I want to let you in on a secret behind one of the best things I’ve done in my radio career.
Sound Women is an organisation started by the very lovely Maria Williams (radio executive editing producer type extraordinaire) to raise the profile of women in the industry, tackle the underrepresentation of women on air and basically just remind everyone that a range of different voices and perspectives on any team is, well… bloody important.
Sound Women was started a few years ago after Maria went to a big UK radio awards ceremony and noticed that hardly any women were nominated, let alone receiving awards.
She wanted to change this, got a group of people together, and a short time later, Sound Women is already punching way above its weight.
The organisation has commissioned research, giving actual numbers and statistics about the state of the industry and the experiences of women working in it.
It’s organised training days and festivals.
And it’s become a focal point for others who want to help more women behind-the-scenes, but don’t know where to go to find the right people.
For example, as I’ve worked in both production and engineering, I’ve become known as a ‘techy type’.
TechCon (a UK radio engineering conference) realised it was having a problem attracting more women to speak and attend the event, contacted Sound Women for help and – boom! I was on the committee.
This led to one of the best years of my working life, as not only did I get to speak at the event and produce one of the sessions (technology and production combined – a match made in heaven for me), I also made some amazing friends in the process (a woman needs buddies to drink gin with, after all).
We all need friends to support us through the difficult times in our careers, and to cheer each other on as things go well.
It’s a myth that you have to be female to join Sound Women – you don’t. Many men are members, and they are all the best kind of people in the world (obviously).
I wouldn’t have had some of the opportunities that I’ve experienced in the last few years without this organisation and would encourage anyone with a love of the radio or podcasting industries to join. You can do so here: join Sound Women and also sign up for the podcast, which is available here: Sound Women podcast.
I believe that helping each other out is a great way to get ahead in the industry, so please let me know what YOU do to support other people (or great resources for support) in the comments below.
And I’d love to keep in touch with you, so don’t forget to sign up for updates below while you are at it!