The EqualVoice Factor, a semantic algorithm developed in-house by Ringier, has been measuring the proportion of women and men in all online articles published by Blick, Beobachter, Bilanz, Cash, Handelszeitung, GaultMillau and Schweizer Illustrierte since 2019. The print publications Beobachter, Bilanz, Blick, Handelszeitung, Glückspost, LandLiebe, Sonntagsblick and TELE have also been added since the beginning of 2022. The algorithm measures the «Body Score», which indicates how often women and men are mentioned in articles. Previously, manual counting was used for these publications. The results are encouraging: the proportion of women in Glückspost and the magazine TELE was 49 percent. The proportion of women in the print edition of Schweizer Illustrierte was 47 percent, while LandLiebe was not far behind at 46 percent.
The Body Score in print media
The Body Score shows how often women and men are mentioned in articles in print publications by Ringier and Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz.
The ongoing, lively debate in editorial offices about the increased visibility of women often generates new ideas on the topic of gender equality. For example, the publication Bilanz has introduced a column on the topic of «women and finance», which has received a lot of positive feedback on social media. In May, the Handelszeitung launched a special edition on the topic of EqualVoice that was met with a positive response from readers and advertisers. Dominique Strebel, editor-in-chief of Beobachter, said: «The more members of the editorial team get involved and actively engage with the topic of EqualVoice, the better our equal reporting results will be. Over the past year, we have started to rotate meeting chairs. The introduction of different chairs has led to team members contributing to the meetings who usually do not tend to actively take part. That results in a greater variety of topics being discussed and more balanced contributions.»
Silvia Binggeli, the new editor-in-chief of Schweizer Illustrierte, believes that it is also important to bring in the perspectives of young people: «In August, two volunteers will join us in our editorial office who will also be studying at the Ringier School of Journalism at the same time. I am very much looking forward to hearing what the young generation thinks about EqualVoice and the topics they wish to explore, and I hope to incorporate their ideas into our magazine. We can only benefit from this.»
The Teaser Score (online)
Beobachter online and Handelszeitung online were both able to slightly increase their Teaser Score, which indicates the visibility of women in images, headlines and titles. The score for the other publications was slightly lower than the previous year. Dirk Schütz, editor-in-chief of Bilanz: «We have found that the war in Ukraine and topics such as inflation have led to men increasingly being the protagonists of media coverage once again. As we measure the proportion of women, we notice such trends and are better placed to respond.»
Annabella Bassler, CFO of Ringier and initiator of the EqualVoice initiative: «Despite the proportion of women being lower in certain publications than in the previous six months, the quality of reporting increased everywhere. One example that demonstrates this is the reporting on the European Women’s Football Championship in the newspaper Blick. Never before has the tournament been reported on in such an in-depth and equal way. It’s about the journey, not the destination, and we are on the right track.»
ETH validates the EqualVoice Factor
The EqualVoice Factor measurement method was validated by ETH Zurich in May 2022. This scientifically documented confirmation attests to the correctness and reliability of the measurement method. The EqualVoice Factor is also suited to use by other media houses and corporate communications departments. Axel Springer is the first media company other than Ringier and Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz to use the EqualVoice Factor. It has been doing so since January 2022. The algorithm measures the proportion of women in B.Z. Berlin, Berlin’s largest tabloid newspaper.
There will be plenty of EqualVoice news in the near future. In the fall, the first-ever EqualVoice podcast will be launched, a series of discussions featuring prominent business figures spread over six episodes. The second EqualVoice specialist magazine, which is produced by Ringier Brand Studio, will also be published. There will be something to look forward to in 2023, too, in the form of a new edition of the EqualVoice Summit. This year’s summit featured internationally renowned speakers such as human rights barrister Amal Clooney, Federal Councilor and Minister of Justice Karin Keller-Sutter, behavioral economist Professor Iris Bohnet from Harvard University, Mariana Santos, founder and CEO of Chicas Poderosas, Carolina Müller-Möhl, founder and president of the Müller-Möhl Foundation, Corine Mauch, Mayor of Zurich, and Brittany Kaiser, co-founder of the Own Your Data Foundation.
Ringier AG, Corporate Communications
The initiative was launched by CFO Annabella Bassler in November 2019, and is chaired by publisher Michael Ringier and CEO Marc Walder. Its aim is to advocate gender equality and improve the visibility of women in the media. The central element of the initiative is an indicator known as the EqualVoice factor. Further projects related to EqualVoice include the Female Experts List, Ringier’s internal tool for finding female experts, the EqualPyx photo challenge, aimed at generating images with more diversity, and the female experts workshop ‘Get Ready – Go Forward’, which supports women in making the most of their expertise. An international expansion of the EqualVoice factor to include other media brands is planned for the near future.
Ringier is a Media- and Technology Company Swiss by nature. The Group includes over 130 companies operating numerous leading media brands, digital platforms and marketplaces. Ringier addresses every walk of life and touches the lives of millions of people – every day around the globe in 19 countries. 73 percent of operating profit comes from the digital sector. This puts Ringier in the group of leading European media companies. The family-owned enterprise believes in entrepreneurship, collaboration, innovation, trust and courage for nearly 190 years. In a world that’s becoming ever more complex and challenging, Ringier`s mission is to keep interest alive and to ensure that customers, users or readers never lose sight of what connects them: We create interest in the world around you – and beyond. www.ringier.com