Helping journalists, producers and conference planners find the female guests, speakers and expert sources they need.

Journalists

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Featuring diverse sources often makes for more interesting and responsible journalism. When producers at Radio Canada’s La Sphere, a show about technology, made a point of balancing male and female interviewees, their audience numbers improved.

Our research finds that journalists who track their progress regularly feature more than 40% female sources and women experts. In the process, they also enrich their stories and do a better job of reflecting their audiences.

ExpertWomen can help you find qualified female sources to add insight and value to your pieces.

J-Source talks to Informed Opinions Founder and Catalyst Shari Graydon about the dearth of women experts on the opinion pages, and why we should care.

Strong reporting and diverse sources not mutually exclusive

  • We know some women experts decline interview opportunities more often than their male colleagues, but the women we feature are primed to say yes.
  • Male sources instinctively understand that they don’t have to be “the best” person to respond to an interview request. But many women have already been criticized for claiming authority in an area where other experts exist. So it doesn’t hurt to make clear to a female source that your story will benefit from her existing knowledge and particular perspective.
  • If you’re able to mitigate logistics or time demands — travel to where she is, do the interview by phone, email her the link to the government announcement, let her kids sit in the greenroom while she’s on air — that also helps.
  • Ensure that you give the same airtime and acknowledgement of titles, qualifications and achievements to female experts as you do to her male peers. 
  • Deadline and accuracy pressures are real, and so the convenient default to reliable suspects is understandable, but it doesn’t always make for stellar journalism. Tracking the gender of your sources over the space of a week or two will help you become more conscious of whether or not a more proactive approach is necessary.