Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m the BBC’s Creative Diversity Lead for the 50:50 Project and News, which involves spearheading initiatives to support the Corporation’s aspiration that its on-air representation reflects society.
I’ve always been passionate about increasing representation on media content. To me it’s a no brainer that TV, radio and digital should reflect everyone – otherwise why would they want to read, listen or watch our content?
So it’s a drum I’ve banging throughout my career as a journalist. Be it within the BBC or in my previous roles including at The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph.
It’s also why I’m proud to manage the multi-award-winning 50:50 Project! It’s the biggest collective action on increasing women’s representation in BBC content there’s ever been. Thousands of content-makers are involved and their efforts are truly increasing the number of women on the BBC, as the latest 50:50 report shows.
In addition, over 60 organisations outside the BBC are using 50:50 in their own companies AND we’re looking at how we can implement the 50:50 methodology to disability and ethnicity. All of this so, we can together continue finding new voices and represent society better.
I realise I’ve gone off on a tangent when I’m supposed to be talking about myself but my passion for reflecting our world so everyone is heard is a major part of who I am.
What makes you smile?
For me, laughter is definitely the best medicine. It’s something that got me through – not only now with Coronavirus – but when we’ve covered tough stories from terror attacks to natural disasters such as tsunamis.
In any bad situation, people find ways of shining light on hope, which turns into smiles and laughter. It’s that laughter of gratitude that I find heartening, as it tells me that ‘we’re going to get through this’.
Every Thursday and we start clapping for our carers, I feel that hope, that smile and can’t help but laugh.
What can we do to support others during this time?
I think the best ways to support each other is by sharing moments and creating new memories together.
Yes, VE Day socially distant street parties are great but I think anything can turn into a moment where we are there for each other.
I am a big fan of the virtual coffee or drink but realise that many of my friends and family find it disconcerting. So I must now have an extra dozen WhatsApp groups, where we share our highs, lows and the funniest things we’ve found on social media.
We might not be together but we’re still sharing moments, creating memories together and supporting each other through common experience.
So what is the best way to support each other? Keep talking and communicating in which ever you feel comfortable. You are not alone.
What have you been doing? (Any tips/ advice for isolation)
Brexit Day (31 January 2020) was supposed to be my last day in the BBC newsroom in London to take up my new role as Creative Diversity Lead.
Coronavirus, however, finds me doing two roles as I have returned to my role as a senior producer for the BBC News at Six and Ten – and I would not have it any differently.
I am thankful to be able to help with the ‘effort’ to keep the BBC on-air. Many of my colleagues need to shield – either for themselves or to protect loved ones – and so I am fortunate to be able to help as I can go into the newsroom to help fulfil roles that can’t be done remotely.
We are in a time when we need each other more than ever and media helps to bring us closer together - even if that means we can’t be in the same place as each other.
I hope that I’m helping to bring people together, keep them informed so they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
As for advice, we are in this together and to me that means keeping informed of what the latest official guidance and sticking to it. If we all keep to it, then hopefully, we will all find a new kind of happiness in the new normal.
Shoutout to someone to let them know you are thinking of them:
My first goes to the keyworkers and volunteers putting themselves in harm’s way so the rest of us can stay safe.
My second goes to the thousands of content-makers around the globe that are working to ensure our media content is reflecting the world so everyone’s voice can be heard.