Media Powerlist: Old men still dominate top media boards

Big media players and companies in the UK prove to keep older aged directors rather than hiring the young and thriving. 

By Vaishali Varu

Leeds Hacks conducted new research on the Media Powerlist that highlighted the starting age of Directors, which are at a later age than expected.

Age is a variable which is easy to notice, especially when there is discrimination, whether that is intentionally done or not. Within the Media Powerlist 2019 research, Leeds Hacks found these big media companies have a board of directors who have stuck around for many years.

Media company average ages

The average age of directors in each media companies is higher than expected.

The graph above is a representation of how intensive age discrimination is in the Media industry. As you can see, most companies average age on the board of directors is above 50 years old.

From Leeds Hack’s research, it was found that the oldest director is 37 years old and the oldest director is 90 years old.

Profile of youngest Director

A profile of the youngest Director from one of the big Media Companies.



Profile on oldest Director

Profile of the Oldest Director from one of the big Media Companies.

What is interesting is the fact that at both ends of the scale of age, they are both male directors.

This brings in the never ending issue of gender discrimination. Below is a graph showing the average ages of directors with their gender.

From this graph it can be gathered that the youngest or younger directors of each company is a female, and the older directors are male. Despite that the majority of directors are male, this shows how closely interlinked age and gender is.

As time has passed, it seems media companies have hired women more recently to reduce gender discrimination, which can be seen by their young age compared to the male directors. But the age of the youngest woman is 45 years old.

If Directors are still on the board even after the age of 70 years, this questions whether there is a retirement age policy in these companies.

In 2001, there was a case between Daily Mail and General Trust plc and Sir Ronald Grierson, who had been a director of the company since 1995. He was asked to retire, due to a rule they had that explained directors over the age of 75 years were not allowed to seek for re-election on the board.

Nevertheless, Managing Director Douglas Campbell can confirm that “DMGT does not specify that Directors should retire at 75, it would be age discrimination”.

It seems over time the rule was abolished, and these Media Powerlist companies are trying to reduce age discrimination, in the sense that having older people on the board of directors is a positive aspect.









About the Author

This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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