Funny figures

September 7th, 2008 § 0 comments

Peter Preston, in the Guardian, spots a bit of funny adding up by the Equality and Human Rights Commission:

It’s awful, says the Equality and Human Rights Commission: top women are even thinner on the ground than they were last year. The percentage of women national newspaper editors has plummeted from 17.4 per cent in 2006 to 13.6 per cent in 2007-08 (having happily risen from 9.1 per cent in 2003). And this sad slump in female fortunes gets big news treatment (including a full page in the Mail.

Yet puzzle over the figures a moment. At the end of 2003, there were four women editors already in place: Rebekah Wade at the Sun, Dawn Neesom at the Star, Tina Weaver at the Sunday Mirror and Veronica Wadley at the Standard.

The only change since then has seen Sarah Sands and Patience Wheatcroft sit briefly in the Sunday Telegraph chair, then depart.

How did 9.1 per cent in 2003 become 13.6 per cent in 2007 when the actual numbers involved are exactly the same? Maybe there should be more top women statisticians, too.

I’m no mathmatician, but even I know that one of the figures somewhere is wrong.

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