The Tweets We Don't Hear
April 6, 2010
Yesterday, The Wrap.com posted a list of the “25 Media Insiders to Follow Right Now.” Sadly, only four women made it on this elite list. Really? Out of 25? Ouch. Women make up more than half the population, yet their representation on this list amounts to a meager 16%. Why?Perhaps there are fewer women than men on Twitter? No… that can’t be it. Women’s presence on Twitter tops men’s 55% to 45%. So what? Plain, old-fashioned sexism by TheWrap.com? Not quite. The problem seems to be a bit more culturally complicated than that. According to a 2009 study by the Harvard Business Review, men on Twitter have an easier time acquiring followers. In the study’s random sample of 300,000 Twitter users, men were twice as likely to follow another man than a woman. And women were 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman. When TheWrap.com, however, chooses to classify these popular men’s voices as the “most essential voices,” we have to worry about the message we’re sending women and girls. Basically, we’re telling them their voices are only somewhat “essential” to the conversation. In fact, they’re more supplemental than essential. I repeat - ouch. Well for those of us who DO consider women’s voices essential, be sure to check out this list published by Forbes.com on “20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter.” While you’re at it, check out their list of “14 Power Women to Follow on Twitter” and “30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter.” Thanks, Forbes.com, for these great lists!