The inaugural WLIA Media and Panel Pledge Awards seek to recognise the conscious efforts of individuals and organisations working to achieve gender balance in public forums, on panels and in media coverage.
Awardees will have demonstrated evidence and analysis of their ongoing efforts and achievement of sustained gender balance. The WLIA Awards will recognise the outstanding initiatives of both ‘Panel Pledge’ advocates and media professionals.
Gender Balance on Panels and in the Media
A balanced approach to gender representation at public forums and in media coverage should be actively sought. There is an abundance of qualified women to speak on their areas of expertise, however, less than 15 per cent of speakers on panels are currently women.
In an approach to reverse this imbalance, all Australian ‘Male Champions of Change’ have taken the ‘Panel Pledge’ by insisting upon gender balance as a condition of their participation on any panel. The WLIA Awards – Panel Pledge category – will recognise leading advocates for gender balance in public forums across all sectors.
Similarly, there is a lack of gender balance in female thought leadership across the Australian media, with 21 per cent of newspaper articles quoting female voices. The WLIA Awards – Media category – will recognise initiatives to achieve gender balance in sources and guests across the mediums of print, online, radio and TV.
Why Gender Balance Must be a Conscious Objective
A gender balance of sources and experts ensures the highest quality conversations, thus not only reflecting the diverse talent in society, but also producing the best possible outcomes. These awards will recognise the role both men and women have to play in disrupting traditional gender norms and elevating women’s voices as authoritative experts across all topics.