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15th March 2022

Women in Media returns for its seventh year in Manchester

The Women in Media conference is returning to Manchester for its seventh year in the city. Find out why you won’t want to miss it!
Women in Media returns for its seventh year in Manchester
Photo: Women in Media

Women in Media is back, and better than ever! This year’s conference is running from the 21st to the 27th of March and will be hosting a combination of both online and in-person events and talks.

In-person events will take place at the University of Manchester Students’ Union, which is accessible through a DDA-compliant ramp located at the back of the building. The conference will take place on two floors (the ground floor and the first floor), both of which are accessible by lift or ramp. Moreover, all online events will have automated captions.

Women in Media is a non-profit organisation raising money for charities MASH and Care 4 Calais, founded by the students of Manchester University in 2016. After noticing the male-dominated saturation of the writing, radio, and film industries, even at a university level, this collective of students decided that something needed to change, and they were to be the ones to change it.

Its aim is to empower women considering a career in the media world, giving them the confidence and knowledge to go forth in whichever career they chose. Whilst our speakers are all women or non-binary people, we welcome everyone to this event – it is useful whoever you are, and we can’t wait to see you there!

Women in Media began in Manchester, but has now been transformed into a national network across several universities in the UK. Each society works to celebrate women in media: from directors to podcasters, journalists to producers, and publishers to Youtubers.

Many of the speakers for this year’s Women in Media conference have already been confirmed, and there are still more to come. This year’s speakers include BBC news presenter and correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti, Youtuber and Manchester University History student Lidia Baylis Zullo, award-winning freelance journalist Moya Sarner, and Sky Sport and BBC sport broadcaster, Kelly Cates, along with many others.

With this year’s conference finally able to take place in person, Women in Media is offering lots of networking opportunities, something which is often crucial in the media industry. Women in Media is also hosting several workshops: this year’s Zine Workshop with Melissa Hawkins at Disgraceful Magazine promises to give us useful insights into the world of journalism, helping to break down barriers for students hoping to become published writers.

Photo: Women in Media

The percentage of women workers in the media industry had improved massively since students first formed the group in 2016, but still, a 2019 study found that most of these women work in entry-level positions, rarely able to push into the more senior roles. Women of colour are also highly misrepresented across all levels in media and entertainment: research suggesting that while white women make up 33% of entry-level roles in the media industry, women of colour make up only 17%.

Disabled people are also underrepresented, with off-screen contributions proportioning to only 5.8% in 2020. These are devastating statistics, not only because it highlights the prejudices of our society, but also because those prejudices disallow us to enjoy the talents of all people, no matter their gender, age, race, or physical ability. 

Women in Media continues to fight to improve the shape of these statistics, giving people the confidence to see that senior-level positions in the media industry are not out of their reach, and informing people of the wide-ranging career opportunities within the industry.

This year’s event promises not to disappoint, so, grab your tickets now at Eventbrite and be sure to follow the WIM Instagram page for any updates!

Erin Osman

Erin Osman

Co-Lifestyle Editor for The Mancunion

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