Happy International Women’s Day, Creatives! Join us in celebrating this important campaign, which attempts year on year to help bring society ever closer to parity.
I spoke to female creatives across various industries to find out what International Women’s Day means to them, and what advice they have in store for emerging female creatives.
Founder of social community project Verbal Remedy, and Producer at BBC Radio Newcastle.
“In this day and age you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t consume some sort of media every day. That’s why I think we as an industry have to be incredibly hot on issues such as gender parity.
“Not only do we have to work on equality for those who work for us (for instance, only 36% of people in your typical newsroom are female), but we also need to improve how women are portrayed in our documentaries and dramas.
“No one should be confined to playing the swooning doctor’s assistant or the
damsel in distress. Of course, many of us will be able to think of women whose contributions to TV and film are far from tokenism, but there’s still a long way to go.”
“24 years ago I launched FemFM in Bristol-200 women made the first women’s radio station in the UK. Now, International Women’s Day 2016, I’ve been listening to the wonderful women of Spark broadcasting loud and clear with some excellent interviews and whole day of female music.“On BBC Radio 3 they have a whole day of classical music composed by women. I’ve just got back from Women’s Health Information in Tyne and where around 100 women from many different nationalities were gathered to celebrate International women’s day.“One of the inspirational speakers was Susan Mahal who is senior producer at Made in Tyne and Wear TV. She talked about how to balance our lives as women with all sorts of commitments with the excitement and responsibility of working as a journalist.”
Alongside their all-day female presenters and all-day female bands/artists, Spark FM‘s Lauren Paton interviewed actor Pooja Shah, best known for her role in Bend It Like Beckham. Pooja gives insight into how different companies are investing in IWD. Click here to listen to Pooja’s interview.
“Today marks a day to celebrate women across the world, for our strength, determination, beauty and our all round awesomeness. As a woman working in the creative industries, I am passionate for promoting this incredible area of work that is full of emerging talent, originality and women who want to be heard.“My skills are in glass making, painting, photography and textiles, priding myself on achieving amazing grades to date and a First Class Honours degree. I like to think I’m a woman of many talents and not afraid to get my hands dirty (literally) to achieve results and make a difference. I thrive off teaching young people creative skills and engaging them in workshops to improve their self-esteem, confidence and mental health.“As a woman using her experiences of a life-threatening illness, making the steps to overcome this has been through using art to express myself and pass this on to help and prevent others from the dangers of mental health issues. I strongly believe parity is important for women, regardless of being female, where we work, our backgrounds, or our experiences.“We deserve the same equal rights as men and I stand by encouraging women to support parity for women, helping us to embrace power and celebrate sisterhood!”
“To see young people and future journalists that engaged with women’s rights and equality is empowering.“We need to remember all the women in history and nowadays who keep fighting for women to have full rights and not be discriminated at work or anywhere else.“Thanks to lecturer Jenny Wotherspoon, who organised today’s collaboration, I witnessed how the younger generations of journalists continue a legacy which should not be forgotten; to remember women great women in history.”
“As a woman working in the media, things have changed a lot since I first started. There were loads of men and a lot fewer women, especially in video journalism, and I used to be the one woman in the UTV news room. Genuinely, when I first started I was the only woman in that news room, shut in a little cupboard doing video stuff on my own.“Now, it feels like there are many more women in broadcast media than men. I don’t feel like [being a woman has] ever stopped me getting anywhere, or caused me any problems. But, obviously I think equality is really important, and I think gender equality should be something that news rooms think about a lot.“When I’ve worked in sports reporting, that’s when I experienced the least gender equality. And when you go into a sports press event, and you are genuinely one of the only women, there’s an assumption that you know absolutely nothing about what you’re doing. Now I don’t know a hell of a lot about football, but some of those other women in those news rooms knew more than those men.“There is an element of being excluded from those conversations and those discussions, and the assumption that you don’t know anything. If there is inequality anywhere, it’s in sports reporting.”
Stay productive, stay awesome!
Executive Producer, 99% Perspiration