Well, you’ve made it! All the times you wanted to call yourself a producer and thought it sounded snazzy, well here you are. You can add it to your Twitter bio. You managed to weave your way around the bullshit of nepotism, the endless stream of unpaid internships and the frowns of your older family members when you would whisper “I want to work in media”. You’ve survived all the 18 hour days where your hourly rate was just under half of the minimum wage, you’ve out-lived all those grumpy managers – in particular, the one who asked you to pick up dogs poo (tbh, that’s a story for another day), let’s face it, you’ve paid your entry level dues, and you’re finally at a position you’re happy with.
A seat at the table is yours.
Yet while broadcast is technologically one of the most advanced industries (8K TV’s actually exist), the lack of women of colour in studios, rooms and both in front and behind the camera is poor. While most companies are quick to rant and rave about their diversity schemes or entry levels schemes to get more diverse peeps into the industry, the further you climb up the ladder you’ll realise you may be the only female, or brown face at the table. And it’s easier said than done, to not let it piss you off.
When you sit in a Monday morning meeting, after you’ve spent the weekend on Twitter gobsmacked at yet another lowkey racist/sexist/homophobic ad-campaign, and you find yourself explaining to your colleague for the 30th time, why it’s wrong, take it in your stride. When you walk into meetings and you’re the only women: own it. When you’re on a shoot and you’re the only person of colour: own it. Or when you’re trying to get a room full of male music artists to listen to you, make sure you keep it cool, with a tiniest sprinkle of sass.
Or when you discover you’re pregnant and you realise there’s few and far between working mums in the industry, and you start to panic on how it will affect your work – just own it. Roll to a shoot with your 7 month pregnant belly on display (and make sure you don’t lift a finger pick up kit). And when you’re back in the studio 3 months later, do it with pride. Continue to hold your head high, don’t let the guilt eat you up because you worked late and missed bedtime. Remember why you’re doing this.
Working in broadcasting is a funny old business. Whether it’s radio, TV or online videos, it’s pretty easy to get lost in the sauce. It’s easy to be hard on yourself. Regardless of what they say, you know you’ve had to work t ten times harder and be ten times smarter than most of the men to get to where you’re at, but it’s ok – continue to prove them wrong one day at a time.
Most importantly, just don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re allowed to say no… No, I’m not going to take this rate of pay (when you know it’s significantly less than your male counterpart), or no I won’t be staying late today… After all, its only media – you’re not saving the world… yet.
Keep on going my G!