The BBC Academy’s Expert Women events are part of a campaign to increase the number of expert women presenters and contributors appearing on TV and radio in key under-represented areas including science, history, politics, business, engineering, architecture and technology. The project is a collaboration between the BBC Academy and Broadcast Magazine, with support from BBC Diversity, Creative Skillset, Channel 4, Sky, ITV and the wider broadcast industry.
"I didn't have that much confidence that anybody would want to listen to my ideas about the work I do. But actually they did." – Sally Marlow
The inaugural event included presenter training, candid advice from women already in the industry and face to face sessions with commissioners. It was a huge success, bringing female experts in their field to the forefront of industry consciousness and opening a gateway into areas previously occupied mostly by men.
Within days of the event, several experts had been snapped up for appearances right across the broadcasting spectrum. More events in London and Salford have taken place since, and more are planned, and there is now a YouTube channel dedicated solely to showcasing their areas of expertise.
Denise Roach is joined in the studio by experts Tina Miller, Charlotte Connelly and Sally Marlow, who each found themselves in the spotlight after attending the event. They tell us about their experiences, give some advice and talk us through what it takes to be an expert woman on TV and radio. They also share their personal experience of how they have moved on from that initial training, from being discovered by producers or promoting themselves as experts, to pitching ideas to programme makers. They also examine the benefits of creating an online presence via a blog or showreel and how to present themselves on camera.
Tina Miller is a professor of Sociology at Oxford Brookes University where her research expertise focuses on contemporary family lives. Since the expert training day Tina has appeared on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour and appeared on BBC Radio Oxford.
Charlotte Connelly works at the Science Museum where she is currently a curator working on the team for the museum’s landmark new gallery Information Age, which is due to open in 2014. Her media appearances since the training include BBC World News and BBC Radio Solent. She has also been in studio expert on BBC Two's The Genius of Invention and a contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Last Word.
Sally Marlow is an expert in alcohol problems and addiction at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. She researches and communicates the science, psychology and culture underlying drinking and addiction problems. Since Expert Women’s Day, she has recorded a package for the Today programme and has been a contributor for Feedback and Inside Health. She also presented the documentary Constant Cravings: Does Food Addiction Exist? for BBC Radio 4.