Using standpoint epistemology and critical mass theory this study analyzes the potential impact on work culture and conditions in German newsrooms following a call for voluntary gender quotas in newsroom leadership. In-depth interviews with 53 journalists in 21 leading newsrooms in Germany find positive changes in work culture and conditions for all journalists in all newsrooms that reached or approached critical mass of women in leadership. Through the eyes of women and men working in these national newsrooms, an increase in women in newsrooms that came near or superseded the voluntary quota in leadership positions helped boost ongoing institutional support regarding paid parental leave and childcare options and augmented transparency around opportunities for mentoring, coaching, and hiring through more institutionalized processes. We recommend a continued implementation of voluntary quotas and further research to document and analyze long-term structural and systemic changes that more women in newsroom leadership could bring.
Assmann, K., & Eckert, S. (2023). Are women journalists in leadership changing work conditions and newsroom culture? Journalism. https://doi.org/10.1177/14648849231159957