Bloomberg reporter increases women quoted in stories to 50 percent
Ben Bartenstein, an emerging markets reporter for Bloomberg News, increased the percentage of female sources quoted in his stories to 50 percent in 2018.
The percentage was 13 percent in 2017, wrote Bartenstein in a series of tweets.
“We didn’t quote them because they were women,” wrote Bartenstein. “We quoted them because they were the most qualified to answer our questions on a given topic, yet somehow got overlooked in the past (or were not given permission to speak with media).”
Bartenstein said that he and colleagues Aline Oyamada and Justin Villamil, who also cover emerging markets, compiled a list of prominent women sources on their beat that grew to more than 200 names.
“It turns out, there were dozens of female hedge fund managers, CIOs, emerging-market strategists, etc. who we rarely, if ever, quoted,” wrote Bartenstein. “Neither did our competition. Yet we interviewed their male colleagues repeatedly.”
Bloomberg began an effort at the beginning of the year to increase the number of women in its content earlier and as part of that effort began a pilot program to train more women for media appearances. That training has occurred in New York, London, Toronto, and Hong Kong.
“The main takeaway: There’s some initial legwork in finding new sources,” Bartenstein concluded. “But that is, after all, our job. Diverse sourcing is about far more than numbers. It gives you a competitive advantage over your competition & leads to more interesting and higher impact stories.”