Campaign to get more women experts on TV and radio

Posted Mar 12th 2012, 10:00

A new campaign is calling for at least 30 per cent of experts on TV and radio to be women.

Initiated by Lisa Campbell, Editor of Broadcast Magazine and Lis Howell, Deputy Head of Department and Director of Broadcasting at City University’s Department of Journalism, the campaign is a response to the significant under-representation of female experts in news interviews, documentaries and other programmes. The campaign is petitioning major news organisations BBC, ITN and Sky as well as other broadcast media, and supporters are asked to sign a petition

“Men typically outnumber women by 4:1 on a huge range of news and current affairs programmes across channels,” states Lisa. “And where women are used, they often feature as case studies or victims. This affects the worldview of every viewer and listener.

“We want broadcasters to better reflect the nation and the increasing numbers of women in professional positions and to provide more positive role models for young women. 30 percent is a realistic target and without it, broadcasters will only pay lip service to equality and nothing will change.”

“We welcome this campaign,” says UKRC Director Jane Butcher. “The current bias towards male expert interviewees has additional impact in areas such as science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) where the workforce is predominantly male. Female experts are there – but journalists, editors and researchers have to make additional efforts to ensure their representation.

“At the UKRC we have lists that can help media contact inspiring and expert women. We can also work with employers, professional bodies, colleges and universities to help women STEM experts build their communication skills.”

Useful lists for journlists on the UKRC and WISE website include:


For more information about the UKRC and WISE, email or phone 01274 436485.