- Ringier CFO Annabella Bassler presented the EqualVoice initiative at the International Peace Institute (IPI) in New York in cooperation with the “United Nations Commission on the Status of Women”.
- The ETH Zurich validated the EqualVoice Factor.
- The B.Z.-Berlin implemented the Equal Voice Factor.
- The rollout in the Ringier Group’s Eastern and Central European markets is in full swing.
- The first EqualVoice Summit in May 2022 launched the international discourse on gender equality in the media and Swiss business with EqualVoice United.
- The EqualVoice Factor for 2022 for the publications of Ringier and Ringier Axel Springer (RASCH) shows for the first time that the proportion of women and men is slightly more balanced in print than in online.
“What an honor to be invited to speak in New York on the topic of how to advance gender equality through technology and our EqualVoice initiative. I am proud of how much the initiative has contributed to a growing awareness and commitment to the topic of gender equality . Companies are increasingly recognizing the benefits of diversity in their teams and are taking effective measures to make diversity and inclusion a reality in the business environment,” says EqualVoice initiator and Ringier CFO Annabella Bassler.
The current highlight is the invitation to a side event hosted by the International Peace Institute (IPI) at the “Commission on the Status of Women” on the topic of “Using innovation and technology to promote gender equality.” Among the examples presented of innovative and technological approaches to improving gender equality was Annabella Bassler’s 2019 EqualVoice Initiative.
EqualVoice achieved a great deal in 2022. With the integration of the B.Z.-Berlin newspaper, the initiative was rolled out in publication media outside of Ringier and Ringier Axel Springer for the first time. With help from the Swiss Media Database SMD, the EqualVoice Factor was extended to print publications, and the analysis method was validated by an algorithm developed by ETH Zurich. The first EqualVoice Summit took place in May 2022, featuring first-rate speakers including human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, Federal Councilor Karin Keller-Sutter, and economics professor Iris Bohnet, to name but a few. The EqualVoice Summit also enabled top executives from leading international companies to share their views on the visibility of women in the media. Ringier AG, Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG, Axel Springer SE, DPG Media and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) have all signaled their commitment to the cause by signing the «EqualVoice Pledge». In doing so, media companies and the World Association of Newspaper and Magazine Publishers have committed to supporting gender equality in their organizations, introducing measures to promote gender equality, implementing the idea of EqualVoice with their respective media brands, increasing the visibility of women in the media, and communicating the benefits of gender equality. The event also saw the announcement of the international EqualVoice Advisory Board, which is committed in particular to expanding EqualVoice beyond Switzerland’s borders. In addition, EqualVoice made an appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2022 and 2023.
EqualVoice Factor’s development in 2022
In 2022, the printed editions of Beobachter, Bilanz, Blick, Handelszeitung, Schweizer Illustrierte, TELE and Glückspost were also included for the first time. The Body Score, which measures mentions within an article, registered a particularly encouraging 49% for TELE magazine (see Figure 1). «The well-balanced Body Score, with 49% women, is the pleasing result of three years’ work of EqualVoice and the consequent engagement with the topic by the TELE editorial team. The film and television industry offers multiple ways of addressing this matter. That’s why women often take lead roles in our reporting,» says Roger Kuster, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of TELE, the TV magazine with the largest readership in Switzerland. Schweizer Illustrierte also achieved a relatively balanced ratio with 46%, as did Beobachter with 45%. At 52%, slightly more women than men appear at Glückspost.
Online, Beobachter’s Teaser Score, which tracks the visibility of women in pictures, headlines and titles, increased by 7.9 percentage points and, at 51 percent, actually showed more women than men for the first time. Blick Romandie is also new to this analysis, and L’Illustré is set to follow as the next title from French-speaking Switzerland.
EqualVoice Factor in Poland
For two years now, the visibility of women in media publications has been measured by Ringier Axel Springer Polska (Ringier’s joint venture with Axel Springer in Poland) with the help of the EqualVoice Factor. Ongoing access to the collected data enables internal discussions about the equal voice of women and men in the media to be based on facts rather than individual perceptions. For the period of September 2020 to now, the Body Score (mentions in text) ranges from 29 to 38 percent and the Teaser Score, which analyzes headlines and images, ranges from 27 to 37 percent.
The EqualVoice Factor is currently being implemented in the Ringier Group’s eastern and central European markets. June marks the second round of a successful EqualVoice Summit in Zurich. At the same time, the EqualVoice United network, which was launched a year ago to advance gender equality in business in line with the fifth of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations («Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls») has grown from 10 to 15 members this year. In addition to Ringier, the network includes companies like Bank Cler, eBay, Insel Gruppe, ISS, Mastercard, Migros, Oerlikon, Swiss Post, Sunrise/UPC, Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz, Credit Suisse, Farner, Helvetia, Energy Group Switzerland, and On.
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 EqualPyxx 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. www.equalvoice.ch
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