I recently spoke at the NYU master's year-end event and realized that what I communicated to the graduating class would resonate with most of us during our careers. The idea was about managing your personal brand. If you Googled yourself today, what would you find?
According to a recent 2010 GfK MRI national study, women are 31% less likely than men to have written something that has been published and 26% less likely to have written an article for a newspaper or magazine. We then complain when we are underrepresented in the senior ranks and paid less than our male peer set. Part of the answer may be that we need to promote ourselves.
"Given the many incredibly accomplished women I know, I am still shocked by statistically how few women are interviewed in the news," says Kathryn McManus, president of NewsCertified. "One of our mandates at NewsCertified is to expose journalists to a greater diversity of expert voices. We created ‘Influencing the Headlines' to encourage more women to position themselves for media coverage, helping them define their distinctive voice, as it relates to news needs, and then get it out there."
It's time to take on the challenge and be more vocal in the news. We are known for nurturing others, so my recommendation is to find a friend and work together to make it easier to help promote each other. Set goals around enhancing your profile. It may include being a guest blogger, commenting on blogs, speaking at industry events or conferences, or finding topics to write on. I, like others, use the excuse that between work and two children I don't have the time, but it's then the role of your buddy to help you set deadlines and make some progress.
Let's see if we can make a shift in the percentage of women who are active in the news. We have strong voices and don't want to remain 29% less likely to have made a speech than our male counterparts. Are you in?
Barri Rafferty is senior partner and director at Ketchum New York.