Meet the ENWE network’s database of women experts from the Valencia area, in Spain.
To learn more about the project, we asked a few questions on their mission, selection process, and impact.
What was the context that brought to the foundation of your project/database?
As in many countries of the European Union, at the Unió de Periodistes we realized that women were not properly represented in the media discourse [in Spain]. The Monitoreo Global of Media of 2015 concluded that only 9% of experts in the media discourse were women, despite the fact that women have progressively assumed new and higher responsibilities in all fields. This is why we were convinced of the existence of a bias in the media when it came to showing expert voices, which is often due to journalists’ routines. The Agenda d’Expertes aims to be a tool for journalists, to provide them with access to those women [experts].
How do you select/add women excellences to your database?
I think Agenda d’Expertes is somehow different from other databases in Europe. We want to question who we consider and we do not consider an expert. Why might not a butcher or a farmer be considered an expert? When rejecting them, aren’t we replicating the masculine patterns as to expertise? This is the reason why Agenda d’Expertes is open to all the women who view themselves as experts in any field.
It is a fact that one of the main problems [women face] is impostor syndrome: most women, even though they have great expertise in their field, do not regard themselves as experts.
How can users access its services?
Getting to the Agenda d’Expertes is very easy. You just have to enter the web site and run a search in the “Cercador”. You don’t need to register or anything.
What would you say is the impact the project has had since its foundation in the context where it operates? What are your greatest achievements?
Apart from launching the project, we have done a great effort to expand it. It has to be said that Agenda d’Expertes has, from the beginning, the support of the five public universities of the Valencian Community, so we reached all the women working in them. Afterwards, once it was made public, we have met more than twenty professional associations, so that they have come to know this tool. When we launched the Agenda, in July 2017, 300 women from the Valencian Community took part in it. At the moment, the number is 572.
What is your take on the results of the latest Global Media Monitoring Project?
At the Unió de Periodistes we have worked hard -and with very little public funding – to increase the presence of women experts in the media. So have done other initiatives all over Europe. As a result of this, the visibility and contribution of women to the news agenda has increased in the last years. Still, it doesn’t reflect women’s contribution to the fabric of European society, culture, arts and politics. Therefore, it’s necessary to keep on working on this. One way of doing it is by incorporating a gender perspective in the media. It’s necessary that the media discourse contributes to gender equality.
ENWE – European Network for Women Excellence is an advocacy group committed to creating a network of European databases that offer an extensive selection of prestigious female profiles for interviews, conferences, and panels. Find out more about our network of partners here.