They say that a second in sport can sometimes feel like a lifetime. Well if that’s the case, then those who play or are involved in women’s sport must have felt like they’ve been waiting a lifetime for equality.
We are not just talking about recognition of talent although, sadly, despite the rapid rise of everything listed later in this article, there are still plenty of derogatory and disparaging comments from a narrow-minded few on the ability of sportswomen; there is everything else which surrounds sporting competition at the highest stage – training, infrastructure, fan numbers, sponsorship, merchandising, awards and, of course, media coverage.
Despite it taking many, many years for women’s sport to get an equal footing to men’s – and don’t get us wrong, we’re not there yet – we are now heading to more of a balance, like Dina Asher-Smith tearing towards a 100m finish line.
We’ve had record-breaking crowds at major European women’s football matches (twice!); industry- shaking marketing campaigns, some of which have garnered almost 30M social views in a month and debuted at the Oscars; and sponsorship announcement after sponsorship announcement. We’ve also had major broadcasters follow suit by featuring a balanced panel of pundits of both genders.
However, what about the aspirations of those further away from the spotlight? What about those at grassroots level trying to break into sport – both in terms of players and industry professionals? As a spectator, it would appear the pathway for young sportswomen wanting to make it to professional and elite levels are a lot clearer than they used to be, very-soon-to-be void of obstacles that hinder them achieving their goals. But what about those who want to report on the game, rather than play in it?
Whilst some media outlets are making a conscious effort to include more balanced sports reporting across its channels, if you are an aspiring female sports journalist or broadcaster looking to break into the industry there is a shortage of avenues or opportunities which would allow you to contribute to the narrative.
Enter Snack Media. With our upcoming Football Writers’ Association Speakers Event featuring an all- female panel with some of the biggest names in sports journalism and broadcasting – regardless of possessing an X or Y chromosome – the evening will be the perfect opportunity for aspiring reporters to get first class (and first-hand) insight and explore how they can emulate the likes of Alison Bender, Vaishali Bhardwaj, Anna Kessel, Natasha Henry and panel moderator, Jacqui Oatley, into the industry.
One day, all sport will be equal across the board. But it will take events like this one to ensure we don’t have to wait a lifetime.