Database aims to up use of female experts in press

NEW YORK: A new online database of female experts seeks to erase the disparity of women's representation in the media by offering resources to journalists.

NEW YORK: A new online database of female experts seeks to erase the disparity of women's representation in the media by offering resources to journalists.

Developed by The White House Project, Fenton Communications, and the Women's Funding Network, SheSource. org currently features 75 women experts - from the local and national level - in a variety of subject areas, including crime, education, politics, environment, and the economy. Additional experts will be added each week.

Lisa Witter, EVP and GM of Fenton, said that, about two or three years ago, the firm noticed a discrepancy in the amount of female experts being quoted in the media.

Marie Wilson, president of The White House Project, noted that a recent study conducted by the organization shows that women make up only 14% of guests on morning news shows.

"The Sunday morning talk shows ... have an authority-setting effect," she said. "When women are not represented, it skews what people think about the number of women who are experts on the subjects."

Chris Grumm, president and CEO of Women's Funding Network, said the increased representation of women in the media could ultimately affect the public's perception of women.

"When the public sees women experts, they begin to see women in leadership in a different way," she said.

Witter said SheSource.org would soon include a breaking news section, with featured experts available to address the topic of the day or hour.

"We understand that journalists are often on tight deadlines, so we want to make their jobs as easy as possible," she said.

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