Promoting equal showing for media spokeswomen at the House of Commons - Kerry Hopkins
Showcasing research results at the House of Commons was one of the proudest moments of her life, according to former journalist Kerry Hopkins, of Newark.
Kerry, a former national news journalist for BBC and ITV, presented the findings of an inquiry into gender representation of broadcast media spokespeople from FTSE 100 companies.
The studied was carried out by Kerry’s Newark-based Broadcast Club, which aims to raise awareness, inspire, and encourage female expert media spokespeople.
Her investigation grew from her university dissertation on the lack of female comedians on television in comparison to male.
“I got really into the subject when I was doing my masters in 2013. I just haven’t been able to shake that way of thinking,” she said.
“It started when a campaign came out called The Expert Women Campaign, showing the number of men going on the news as experts, but there weren’t any women.”
Having worked in personal relations, Kerry, who moved to Newark earlier this year, then realised all her ex-clients were men.
She said the public could easily fall into a trap of subconsciously being brainwashed by the media.
“Unless there are these campaigns, you don’t realise what’s going on,” she said.
“We should be seeing more women experts on the news, but it has its complications. I want more spokespeople to be broadcast media-trained, both men and women.”
The study revealed 84% of companies would not say how many female broadcast spokespeople they had.
More than 120 guests attended the event where the the findings were revealed. The event was hosted by BBC newsreader Simon McCoy.
“We had a lot of distinguished, successful guests,” Kerry said.
“Students from the University of Lincoln and University of Nottingham were there too. We are trying to improve our local links.
“While giving the findings, we made it more inclusive, talking about all races and all genders to make sure everyone felt included.”
Since the survey, Easyjet, Ocado, Mondi and WPP have joined the Broadcast Club.