By Colette Davidson
The aim of WIN is to help women in the media overcome the gender gap, offering those in middle and senior management positions the opportunity to gain skills, strategies and support networks to become leaders on the job. Participants benefit from one-on-one coaching, leadership skills and media management training, peer mentoring and networking opportunities.
One of the ways WIN succeeds is by tuning in to the needs of women journalists in the workplace that work for both them and their management. With the help of coaching and training, participants leave the program with more self-esteem and a feeling of competency on the job.
Nadim Ladki, Editor-in-Chief of Lebanon’s The Daily Star, and member of the Women in News Steering Committee says that because of the specialized training that participants receive, they’re sure to come out of the programme as true success stories.
“I think these promising young journalists will emerge from the programme better equipped and more confident, which will surely help them in developing their careers,” says Ladki.
WIN also adopts a peer-led approach to pursue industry-generated solutions to diversity challenges in the news and management hierarchy of their media partners. As a result, the managers of those enrolled in WIN are more gender aware after engaging with their peers, and WIN Steering Committee members, through executive roundtables among other activities.
The WIN programme has already seen success since it launched four years ago in Southern Africa. Since then, WIN has trained 120 women journalists from 40 media companies in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa. Since its inception, 84 percent of programme participants have said they’ve been given more responsibility at work and 68 percent have found more opportunities to advance within their companies.
Bringing this success to the MENA region is especially important because of the challenges women journalists there face. For instance, while women make up at least half of newsrooms, that growth hasn’t generally been matched on editorial boards or in board rooms, says Ladki.
“I think this programme is vital in this region to empower female journalists to confront social and professional taboos,” says Ladki, “and help women close the gap when it comes to senior and leadership editorial and management positions in media organisations.”
To become part of WIN MENA, women applicants should have a minimum of two years in a middle management position (editor or senior journalist) at a newspaper or digital media outlet in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. For more information on how to apply, fill out an application form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 17, 2016.