Hierarchical methods of working have been developed to feed the manufacturing process, and those hierarchies are controlled by men. It is men who determine what we see, read and hear. Women are acknowledged by men as consumers. This has given us women's magazines and women's pages in the print media. Women have been allowed to write for and edit women's magazines, but often only within the confines of a male perception of what is appropriate for women and what they will buy. Because male executives have decided that television programs should appeal to as wide an audience as possible, there are no longer programs especially for women. In commercial radio, men have made the judgment that women want to hear men's voices.
Occasionally, executives may try out a woman but often make the working conditions impossible. For example, my daughter gave up a job as a television journalist to be, she was told, an equal on-air partner with two men on a Melbourne breakfast show. She was made the butt of sexist jokes, and could not control her microphone to respond.
Conditions are especially difficult for women who work in front of the camera. Women TV journalists tell about getting interviews against extraordinary odds, such as when covering a story on an earthquake or a fife, only to be told that what they were wearing was unsuitable or that their hair was out of place.
The mass production nature of the print, radio and television industries has dictated that, as in any other industry, people learn on the job. You start at the bottom, often as the postboy or scene shifter, and work your way up. The only jobs available for women have been traditionally female ones, such as secretary, research, make-up or wardrobe, and these are all dead-end. There is no training for women into senior positions in production, as there is for men. And there are no formally recognized qualifications for production jobs. A journalism degree is now more or less recognized by most newspapers, but not necessarily by radio or television managements, even though the first journalism course began in 1922.
Unfortunately, many women who have managed to work themselves into non- traditional production positions have usually succeeded by taking on the male culture and being "one of the boys." They have consequently also adopted an attitude not very supportive to women, as in "I did it, so why can't you?"