MediaGuardian 100 2015: Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook and George Osborne lead most powerful media personalities

Women make up less than a third of the list as over half are white males

Olivia Blair
Monday 30 November 2015 13:45
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Zuckerberg tops the list after 2015 became the year one billion people visit Facebook each day
Zuckerberg tops the list after 2015 became the year one billion people visit Facebook each day

Over half of the annual list of the 100 most influential media personalities are white and male, raising recurring questions over the lack of diversity in the media.

The list recognises those who have exercised power within digital media, television, radio, print and marketing over the past year.

Mark Zuckerberg leads the way in this year’s MediaGuardian 100 Power list, based on the premise that since August 2015 Facebook has one billion visitors per day.

Just two women make it into this year’s top 10 and less than a third (31) of all featured are women.

The highest ranking woman is Taylor Swift at eighth place who, in addition to her record sales and social media following, managed to reverse Apple’s decision to not pay producers, writers or artists during their three month trial of Apple Music.

Sharon White, the Chief Executive of Ofcom makes up the top 10 with judges saying: “Let’s not take her elevation to Ofcom as a sign of an industry open to diversity. Rather, it’s a tribute to how exceptional she is.”

Other notable females included in the list are Amy Schumer, Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly, Shonda Rhimes and Rebekah Brookes, who made a return to News UK this year as their Chief Executive.

Although the amount of women included in the list is up by more than half on last year’s, it appears there is still a long way to go.

A spokesperson for the Fawcett Society told The Independent: “Yes, this is a welcome progress but we won’t be content until we have equal representation across all media. Those with power and influence are still, in the main, white men.”

This is a sentiment which one of the judges Trevor Phillips, the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, echoes.

He told The Guardian: “The leadership cadre still consists of people of a particular colour or background.”

Apart from Swift and Ms White, the other eight places in the top 10 are white men. Following Zuckerberg’s prime position, the top five is Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Rupert Murdoch.

In total, 64 places are reserved for white men and less than 10 per cent are from BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds.

Behind Ms White, Lenny Henry is the highest ranking BME individual at 18th place. After being credited last year for “almost single-handedly putting TV’s lack of racial diversity at the top of the agenda”, Henry continues to raise the issue and received a knighthood for services to drama and charity earlier this year.

Caitlyn Jenner was a new entry to the list, ranking at 96th place. As the fastest person to reach one million followers on Twitter, Jenner is recognised for doing “more than anyone else to raise awareness of transgender issues” through social media and her reality television programme I am Cait.

The last two places to make up the top 100 were reserved for two Jeremys: Clarkson, then Corbyn.

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