Changing The Ratio Speaker Bridget Fair On How Diversity Is Represented On Aussie Commercial TV

Changing The Ratio Speaker Bridget Fair On How Diversity Is Represented On Aussie Commercial TV

In case you haven’t heard, Changing the Ratio is a bold new initiative to continue B&T’s mission of making equality and inclusion the norm in Australia’s communications industry and beyond.

Completely Australian born and bred, this event is about bringing the extraordinary creative problem-solving capability of this great nation to bear on a problem we should be looking to fix right now.

In the lead up to the event, we’re chatting with some of our inspiring CTR speakers.

Today, we’re introducing Bridget Fair, CEO of Free TV Australia, the industry body that represents Australia’s commercial television licensees.

She previously held a number of senior roles with Seven West Media, most recently group chief of corporate and regulatory affairs.

Prior to joining Seven, Bridget has worked as general counsel for SBS, legal counsel for the ABC and in private legal practice. She is also a former chairman of Screenrights and has been on the boards of OzTAM and Freeview. She is also a non-executive director of iSelect.

Hear from Bridget below, or watch her in action at Changing the Ratio!

Why do you think events like Changing the Ratio are so important?

Achieving true diversity and inclusion won’t happen unless we talk about the issues. It takes time for the community to move to new attitudes and behaviours, and events such as Changing the Ratio are an important part of that process.  

Can you let us in on some of the key issues/topics you’ll cover on the day?

 I’ll be looking at how diversity has been represented on Australian commercial television over the years.  Where have we come from and how have on-screen representations of our community changed over time. 

Tell us about your role at Free TV Australia

Commercial free-to-air makes a valuable contribution to the Australian community and economy by providing quality news, sport, Australian drama and entertainment programming free of charge to all Australians.  Free TV Australia plays an important role in supporting and advancing that contribution. It’s my role as CEO to guide Free TV in advocating the industry with Government, regulators and other stakeholders. 

Have you ever experienced barriers in the workplace?

I have been fortunate in that I have generally been treated with respect in the workplace and have been given some extraordinary career opportunities.  However, like most women I have experienced gender related issues from time to time.  Things have certainly improved over the years for women in the workplace, but the fact that we still have only 16 women CEOs in the ASX 300 tells us we still have some way to go to achieve gender equality.

What do you think the main challenges are when it comes to diversity and equality in the communications industry, and are organisations doing enough to address these issues?

There are challenges at multiple levels when it comes to diversity and equality in our industry sector.  These include ensuring we have diverse management teams, program makers and of course on-screen talent.  Commercial television broadcasters have increased their focus on diversity and inclusion in recent years and we have seen some encouraging initiatives including support for the Screen Diversity Inclusion Network, the first same sex wedding on Neighbours, a MIP Diversify TV award for LGBTQ representation in Home and Away and Australia’s first all-female hosting team on Today, just to name a few. 

We can’t wait to hear more from Bridget on 30th May 2019 at our Changing the Ratio event.

To witness Bridget in action and hear from and our other incredible speakers on how to drive diversity and inclusion in your own organisations, get your tickets here. Tickets are still available but selling fast, so get in quick!

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