How Balanced is Gender Representation in Media? (2017–2018)

Representation in Music, Fiction, and Movies

Despite women being dominant when it comes to making number one hit songs, in the last year, they are rather underrepresented on the Billboard charts. The below plot is ordered by the songs which spent the most time on the Billboard Hot-100. Female artists are in red, and male in blue.

Social Media (a hope for the future?)

Though inequality is still rampant in the world of old media, things looks much more promising on social media platforms. The chart below shows the top independent Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter accounts — ie those not representing large companies or groups.

Show me the Money…

As gender representation in old-world media is found wanting, we may wonder whether women’s dominance on social platforms translates into larger paydays. Alas, this is not the case. The below chart shows the total incomes of the top musicians, actors and celebrities in 2017 (courtesy of Forbes).


Clearly gender equality in media has a long way to go. Nevertheless, the world is changing. As the old paradigms of media consumption are disrupted by new forms of entertainment, we may hope to see women’s social media popularity translated into well-earned cold, hard, cash.

Married engineer in San Francisco. Interested in words, networks, and human abstractions. Opinions expressed are solely my own.

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