Women in the Industry
It’s fair to say that women in the broadcasting industry have had a lot of hurdles to overcome throughout the years. It’s probably more accurate to say that women in any traditionally male-dominated industry have had a lot of challenges to face while on the path to their career goals. Despite imbalances in gender equality in the world of broadcasting and media, women have always played a vital role and continue to have a major impact on the entertainment industry as a whole.
The Early Days of Women in Broadcasting
If you thought women in the World War II era were all homemakers, think again. With so many men pulled away from the home front, women found themselves working in factories, manufacturing plants, and many other places that were typically male dominated. It was the early days of broadcasting and women were blazing a trail and starting to make an impact.
For example, Edythe Meserand started her broadcasting career in the 1940’s as the WOR-TV station’s “Musical Clock Girl.” She appeared every hour to announce the time and later went further in her career to produce an acclaimed wildlife series. Edythe is credited with producing the first true radio documentary.
Other trail-blazing females in broadcasting included women like Martha Brooks, who wrote, produced, and hosted her own radio program in Schenectady, NY from 1937 to 1971. Helen Sioussat was the Director of Talks and Public Affairs for CBS radio from 1937 to 1958. Sioussat produced up to 300 broadcasts a year focusing on important topics regarding education, religion, and civil rights. How about Dorothy Bullitt? The first woman in the U.S. to buy and manage a television station in 1949. There’s no question that women have played an incredibly important part of shaping the broadcasting industry.
Women in Media Today
The pioneering nature of women in broadcasting is still present today. While research by the Women’s Media Center shows that the gender gap is still far too wide for women in media in general, there are some powerhouse women in radio and television making great strides and generating millions of dollars in revenue for their companies on and off the air. Even sports broadcasting felt the impact of females in the industry, with established female broadcasters representing just about every network. Well-known sportscasters such as Erin Andrews, Jillian Reynolds, Lisa Guerrero, and Jill Arrington have become household names!
There are more avenues than just being in front of the camera or mic for women aspiring to join the industry. Just ask Susan Rogers. Susan is a sound engineer who has worked as an engineer, mixer, and producer for legendary music icons including Prince, which was her very first gig. Or Marcella Araica, who is part of the Timbaland team of sound engineers and has worked with artists like Missy Elliott, Nelly Furtado, Brittany Spears, and many others.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to women working in the multimedia and broadcasting industry. You can be a part of this ever-evolving industry where women continue to reach milestones. If you’d like to learn more about a career in the world of broadcasting and multimedia, check out the programs at International College of Broadcasting, because learning your passion knows no gender. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a campus tour!