The Radiodays Europe Women Networking session was opened by Cheyenne Mackay. “We are all at Radiodays Europe and were at this session to set an example” she said. As radio professionals, we have a responsibility to change things and make a difference through using language well, breaking stereotypes and raising our voices for equality. Cheyenne acknowledged that it is a shame, in 2018, that we still have to hold sessions like this. But nevertheless, we do.
A number of issues within the radio industry were identified. These included secrecy around pay, a lack of women in management and a perception that the problems have already been solved. Moreover, it was raised that there are problems with the amount of women presenting in primetime slots, myths around women’s voices being less attractive to the ear and an attitude that with the younger generation, these issues will simply disappear.
However, some areas of the radio industry are leading the way in addressing these problems. Networks in different countries mean that women can encourage each other and offer opportunities, advice and mentoring. Additionally, some companies look to after job advertisements to make them more appealing to women – or use blind recruitment strategies. There are also executive development programs which have a list of ‘expert women’ who have been trained in interviewing skills!
But the feeling amongst the group was that they want more. More campaigns and workshops like the one today. More mentoring opportunities. More promotions of women both in front of and behind the mic. There were also many developmental ideas – with a particular focus on self-esteem and confidence for women.
We know we can’t fix the industry immediately – but 2018 certainly feels like a year of huge change in the area of gender equality. Let’s not get left behind as an industry.
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