James Hendicott: Six months on, gender disparity still a struggle

by James Hendicott

Six months ago, a report by Linda Coogan Byrne and Aine Tyrell into gender disparity in Irish radio sent ripples across the media.

Radio stations were put under pressure for their poor representation of female musicians in Ireland, and the topic became a major media talking point.

Six months later, the original authors are back to assess whether anything’s changed, and the answer is… well, a little. There’s still a long way to go for female artists to be given anything close to fair representation on Irish radio, with 85% of the top artists in Irish radio in the final six months of last year male acts.

The six month review, however, noted significant improvements in Dublin and national radio stations, but little improvement in regional stations. They also noted a move to further representation. The core issues, however, are far from being addressed.

“We at Why Not Her? ask what can be done to implement changes across Irish Radio that creates an equal opportunity playing ground for both male and female-identifying Irish acts?,” the reports accompanying note asks.

It does add “We would like to applaud those in nationalrRadio and some individual stations who have made considerable strides towards a game-changing moment in Irish music history, some stations went from 0% to 20% and more.”

“Thank you for being part of the solution: RTE 2FM, SPIN 103.8, SPIN SOUTHWEST, BEAT FM & 98FM.

“And for the first time in 5 years, FM104 have increased by 10% on the inclusion of womxn on their Top 20 Airplay charts spanning the last 6 months, a small but certainly significant change towards parity.”

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