Last month I also attended the first ‘Sound Women’ festival. For those who aren’t aware, Sound Women are a networking group for women working in audio and radio, who are working towards building on opportunities for women. So, ladies if you’re reading this and working in, or want to work in the industry then get involved!
There were so many incredibly inspiring talks which blew me away. The ones that really resonated and left me feeling blinded by awe were first of all Gerry Jackson of SW Radio Africa. Gerry was sacked from her station and forced out of Zimbabwe by Robert Mugabe for her outspoken views against his government. So she set up a station in the UK to continue broadcasting, allowing South Africans to call in and have a voice. Her bravery and determination was staggering. It was hard not to feel that your life is oh so trivial in comparison. I’ll never complain about running out of teabags again.
Eve Pollard OBE, former editor of The Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express and often referred to as ‘The First Lady of Fleet Street’ conducted a hilarious but fascinating talk on her journey to the top. The adversity she faced simply for being female in a male dominated industry was a frightening reminder of how dreadful the gender divide used to be and how we still have a very long way to go. Her matter of fact advice that ‘women have to work harder’ will reluctantly remain firmly in mind.
Helen Fawkes, a BBC news and former foreign correspondent told her overwhelmingly inspiring yet heartbreaking journey with cancer and how it urged her to pursue the career path she’d never got round to following. Helen ended her talk with the news that the cancer had returned. It was a devastating blow after hearing such a heroic battle. You suddenly realised she’s already achieved more in her lifetime than most can daydream about.
They were just several of many brilliant speakers on the day, along with invaluable advice and a twenty strong all girl dancing choir to top off the days events! Looking forward to next year!