When I was a little girl there were not many faces like my own on television.The dream of being a woman of colour on a mainstream channel in Canada was just that - a dream.
So I remember distinctly the first time I saw someone that looked like me doing the local news. It was a moment that made me believe it was possible to have a career in front of the camera.
Years later when I landed my first on-air gig fresh out of journalism school, I was elated. My dream was finally coming to fruition.
I reported for the South Asian newscast of OMNI News covering community stories and mainstream news. My job was to include interviews that reflected a South Asian perspective and to give a voice to the voiceless.
Some days it was easy to find these “experts” willing to share personal accounts that reflected an alternate opinion - but most days it was a challenge. Story after story I was starting to notice a pattern - a LOT of the “experts” I interviewed were male.
This trend continued when I landed reporter gigs at the mainstream media outlets.
This was happening for several reasons, but mostly because these male experts were already in the database of contacts reporters acquired over the years, or they happened to be in roles where males dominated the industry, like politics.
While fair representation of females to males in mainstream media is slowly improving it’s not where it should be in 2018. Thus the birth of She’s Newsworthy in 2015.
So I ask, can you picture being interviewed for your expertise?
If the answer is no, maybe it’s time to sit and think about why not, and what you need to do to get there.
Sometimes it’s just about shifting your mindset to realize your voice counts too.