Steve Paikin, host of 'The Agenda', a current affairs show aired on Canadian public television TVO recently asked on his blog why women would not participate in the roundtable. The question generated numerous responses, including one by Soraya Chemaly who offers several explanations.
Steven Paikin stated that women tend to give excuses such as lack of childcare or hair issues, for example, whereas men will do their utmost to remove all obstacles that would hinder them from attending the show. Chemaly answers ” This is not because we are not able or ambitious, but because, by and large, men are rewarded with more pay, promotion and credibility when they have children and the opposite happens to women. (…)These facts are what’re called the Motherhood Penalty and the Fatherhood Bonus, both extensively documented.“
Ultimately Chemaly notes the lack of a systematic strategy to achieve gender parity both in programming and in media house staff composition: ”If programs are genuinely interested in diversity and gender parity, then they have to reflect this interest in their own organization’s makeup.”
Read Chemaly's response here.