Women on Air is a community of like-minded women and men who want to hear and see more women on the airwaves. We’re a completely voluntary networking group that runs seminars, events and informal training workshops to help give women the skills and confidence to go on radio and television. All women involved, from the speakers to committee members, volunteer their time to ensure a greater diversity of voices on the airwaves.
Many women, no matter how expert they may be in their field, seem hesitant to state their views in public forums such as radio, television or in live debates. They tend to shy away from opinion journalism. Producers and researchers also report that they have great difficulty getting women on the airwaves. Women on Air events and conferences provide female area experts with media contacts, practical broadcasting tips, inside information and personal contacts. Through our seminars and meetings, women come to understand that their opinions are valid, and wanted, by radio researchers and producers. They also form networks of women who encourage and support them to get on radio or TV.
One of the main initiatives of Women on Air is to encourage and promote women’s voices on radio and TV, where we are very much underrepresented. Research indicates that men outnumber women on broadcast media by two to one. And even where women do speak, research indicates they still tend to be relegated to “softer” areas, such as entertainment and fashion.
Our mission is to change that dynamic. We offer high quality media training weekendsfor women, followed by a six month mentoring programme where an experienced broadcaster supports our participants in getting their message heard.
We are particularly interested in training women who have something of substance to contribute to public debate. To date, we have trained women from many different walks of life, women who work with voluntary services, lawyers, chefs, psychologists, tax experts, gardeners, journalists and more. We are currently compiling a database of these women for use by media professionals.
It is free of charge to participate, we are funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. All we require is commitment to the training process and mentoring programme.