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Industry must ‘Rise’ to the challenge of bolstering female leadership roles

The majority of people in the industry believe that working practices need to be improved in the broadcast manufacturing and services sector if it is to retain and increase the number of women working in senior leadership positions, according to a new survey.

To celebrate its relaunch as Rise, the gender diversity organisation formerly known as Females in Broadcast has published the results of its survey at IBC, examining the paucity of women in senior management roles in the industry.

Of the 100 broadcast industry professionals of all genders who were quizzed by Rise, 70 per cent said that their company’s working practices could be improved for women, with the main issues including career path progression, childcare provision and flexible working.

The survey exposes the lack of women in senior management roles, with just 15 per cent reporting that their senior management team featured 50 per cent or more women; 60 per cent had a minority of women in senior roles and in most cases no women at all on their senior management team.

“Gender inequality is a serious issue for our industry that needs to be better recognised, particularly at the top of organisations,” said Rise founder Sadie Groom, who added that there were good economic reasons for companies to increase their gender diversity.

“What does it say to women with aspirations to climb the corporate ladder, when fewer than two per cent of CEOs in our sector are female? We need to work with manufacturers to promote the female developers and users of their equipment.

It sounds almost petty, but if young women don’t see ‘people like them’ providing technical support, designing products or leading a team, they are less likely to consider these kinds of roles.”

Rise aims to hold quarterly networking events, seminars and a mentoring scheme aimed at opening more opportunities for female broadcast professionals. It will also look to collaborate with similar groups in adjacent sectors and around the world to share ideas and success stories.

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