Jo Whiley, Radio One DJ, talked yesterday on Woman's Hour about her journey into DJing in what was a very male-dominated world when she started. When she first went for an interview, she was told to go and travel for a year and then to come back if she still fancied life as a DJ. That dismissal just made her more determined than ever to make it, in spite of the lack of role models. She clearly forged her own path in terms of combining work and motherhood, taking her first baby into work and even interviewing someone while breastfeeding her second, but only started talking about her family on air after hearing John Peel sharing stories about his children and realising that it was ok. You can listen again here for a while, and look out for her book My World in Motion, published later this month.
Meanwhile, a conference organised by the Sphinx Theatre Company called Vamps, Vixens and Feminists: The Elephant in the Room explored the battle against ageism and sexism in the worlds of film, TV and theatre. The statistics say it all: 17% of playwrights are women; 38% of stage roles are for women; 35% of
TV roles are for women; of the top 250 films last year only 9% were
directed by women, although soaps tend to have more equal numbers of male and female characters. Tracy Brabin, a writer who has worked on Holllyoaks and Tracy Beaker, urged women writers to "be more assertive, have more confidence, be true to your story and be angry".