The way women are portrayed, plus the imbalanced representation of women in a positive light in media has been raised many a time during our working sessions. The recent obsession by media of Theresa May’s cleavage during The Budget caused a public outcry & the continued repeated screenings of the film Miss Representation 5 years on from its release highlights the shocking need for change – to value people as whole human beings, not gendered stereotypes.
So when Bloomberg kindly invited TLA Women in Tech to attend a Breakfast event as part of International Women’s Week that focused on helping to empower women & increase representation of female leaders in the media – we couldn’t say no! The event focused on redressing the balance of females represented in the media and provided practical skills to the audience to help them tell their story to the press. Nearly 100 delegates were treated to a tempting breakfast spread, which was surpassed by the juicy content from the speakers that followed.
In her opening statement, Katherine Oliver, principal for Bloomberg Associates reached out to confirm Bloomberg’s desire to highlight the incredible work of women in tech in the media “We know there are many women around the world who are leading tech companies and doing innovative things who should be sharing their stories and serving as role models. You have very interesting stories to tell and we can’t wait to hear them.”
Sophie Cornish, MBE and Co-Founder of notonthehighstreet.com, joined Bloomberg Television’s Caroline Hyde for an on-stage conversation to share her experiences. Sophie, herself originally a journalist, walked through the incredible journey she took with Co-Founder Holly Tucker to form an award winning online marketplace of thousands of independent sellers and design makers. From a kitchen table in 2006 to now a highly profitable and recognised brand that employs over 200 people, Sophie advised in their early days of setting up their brand & PR they needed to hustle with a select array of journalists to create an impactful bond. Journalists are extremely busy and capturing them in the 1st minute is absolutely key – so research & prepare. Sophie also reflected on the chaos the early days can bring with the ‘unknown’ – her advice? Trust your instincts & celebrate your achievements.
Debbie Wosskow, CEO of Love Home Swap then took to the stage to provide us with a practical guide on how to grab a journalists attention..for the right reasons & how to create your irresistible 1 minute pitch. A believer in paying it forward & investing in fellow females – Debbie recounted her killer story of Love Home Swap which was created out of a dreadful accommodation experience abroad with her children followed by watching The Holiday (where Kate Winslet & Cameron Diaz swap homes) – she was so inspired that she set up her company which offers the opportunity to ‘House Swap’ – a home from home. Love Home Swap is now the biggest home swapping platform in the world with over 85000 properties.
Debbie helped put us in the shoes of a journalist to understand the key components to help us structure a pitch covering Data, a Customer story supported by an impactful anecdote – all done with the secret ingredient – passion! We were then tasked with dividing into couples to create and practice our 1 minute pitch. Easier said than done!
The session was dynamic and inspirational with many left feeling equipped with a new ‘toolbox’ and determination to have their story heard.
Journalists watch out…there is a new wave of female talent about to call….
With thanks to Bloomberg & fellow TLA Women in Tech Advocate, Caroline Hyde