Gorkana Insight & Analysis Team
The vast majority of broadcast producers think there aren't enough women commenting on stories of the day, but viewers want to hear from more females, according to a new report from Westbourne Communications.
The report, Out of the shadows, into the limelight, polled news producers from all the key radio and TV broadcasters and found that while 80% said not enough women comment on stories, nearly three-quarters (71.4%) say audiences want to see and hear more women in the media.
It revealed that Britain's TV producers are set to book more women for guest slots, however the majority said it was trickier booking females than male guests.
One respondent from CNBC said: "More male guests are offered to us by PRs. I would love to get more women onto my programme but it can be hard to find people who are willing and confident enough to talk."
Despite the growing demand for more female commentators, 80% of producers say that training in confidence and assertiveness would be beneficial to women, while more than half (60%) said they felt under pressure to book more female guests.
Two-thirds (66.7%) of the producers polled said around 25% of their guests were female, while just over a quarter (26.7%) said that around 50% were women.
Among the most successful current female media performers are guardian journalist Polly Toynbee, Claire Perry MP, resident doctor for BBC Breakfast Dr Rosemary Leonard, Yvette Cooper MP, celebrity marketing consultant Mary Portas and TV presenter Fiona Bruce, according to those polled.
Emily Hamilton, head of press and profile management at Westbourne Communications, said: "These results show that although women feel a glass ceiling for career progression exists, opportunities for them to boost their profile by appearing in the media have never been more plentiful. Professional women should seize these opportunities in much the same way that they seize other career-enhancing ventures."
Westbourne is launching a new profile management service specifically for women.