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Sound Women to launch at Radio Festival

Women in the UK radio industry are significantly under-represented at senior levels, according to a new report produced by Skillset for Sound Women, a new organisation dedicated to highlighting the issues faced by women in the radio industry.

“Tuning out – women in the UK radio industry” shows that just 17% of people operating at board level are female, and 34% are senior managers.

This is in comparison to the TV industry, where 29% of board members are female, and 37% of senior managers are women.

The figures also show that only 50% of women working in radio are over 35 years old, compared with 60% of men. This drops to 9% in the 50-plus age bracket, compared with 19% for men.

Sound Women is a network of more than 200 women working in audio that is committed to raising the profile of the women who work in the radio and audio industry. The organisation, of which Skillset is a founding member, will be launching at the Radio Festival this week. Victoria Derbyshire, Fi Glover, Annie Nightingale and Zoe Ball are among its members.

Skillset’s executive director, Kate O’Connor, said: “We hope that this report will stimulate debate around the issue of female representation in our industry, and are extremely pleased to be working as a founding member of Sound Women to highlight these important issues.

“We cannot ignore the importance training and support for women in areas such as management and leadership to help them overcome these challenges, and we look forward to providing many such opportunities at the Radio Fast Train event in February next year.”

Founder of Sound Women, Maria Williams, said: “This report has already helped Sound women identify the issues we need to tackle in radio. For every Dame Jenni Murray there are scores of young women looking for role models and a way forward. Sound Women looks forward to working closely with Skillset and the radio industry on this, creating mentoring, networking and leadership projects that will make a real difference.”

In February 2012, Skillset and the BBC Academy are presenting Radio Fast Train, a day of free training for radio freelancers and independents, to be held at White City in London. (Not Media City UK as previously told to Radio Today).

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