November 25, 2015

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1/21/02 Mentoring Women: A Critical Radio Ink Initiative

The year was 1980. If you were to search the halls of any Radio station in America to see a woman, you would rarely find one who was not a secretary, a receptionist, a bookkeeper or a weekend deejay. There were very few women in senior management positions anywhere in America, and very few women as Radio sales managers or program directors — we were just beginning to see women join the ranks of our sales departments. A hard-fought battle to gain equal status and respect had just begun. Difficult to believe that, a mere 22 years ago, we were living in the dark ages — and equally difficult to realize that we have still not come completely out of them.

I was — and still am — disturbed by it. Following the lead of Ralph Guild at Interep, who was very much considered a pioneer in hiring women in significant positions, I had hired (to great success) several women in prominent positions within my stations. Yet very few others had done so.

When I started this magazine, I established a regular column titled Women in Radio, designed to mentor female industry novices by addressing the very real issues they were experiencing. Additionally, when I launched the Radio Ink Radio Wayne Awards, we started with a "Woman of the Year" award. The articles and awards were met with mixed reaction. Several years later, we launched our “25 Most Influential Women” issue, which has resulted in a group of exemplary women executives who hold regular meetings.

Today, the Radio Ink Most Influential Women (MIW) group is launching a mentoring program. Our goal is to introduce women in our industry to this dynamic group of women, who are outstanding leaders. Learning the ropes from women who have blazed new trails will provide rocket fuel for the careers of women who are to become the new leaders within the Radio business.

I encourage you to apply to this mentoring program, or to pass along this information to every woman you contact in our industry. This year, the Most Influential Women in Radio group will choose at least three women and provide them with full access to each of the members of this exclusive group. Mentored women will have phone and in-person access and will have the ability to attend these exclusive face-to-face MIW meetings.

Interested? Send the Miws a letter — by Feb. 15 — stating why you would like to be mentored by the MIWs. Please outline your experience in Radio to date, your current employer and position, and your contact information, including e-mail address.

Letters (e-mail is preferred) should be addressed to:
Joan E. Gerberding, President
Nassau Media Partners
619 Alexander Road, 3rd Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540

For information on this important organization, visit www.RadioMIW.com.

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