Women in TV

Lisa Campbell hosts this masterclass about the issue of how women are represented on screen. She is joined by Siara Khan, presenter and former runner up on BBC One's The Apprentice, Alison Kirkham, commissioning editor at BBC Knowledge, Channel 4 News Ben Munro Davies and FindaTVExpert.com's Claire Richmond.

This is a recording of a masterclass from the BBC Academy’s TV Fast Train event held on 16 May 2012.

Lisa Campbell hosts this masterclass about the issue of how women are represented on screen.

She is joined by Alison Kirkham, commissioning editor of features and formats at BBC Knowledge, Ben Munro Davies, output editor at Channel 4 News, Claire Richmond, managing director at FindaTVExpert.com and Siara Khan, presenter and former runner up on BBC One's The Apprentice.

"There are as many women out there as men that want to be on TV"– Claire Richmond

A discussion with those who commission, produce and present on TV about why women are not adequately represented on the screen and what can be done about it, including practical tips on how to find and produce female talent.

We have also provided a list of ten tips for female contributors on TV and radio.

1. Get some training if you need it. There are many reputable companies out there that offer media training.

2. Practice what you are going to say. Think of at least three points that you want to make and make them well with evidence and examples.

3. Learn how to handle objections, rebuttals, counter arguments and people who might want to talk all over you. This may well happen particularly if you appear on an adversarial format debate programme. 

4. You will never hear a man saying “I have nothing to say on that matter”. Women are much more likely to feel that they have nothing to add. Don’t be reticent about putting yourself forward. If you don’t promote yourself, why should others?

5. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that being aggressive on air/on screen makes compulsive viewing/listening. It can be a turn-off. Find your own authentic style and know your stuff.

6. Be known as the ‘go to’ person on homeworking/the economy/car mechanics/baking bread. This means that you need to do your own PR. Write articles, books, blogs, and tweets on your chosen subject.

7. Get someone you trust to give you honest, constructive feedback and watch/listen to your performances and learn.

8. Understand the TV/radio-making process and what goes into making a programme so that when you are approached you can ask producers and researchers the right kind of questions and really understand the brief.

9. Network and outreach to the production community not just the editorial and commissioning big guns. It is the researchers and producers who do the booking.

10. Identify and cultivate a champion for yourself within the business.