In a 2002 study, The Annenberg Public Policy Center examined 57 of the largest companies and conglomerates in the entertainment, telecommunications and cable, publishing, and e-companies, as well as individual operating units within those companies. Among 10 entertainment conglomerates, women were found to comprise 13 percent of directors and 14 percent of executives. Fox Entertainment Group, Inc., and USA Networks, Inc., for example, listed no women among their top executives in their 2001 annual reports. The study found that among the 23 largest telecommunications and cable providers, women account for 12 percent of directors and 16 percent of executives. And among the 13 most successful e-companies, women make up only eight percent of directors and 18 percent of executives. Women seem to fare better in the area of publishing, where they make up 17 percent of directors and 22 percent of executives in the 11 largest companies. It has been recommended that corporations provide more training and mentoring to women to help guide their careers, do internal reviews for the hiring and retention of women at all levels, and put succession planning into place for top positions to include outreach to women (Koss-Feder, 2002). All around the globe, these numbers are typical and consistent.
Those women who have achieved top status in the communications field need to push for more to women sit on the boards of these large companies, notes John Challenger, president of Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc., a Chicago-based international outplacement firm.