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Dick Jenkins

Former CEO EMF Broadcasting

Women in Management



It takes a great team to create a professional sounding radio station, especially those who occupy the upper management ranks.  Unfortunately, many of us have overlooked a great resource for leadership talent - women.

Whether we (as men) want to admit it, a gender gap still exists. Although equal pay for equal work has been the law since 1963, AFL/CIO statistics report that in 2007, women in the United States were paid 77 cents for every dollar men received for comparable work. 

Even a casual observer must admit that women with experience and skills are often overlooked for promotions - just look around your office.  How many women managers are in the highest positions of influence at your radio station?  How many women board members has your organization recruited?

Some of the shortage of women in upper management can be traced back to personality differences between women and men.  Men, more than women, are more likely to ask for promotions and negotiate salaries. Yet assertive men in business are labeled “go getters” and women who behave in similar ways are called “pushy.” 

If you think the gender gap is caused by an education gap, you’re wrong.  Advances, particularly among the college educated, have placed more women on a par with men. Whereas in 1960 male college graduates outnumbered females by five to three, by 1980 the numbers of female and male college graduates were equal. Today, women earn 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees (library of Economics statistics).

I do not claim to be this last decades “poster child” for promoting women into radio management. Unfortunately, I have come to this revelation late in life through a dialogue with a mentor-friend.  While I have always tried to explain away the gender gap in upper management, U.S. statistics tell a different story.  Women comprise 45% of the U.S. work force, but their overall share of upper level management jobs rarely exceeds 20 per cent.

The next time you have a management opening, perhaps broadening your horizon to consider qualified women candidates will enrich your organization. After all, the statistics are in your favor.


Dick Jenkins can be reached at








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