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

Journalists

 

 

Why does the gender ratio of your sources  matter?

Some journalists and news organizations already achieve gender parity

Our growing database of features hundreds of diverse expert women sources

Things to Consider

Hundreds of women with from a wide range of fields have contributed insightful print, broadcast and online commentary to Canada’s most influential media after being motivated and supported by Informed Opinions.


Why does the gender ratio of your sources matter?

  • Including more diverse perspectives — women among them — makes news coverage richer and more comprehensive and engaging:
    • The producers of La Sphere, a Radio Canada program covering technology, have achieved gender parity in the people they interview for more than a year now, increasing their audience in the process.
    • The Financial Times recently discovered that reframing one of its electronic newsletters to actively engage female readers inspired higher “open” rates in male readers as well.
  • The context and ideas that qualified sources share through the news media can have a significant impact on society’s policies and priorities.


Some journalists and news outlets already achieve gender parity


Our growing 
database features hundreds of diverse expert women sources 

  • Our database features more than 500 pre-vetted sources with informed opinions on a wide range of issues of interest and relevance to news coverage.
  • Every woman who joins the database understands the importance of responding to media requests in a timely manner.


Things to Consider

  • Because women tend to hold themselves to a higher standard of authority than their male colleagues, they’re more inclined to decline interview opportunities even when they’re qualified to comment and can add value.
  • Make it clear that you called your female source because of her relevant qualifications and that your story will benefit from her particular perspective.
  • If possible, facilitate her participation by traveling to where she is, doing the interview by phone or Skype or letting her children sit in the green room while she’s on air. Offering options can often make the difference to whether she’s able to accommodate your request.
  • Ensure that you give the same airtime and acknowledgement of titles, qualifications and achievements to female experts as you do to their male peers.
  • 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.

Kathy English, public editor of the Toronto Star, cites research finding news stories still quote more male voices than female by a wide margin, and argues that women’s realities need to be reflected.

J-Source spoke with Informed Opinions’ founder and catalyst, Shari Graydon about the dearth of women experts on the opinion pages, and why we should care.