth   

Taking diversity issues from a quantitative level to a qualitative one, the South China Morning Post conducted audience research to better understand what type of content appeals to female readers.

Some of the topic areas that stood out were diplomacy, regional news and society – which covers a broad range of social affairs, including education and cultural trends.

Lunar, a weekly curated package with news, interviews and in-depth features about women, by women and for women, satisfies this thirst for knowledge and stories that engage global female readers and has increased SCMP’s audience numbers. 

For example, in February women contributed to 45 per cent of overall traffic, compared with an average of 35.2 per cent over the past 12 months. Readership was mainly generated from Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines, as well as the United States.

Living in a digital world, we know that a click, swipe, like, or share generates data.  

At Morning Studio, we use this information, performance indicators and traffic analyses and pair it all with our rich storytelling expertise. It leads to well-targeted, tailor-made content for advertisers and brands that eliminates gender bias.

I know I’m biased when it comes to Morning Studio campaigns. While I’m a fan of all that we’ve produced, I grew very fond of the recent campaign for the single malt Scotch whisky brand, The Macallan.

You wonder why? Well, firstly, it very subtly highlights a rather tasty beverage. Secondly, the campaign beautifully tells the story that some risks are worth taking.

Lastly, it features two protagonists ⁠– a creative young man and a courageous female entrepreneur, which brings me back to my motto.

Remember ⁠– two heads are better than one. Certainly, when at least 50 per cent of the heads sit on the shoulders of women.

This is how we at SCMP and Morning Studio turn up the volume of female voices across all our platforms. 

How is your brand ramping up inclusivity efforts? Please share your story with us.