Telum Celebrates International Women’s Day 2024 | Part Two
Interview

Telum Celebrates International Women’s Day 2024 | Part Two

By Cindy Paskalina Kweesar

World leaders set a 2030 deadline to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women. With less than six years left to meet it, Telum asked journalists how they have seen gender inequality manifest in the industry.

Helen McCabe, Managing Director at Future Women

There has been a lot of change. Just look at the makeup of the Federal Parliament. Yet, every day, there are reminders of how far we still have to go. I talk to female founders who struggle to be heard or taken seriously and mothers or women in their forties who have taken time out of work and can't get back in. The current representation of women in leadership roles has improved, but we can do better. 

Alice Ellis, Editor at Time Out Sydney

The increasing representation of female sports journos is such a positive - inclusion matters because female presenters are more likely to attract women to engage with sport (with all its social, emotional and physical benefits). As a mum of a boy, I also think boys seeing women as authorities in sports - and even more so, playing sports at the pro level - is everything. I took my son to so many women's sports when he was little that all his heroes were women (he could hardly name a male sports star!). An arena that gives little boys a chance to have female role models is world-changing stuff.

Then there's the lifestyle media space I'm in now - it's long been dominated by female content creators, and Time Out APAC is lucky to be run by an incredible female MD, Kaylie Smith - a really strong leader and mentor for the many females in our business. 

Caitlin Fitzsimmons, Environment and Climate Reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald

Gender inequality is certainly a lot less than it did back when I started out, more than 20 years ago. Women in leadership positions were scarce at the time. On TV, women rarely read the news on their own, only as part of a double act with a man. Despite progress, the media industry in general still has a long way to go to achieve true equality, including closing the gender pay gap at all levels and ensuring there is not a penalty for becoming a mother. We also need to work on improving the diversity of our newsrooms in other ways.

Investing in women matters because men and women have equal worth and merit. Giving people of any gender equal opportunities and levelling the playing field is the right thing to do. It is also good business because if you're in a war for talent, you don't want to ignore or undervalue all the smart, educated women in the workforce. For media, it matters particularly because we need to represent our audiences.

Laura Masia, Entertainment Reporter at PEDESTRIAN.TV

As someone who got their start in magazines - an industry that is mainly composed of women, I feel like women are very well represented within Australian journalism. I think where the focus should be on making sure our industry is more diverse is platforming the voices of queer, trans women, and women of colour.

In case you missed it, check out Part One of Telum Celebrates International Women’s Day 2024.

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Journalists
Caitlin Fitzsimmons

Environment and Climate Reporter

Helen McCabe

Managing Director

Alice Ellis

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Laura Masia

Entertainment Reporter

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