Women Who Lead and Enterprise Canada create media training fellowship to address under representation of women health leaders in pandemic media coverage
On the week of International Women’s Day, Enterprise Canada, a national strategic communications firm, and Women Who Lead (WWL), a Not for Profit addressing the gap in professional development opportunities for women, are announcing a partnership to provide women in healthcare the skills they need to take their place as subject matter experts in the media through the Women in Media Fellowship.
A recent article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, from data collected by Informed Opinions, confirmed what has been playing out in the media since March last year – that women comprise just 31% of sources quoted in major Canadian outlets addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Women comprise 70% of the health workforce worldwide, our own Chief Public Health Officer is a woman, and women leaders have delivered some of the best outcomes we’ve seen in the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, the experts we see in the media related to COVID-19 and the pandemic are predominantly men,” said Dr. Laura Desveaux, Founder and Executive Director of Women Who Lead. “Our vision is to equip women in healthcare with the skills and opportunities to succeed, and this partnership with Enterprise advances that vision perfectly.”
The Women in Media Fellowship will provide a series of workshops to drive a broader conversation on this important issue, connect women leaders in health care and equip fellows with the skills and tools they need to feel more confident participating in media interviews. This includes practical media training, as well as opportunities to learn directly from journalists, public relations experts and public figures.
“Enterprise offers a holistic approach to media training and we are excited to showcase our female talent as part of this exercise and help connect these women with the opportunities to put their new skills and confidence to work,” said Barbara Fox, Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Canada.
A critical piece of this fellowship program will include the creation of a database, that can be accessed by the media, showcasing qualified women leaders in healthcare by subject matter that can be contacted for comment.
“We will not only be equipping women leaders in health care with the tools and training to confidently address the media, but putting them directly in touch with news outlets,” Katie Heelis, Vice President and Health Practice Lead, Enterprise Canada. “It is our hope that with these efforts we better reflect our health care sector when we turn on the news or open a news article.”
Enterprise Canada is committed to providing media training for other underrepresented groups in the future.
Women interested in applying to be a part of the free Women in Media Fellowship can apply here before March 31, 2021. We use the term ‘women’ inclusively and welcome all that identify as such, as well as non-binary people.
The Fellowship is limited to 30 spaces, and there will be dedicated space reserved for early to mid-career women, racialized individuals, and those that identify as having a disability. All are encouraged to apply.
Editors note: WWL removed the term “being differently-abled” from an original draft of this post. It has come to our attention that the term differently-abled is considered offensive to the disability community as it implies that disability is a negative word or characteristic. We apologize and remain committed to educating ourselves and unlearning our biases.