Women in the Director’s Chair

I disappeared for a week! Sorry about that. It was an impromptu break, and completely unintentional. All that really happened was I had a lot of work to do and not a great deal of time to do it – I was also really tired last week so it was all just a bit stressful. But back to it this week, and onto brighter things!

Last Friday I visited Blackburne House, here in Liverpool, for an event called Women in the Director’s Chair. It was an opportunity to network with a few women who had broken into the media industry, in whichever shape or form, and to learn how they did it and what opportunities are available to women in the industry nowadays.

Blackburne House itself (visit their website here) boasts a history of being a girls’ school before being converted into the Women’s Technology and Education Centre in 1983. Ever since, it’s been a place for women interested in technology and its related areas to go for assistance and advice on how to enter their desired industry/positions.

The event lasted four hours, and began with a panel where the women introduced themselves, and told their story, and that was followed by a Q&A session and then a workshop. It was a really interesting morning, and it was really inspiring to see so many women together, all determined to break into the media industry. There were people who wanted to go into acting, into directing and producing, into writing – loads of things.

The Panelists:

  • Jessie Aru-Philips, a video journalist for the BBC
  • Chelsea Slater, from Liverpool Girl Geeks
  • Rebecca Ross-Williams, Creative Director at the Everyman Playhouse
  • Amy Bowden, actress

A lot of the advice given was simply to be persistent, and to be proactive. Contact whoever you can, whether they know you or not. Essentially, don’t ask, don’t get. All the speakers agreed that the worst that could happen is you sent along an email and it never gets read, or gets deleted.

Personally, I think the event was great even just to see so many women who weren’t prepared to be told that they couldn’t do something because of their gender or their background. There were schoolgirls, uni students like me, women in their twenties and upwards. And despite somewhat shocking statistics about how few women are in positions like director, producer, and even writer when it comes to the West End shows, I think everyone came out of it feeling really positive.


Katy x


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