Press Release 3rd September 2019
Inquiry into Gender Representation of Broadcast Media Spokespeople in FTSE 100 corporations

76% of companies in the FTSE 100 would not say how many female broadcast spokespeople they have, which raises questions about why they are not being transparent

14 companies filled in the survey and the majority of those had high levels of female broadcast spokesperson representation. 10% of companies surveyed declined to comment.

Findings into the Inquiry in Gender Representation of FTSE 100 broadcast media spokespeople hosted by Adam Holloway MP, announced in Portcullis House in the House of Commons on 3 September 2019 at 1830-2030 hours with ITN, the BBC, a Minister for State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Broadcast Club founder Kerry Hopkins on the panel.

Easyjet, Ocado, Mondi and WPP have joined the Broadcast Club, aiming to give more of a voice to female experts on television and radio.

London, UK, 3 September 2019: A survey carried out by not-for-profit Broadcast Club was sent to every director of corporate communications in each FTSE 100 company. Out of the 14 companies that filled in the survey, there was a 55-45% (238 and 197 people) split between male and female staff of broadcast spokespeople currently going on air or broadcast trained. This is despite repeated chasing by phone and email for an answer for the remaining 76%, as 10% said ‘no comment’.

Respondents to the survey, which is the UKs first ever survey of broadcast trained and broadcast spokespeople in the FTSE 100 ever carried out, included Autotrader, Just Eat, Ocado, Anglo-American, Carnival Corporation, Ashtead Group, Direct Line, Easyjet, Hargreaves Lansdown, ITV PLC, Kingfisher, Legal & General, WPP and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

However, the majority of companies are remaining silent on the amount of women they have as media spokespeople. The Broadcast Club’s survey reports only a 14% rate of those filling out the survey, raising questions about transparency and concerns that corporations may have something to hide. 10 companies provided a ‘no comment’ response; 2 of those companies both had a satisfactory excuse as to why they couldn’t disclose the data. 

The survey asked for the number of spokespeople each company had and how many of these were media trained specifically for broadcast news and female. It was important to distinguish between the two, as the survey showed that 215 spokespeople across 14 companies in the FTSE 100 are not trained for TV and radio and only for print and online press comments. The survey, designed by the not-for-profit Broadcast Club run by Broadcast Ready PR, a Public Relations Agency highly specialising in broadcast, aims to find out “how many women in the FTSE 100 are ready and able to be broadcast as an expert,” says Broadcast Club founder Kerry Hopkins.

The survey was created on the 29th of May 2019 and sent to every director of corporate communications in the FTSE 100 at the time of creation.

The survey found that of 650 total media spokespeople employed by 14 respondent corporations, 435 or 67% were trained for broadcasting, leaving 33% of the 14 companies that were not trained for broadcast interviews. Of those 435 who are broadcast media trained, 197 or 45% were female. While reported numbers show near equal representation in 14 companies, the amount of female experts that end up being broadcast is much lower.

Below is a table of the results:

CompanyTotal SpokespeopleBroadcast Media Trained (Male and Female)Broadcast Media Trained (Female Only)Broadcast Media Trained (Male Only)Not broadcast-ready spokespeople (not TV trained)
Ashtead Group31012
Auto Trader105325
Carnival Corporation1212660
Direct Line165116457149
Hargreaves Lansdown77250
ITV PLC11100
Just Eat25158710
Kingfisher PLC105235
Legal & General12438281086

Broadcast Club, established in June 2018, is aimed at carrying out research, raising awareness, inspiring and encouraging FTSE 100 female expert women media spokespeople and giving them the confidence, training and skills to share their expertise on television and radio. The Broadcast Club also runs broadcast news for public relations executives in the FTSE 100 courses, and their PR agency may join in too.

The latest piece of research in June last year from the Expert Women Campaign run by City University in June 2018, showed that there are 2.5 men to every female expert interviewed on television, and that initial improvements had stalled.

Kerry Hopkins, founder and president of the Broadcast Club, says: “After speaking to a number of companies over the past six years, I came to the conclusion that there may not be enough female spokespeople, and so I carried out this piece of research to get the numbers. I am thrilled that out of those 14 companies surveyed, 45% of media spokespeople are female. But, why did 84%* of companies not fill in the survey?

“The lack of transparency that UK publicly listed corporations have displayed is concerning, which is ironic since it is about their media spokespeople, who are public facing. We contacted each company several times, sometimes up to 8 times. Did some not fill it in perhaps because some have a lack of female media spokespeople?

“UK Government figures show that 25% of highly skilled workers are professional females and 27% of workers are highly skilled professional males which is a nearly equal distribution across the sexes, but females appear on broadcast news and current affairs programmes at a lesser rate than males.

“Of those 14 companies who filled in the survey, 33% of spokespeople were not going on air, or broadcast media trained.  One of our goals at the Broadcast Club is to get more spokespeople broadcast ready. My experience broadcast media training people has shown me that firms need to financially invest more in women compared to men in the beginning, such as doing up to three broadcast media training sessions – as women often have more questions and concerns, and women then gain the confidence needed to be brilliant on TV.  The Broadcast Club also recommend PR’s going on our one day broadcast PR course to help them deal with broadcast journalists better and see more opportunities.”

Easyjet, Ocado, Mondi and WPP have recently become Broadcast Club members.  Hargreaves Lansdown hired the Broadcast Club to media train three of their females to be good spokespeople on television.

At the time of writing, the list of companies that have not responded are as follows:

  1. 3i
  2. Admiral Group
  3. Antofagasta
  4. Astrazeneca
  5. Aviva
  6. BAE Systems
  7. Berkeley Group Holdings
  8. BHP Billiton
  9. BP
  10. British American Tobacco
  11. British Land Company
  12. BT Group
  13. Bunzl
  14. Burberry Group
  15. Coca-Cola
  16. Compass Group
  17. CRH
  18. Croda International
  19. DCC
  20. Diageo
  21. Evraz
  22. Experian
  23. Ferguson
  24. Fresnillo
  25. GlaxoSmithKline
  26. Glencore
  27. Hikma Pharmaceuticals
  28. Hiscox
  29. HSBC Holdings
  30. Imperial Brands
  31. Informa
  32. Intercontinental Hotels Group
  33. Intertek Group
  34. International Consolidated Airlines
  35. Johnson Matthey
  36. Land Securities Group
  37. Lloyds Banking Group
  38. London Stock Exchange Group
  39. Marks and Spencer Group
  40. Melrose Industries
  41. Micro Focus International
  42. Mondi
  43. Morrison Supermarkets
  44. National Grid
  45. Next
  46. NMC Health
  47. Paddy Power Betfair
  48. Pearson
  49. Persimmon
  50. Phoenix Group
  51. Prudential
  52. Shell A
  53. Shell B
  54. Reckitt Benckiser
  55. Rentokil
  56. Right Move
  57. Rio Tinto
  58. Rolls Royce
  59. RSA
  60. Sage
  61. Schroders
  62. Segro
  63. Severn Trent Water
  64. Smith & Nephew
  65. Smith, D.S.
  66. Smiths
  67. Smurfit Kappa
  68. SSE
  69. St. James’ Place
  70. Standard Chartered
  71. Taylor Wimpey
  72. Tesco
  73. Unilever
  74. United Utilities
  75. Vodafone
  76. Whitbread

The list of companies that provided a ‘no comment’: 

  1. Associated British Foods
  2. Barclays
  3. Barratt Developments
  4. Centrica
  5. Halma
  6. Relx
  7. Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust
  8. Spirax Sarco
  9. Standard Life
  10. TUI Group

Findings will be announced on Tuesday 3rd September 2019 at 1830-2030 hours in the House of Commons to an audience of 120 guests including 35 journalists.

Panellists: Rachel Corp, acting editor of ITV News, Nina Goswami, BBC 50:50 Project journalist, Kerry Hopkins, founder of the Broadcast Club and CEO of Broadcast Ready PR, and Nigel Adams, Minister for State for Sport, Media and Creative Industries in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Chair and Host: Simon McCoy, BBC TV Newsreader.

For more information, please contact Kerry Hopkins, founder of the Broadcast Club, email:   [email protected] or call: +44 7900 981 751  

Notes to editors

Kerry Hopkins, who has commissioned and led this piece of research, has worked in a public relations capacity with 22 FTSE 100, NASDAQ, Korean Stock Exchange and NYSE companies. Kerry has worked with the largest polling company in the world, commissioned research with Gartner, TNS and YouGov, is a former national TV journalist with ITN ITV News and the BBC TV News, has written a Masters dissertation which got a Distinction in TV Journalism investigating ‘why aren’t there as many female comedians on TV as there are male comedians on TV?’ whereby she did the work of half a PhD in five months for her dissertation research instead. The Broadcast Club is sponsored by Broadcast Ready PR.