We love radio, women love listening to it, but there's no gender parity.
We love radio. And podcasts and music. We love the power it has to connect people, share ideas and challenge the status quo, and – of course – to make us feel great.
But as with many things in society, there is no gender parity in radio. In Australia, Only 27% of the hosts we hear on radio are women, women are quoted as experts only 34% of the time, and there is a significant lack of diversity at senior levels in radio.
Culturally and linguistically diverse women, First Nations women, women with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, women from regional or remote areas, and women over 40 are even less represented.
It’s no coincidence that these are also the audiences that are overlooked. If you’re reading this, you might even be thinking – hells yes, that’s me!
And it actually matters. The impact of too few diverse women in radio is felt on both sides of the speaker. Just as you cannot be what you cannot see, you do not count if you have no voice. The absence of women in radio leads to an overall erasure of women’s experiences, skews societal attitudes, reinforces harmful gender stereotypes and perpetuates inequality.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Radio has long had a transformative role in society. It has seeded revolutions and facilitated rapid social change.
In launching Broad Radio, we are harnessing the power of this revolutionary technology:
- to centre and elevate women’s voices
- to share information critical to women’s health, safety and happiness
- to inspire women to step into their power and lead
- to connect our communities, so we stand strong together
- and to shift the systemic barriers that limit women’s potential
Broad Radio will be a radio network with this overarching mission: to empower women and normalise gender equality.
So welcome! Together, we are change-makers!
About our Founder Jo Stanley
Radio discovered Jo Stanley. She was performing stand-up comedy in a dingy pub, some time in the early 2000’s, and magically was offered a development show on Melbourne’s Fox FM. Despite being utterly surprised that radio was even interested in her, Jo very quickly fell in love with the platform. Immediately, she could see its great potential – to change people’s lives, in both tiny and very big ways:
‘I remember sitting in front of the microphone on my very first show. I remember being deeply aware how fortunate I was that I had a voice. I knew it was a great privilege to have that voice and it was up to me to use it for the benefit of others. I chose to use that voice to amplify women.’
Jo went on to break records, becoming one of the only women in Australia to take two breakfast shows, on two different networks, to Number One. Then in 2017, Jo left FM radio, and 17 years after the mic went on in her first shift, she had an epiphany:
‘I was on the Women’s Ministerial Advisory Council in Victoria, and one day, in a meeting of brilliant, diverse and inspiring women, I thought, where are all these women in radio? Why do I never get to hear these voices? Right then I realised, I can only do so much with my one microphone. And that it was time to do what I could to put many other women in front of microphones. That it wasn’t up to me to speak on their behalf. It was up to me to turn that microphone into hundreds – even thousands – of microphones.’
In that moment, the seeds of Broad Radio were born. Since then, Jo has worked tirelessly to grow Australia’s first radio network for women, by women:
‘Broad Radio doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the millions of women who feel invisible or overlooked, who yearn for conversation that validates their experiences and enriches their lives. I want Broad Radio to remind them – they’re not alone. I really hope they love it.’