The high-tech industry in Silicon Valley isn’t the only American industry with serious diversity problems.
National Public Radio this week reported that male sources outnumber female sources on the network’s two largest weekday newsmagazines by two-to-one. Sources include on-air personalities and subject matter experts, Only about 30 percent of all sources on Morning Edition and All Things Considered were female in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2015. There has been no improvement for the past three years.
Women, who comprise 50.45 percent of the U.S. population, are under-represented along all racial classes.
Here are the percentage of male/female sources broken down by race:
- Asian : Males, 76%; Females 24%.
- Whites: Males, 70%; Females 30%.
- Latino: Males, 71%; Females 29%.
- Blacks: Males 62%; Females 39%.
Women and Latinos are severely under-represented as NPR sources.
The percentage of NPR sources who are Latino remained flat at six percent for each of the three years. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Latinos make up 17.4 percent of the U.S. population.
Here is the breakdown of sources by race from the NPR report:
- There was a decline in the overall percentage of white sources, from 80 percent in 2013 to 73 percent in 2015. Whites make up 77.4 percent of the U.S. population in 2014.
- African-American voices rose from 5 percent in 2013 to 11 percent in 2015. African-Americans comprise 13.2 percent of the U.S. population.
- The share of Asian sources rose to eight percent in 2015, compared to five percent in 2013. Asians comprise 5.4 percent of the U.S. population.
Asians as a group are actually over-represented but Asian women lag the farthest behind in any racial group.
Of course, the U.S. population is not the same as NPR’s listener-ship. NPR listeners are 85 percent white, eight percent Latino and seven percent black.
Keith Woods, NPR’s vice president for diversity in news and operations, is quoted as stating he is “generally pleased with the direction that this is going,” noting the increases in the share of black on-air sources, as well as the percentage of “subject matter experts” who are people of color. He said he had “hoped for better news on our coverage of women, on our inclusion of women.”
Note: Two protected classes were not surveyed by NPR, age and disability.