New UK database, based on Australian initiative, connects journalists to female leaders in business, finance, government and not-for-profit sectors who are available for media comment

HelenaMorrissey-WFMlaunch20th May 2015, London – The 30% Club has today launched Women for Media UK, a database of female leaders in business, finance, government and not-for-profit sectors who are available for media comment on key topics of the day.

The database directly connects journalists to these experts with the aim of raising women’s profiles and visibility throughout the media and beyond, as well as providing journalists with easy access to senior female thought leaders.

Women for Media UK is a program based on the founding initiative Women for Media which was established by the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia in 2012 and continues to increase the visibility of Australia’s most senior female leaders as thought leaders and experts in the media.

The launch of the UK database was held in Central London and was attended by over 60 female leaders and journalists from across a broad spectrum of disciplines and media forms, including national publications, magazines and blogs.

Helena Morrissey CBE, CEO, Newton Investment Management and 30% Club Founder, opened the launch with a welcome speech and was then joined on a panel discussion by Madison Marriage, Financial Times journalist; Carola Hoyos, Recruitment Editor at the Financial Times; and Emma Ross-Thomas, London Bureau Chief at Bloomberg News.

Speaking after the panel, Helena Morrissey said: “Having more women speak up in the media on a wide range of topics is an important aspect of the 30% Club’s continuum of change towards a society where a mix of men and women at all levels is just seen as the norm.”

“We very much hope that this database, which has been carefully created with the Australian founding initiative and which will continue to grow, will help solve that, and be useful for both journalists and women looking to build their profiles,” Ms Morrissey said.

Speaking on the Women for Media UK launch, Carol Schwartz AM, Founding Chair of the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and prominent company director and philanthropist, said: “We are very pleased to have partnered with Helena Morrissey and the 30% Club to bring Women for Media to the UK.”

“This is an important issue globally and with the launch of the UK branch we hope to see the number of senior female leaders commenting in the media grow and the benefits of diverse thought leadership in public discourse flow from that,” Ms Schwartz said.

UK Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan said: “Women make up just over half of the population. A House of Lords inquiry earlier this year found that men interviewed as experts outnumber women four to one on radio and TV. This means that they are seriously under-represented on our media channels.

“This database from the 30% Club will make it easier for the media to find female commentators on a wide range of topics, not just those considered to be ‘women’s issues’.

“We all benefit when the opinions we hear reflect the society we live in and I look forward to seeing and hearing from more female role models.”

The Women for Media UK initiative forms part of the 30% Club’s continued campaign to get 30% women on FTSE-100 boards by end 2015 – currently 23.6% up from 12.6% in 2010. The database aims to address the current under-representation of female voices in the media by providing journalists with an easy to access database of women who are willing and well qualified to contribute to public discourse in the media.

For more information, please contact:

Amy Mullins, Executive Director, Women’s Leadership Institute Australia: +61 3 9653 5316 or info@wlia.org.au (Founding Women for Media initiative)

Jamie Brookes: (+44) 020 3128 8529 or 07769 900 417 (Women for Media UK)

Georgina Whittle: (+44) 020 3128 8528  30percentclubpr@mhpc.com