“Not Enough Women Feel Heard”: Twitch’s Batoul Peters On Gender Equality In The Media Industry

“Not Enough Women Feel Heard”: Twitch’s Batoul Peters On Gender Equality In The Media Industry

In the lead-up to this year’s B&T Women in Media Awards, we’re sitting down with each of our sponsors to find out why they’ve decided to throw their support behind the event, and get their thoughts on the industry’s progress towards gender equality.

Here, we chat to Batoul Peters, account director at Twitch…

Why did Twitch decide to support this year’s Women in Media Awards? And why do you think events like these need to continue?

Twitch is all about bringing together and harnessing the power of communities, so for us especially, we couldn’t be prouder to be able to support fellow women working in the media industry to ensure that they continue to have a platform to celebrate and showcase their great work.

Events like these are very important as they inspire and signal to the younger generation that they can be who they want to be, and achieve anything as long as they set their heart to it.

Likewise, I would want for my children to be able to witness what I achieve in my career and life so that they both grow up with a powerful vision for their own future. We also tend to not celebrate our own achievements often enough, and this event would be a timely reminder of how hard we have worked.

What should the winners of this year’s Women in Media Awards represent?

Considering the circumstances that are present around us over the past 18 months, the winners of this year’s awards would definitely have demonstrated absolute strength and resilience. Often, it is neither the fittest nor the most intelligent who will survive, but those who are the most adaptable.

In a post-pandemic world, strength and resilience are what I felt stood out as the most representative traits. It is really inspiring to see the continuous great quality of work among our female industry leaders even in the midst of such difficult times.

What are some of the challenges women face in today’s media industry? How can they be overcome?

There are a couple of challenges that women face in various industries, the first of which is female representation in senior management roles. A study by McKinsey has revealed that one in five C-suite leaders are women, and only one in 25 C-suite leaders are women of colour. Companies will need to continue to advocate for having women representation in the corporate pipeline.

The second challenge is in empowering women to use their voice. Not enough women feel heard or are able to express themselves when facing challenges at work without the fear of judgement, ridicule or even losing their jobs. As much as we are a “forward-thinking industry”, this is still commonplace. A life-changing way to overcome this is to give women the opportunity to participate in executive coaching and mentoring programs that are designed to equip them with the tools and frameworks to live and speak with authentic confidence.

What changes would you like to see in the industry to make it more inclusive for women and other minority groups?

The pandemic has shown that the remote-working model is in fact working very well for our industry. As such, I would like to see flexible workplace arrangements continue to be the norm, and that businesses continue to empower their staff and employees to work out those arrangements for themselves based on their own personal requirements. This also means that we are not restricted to hiring people within a certain geographical radius, so more people can now be considered for jobs that, in a pre-COVID set-up, would have not have been possible without significant personal upheaval.

Do you think there needs to be more of an industry-wide push to get more females into senior roles?

Definitely! Businesses should look at ensuring that their boardrooms are a good reflection of the population and our society. Beyond gender equality, diversity is also something that I feel often gets overlooked. The more our boardrooms are able to reflect the diversity of our society, the better we will be at delivering engaging outcomes for our teams, audiences and consumers.

What policies and initiatives does Twitch have in place to promote diversity and attract and foster female talent?

At Twitch, fostering an inclusive community within our own employee culture is crucial. Our chief people officer, supported by our people team, leads our employee diversity and inclusion programs. Our people programs focus on three key pillars: grow talent, be inclusive, and raise diversity. This framework recognises that we must create an internal environment where everyone can thrive, grow talent from within, and ensure we bring diversity into our recruiting funnel, so we raise diversity in the company and in leadership over time.

We also have internal employee resource groups, also known as Guilds, that help to cultivate belonging and allyship across the company – including our Asian, Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA, Women+, Parents, and Accessibility guilds.

What advice do you have for young females working their way up in the industry?

I certainly don’t consider myself to be a career expert, but two things that I would always tell my daughter are:

  1. If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life, so focus on finding your passion and then craft your own journey around that.
  2. Unfortunately, we will come across people (and yes, women too) in life who will always try to tear us down. Just remember that it speaks more of who they are than who you are, so don’t let it dull your sparkle – keep going and keep hustling!

Given the current lockdown situation in Sydney, we’ve decided to play it safe and take this year’s WIM Awards, presented by Are Media, into a virtual arena.

The event will still be held on the same date (Friday 27 August at 4pm), and we’ll still be bringing the same glitz and glam you’re all accustomed to. Register HERE now to secure your spot!

And, just in case you missed it, we’ve released the WIM Awards shortlist! Check out which fabulous females made the cut HERE.

If you’d like more information about this year’s WIM Awards, head to the website.

Thank you to Twitch and the rest of our incredible sponsors for making the event possible!

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