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Female journalists tasked on breaking professional barriers



Worried that female journalists in Nigeria do not reach peak of their careers due to various work place and societal glass ceilings on them, stakeholders in the print and electronic media gathered to brainstorm on the way forward.

Public Affairs Officer of the United States (U.S.) Consulate, Darcy Zotter, speaking at the event, titled: “Breaking the glass ceiling in the newsroom: Issues and perspectives,” organised by the U.S. Mission Nigeria, Public Affairs Section, to mark the 2017 Women’s History Month in Lagos on Thursday, said women in the media represent 35 per cent of newspaper supervisors.

She noted that in Nigeria, no fewer than five per cent of women are newspaper editors, adding that working with Nigerians and the media is extremely important to ensure equal opportunities for women in the industry.

At the event, which focused on gender divide in journalism, participants examined the attitudes and circumstances that prevent women journalists from rising through the organisational ranks to the level of senior management executives and proffered solutions to them.

Former Head of Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Dr. Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, in her presentation, titled: “From classroom to the Newsroom: Redefining Women’s relevance as journalists,” decried the fact that women are pigeon-holed into certain jobs in the society.

Also, Chairman, Ruyi Communications, Mr. Soni Irabor, speaking on: “Seeing Beyond the Glass Ceiling: A man’s perspective,” noted that African women are stereotyped in terms of culture and tradition. He said before, it was believed that women could not do men’s job, but today, some women have taken the bull by the horn by doing men’s jobs.

Chief Executive Officer, WFM 91.7 Radio, Toun Okewale-Sonaiya, said that for women to break the glass-ceiling, they must be hard-working.

General Manager, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Radio One, Funke Treasure-Durodola, said most women do not mentor others, adding that aside this, some women are also not interested in being mentored as this constitutes a major barrier to their career development.

Also, the Consultant, News and Current Affairs, Silver Bird Television, Mrs. Stella Din-Jacob, noted that women have two glass ceilings in the workplace – one which they impose on themselves and one which the society imposes on them.

She said that if women are able to break the one they impose on themselves, it would be very easy to break the one which the society imposes on them.

She urged various organisations to provide an enabling environment for work and improvement.

The Deputy Director, News, Television Continental (TVC), Mr. Tunde Osho, speaking on: “How can women rise in the industry? How can they play a major role in the industry?” said that the path to leadership position will continue to be the way it is now until women change their attitude to work.

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