Sound Women Mentoring Scheme

Sound Women Mentoring Session

We believe that training and mentoring are two of the best ways to develop women in the audio industry.

“Tonight! Brilliant @soundwomen event @MediaCityUK with networking workshop and session. Lots of great girlies going!”

We know from our own research that women want training in areas such as self-development, networking and digital skills. We aim to offer training courses to our members in those areas at least every other month.

Since our launch we have run courses in Networking Skills in London and Salford, Confidence Building, Local Radio, and Social Media. Courses coming up include Brand You, Beyond Radio, Mapping the Industry, How to Win an Award, and Pitching.

“Thank you to @soundwomen for a great night! Inspired, motivated and met lots of lovely & talented people. Can’t wait for the next one!”

We are particularly proud of our mentoring scheme. When we asked Sound Women what they needed to progress in the industry, overwhelmingly they asked for mentors. Early last year we selected 30 lucky applicants to be mentees, and found some of the top female talent in British radio to mentor them. Presenters Jane GarveyMartha Kearney and Fi Glover are all among our mentors.

“I’m lucky to have such a switched on mentor with a lot of development tools up her sleeve. It has been a big relief to be able to talk about my emotions towards work confidentially with someone who really understands the context.”

“I feel like I can be honest and don’t feel like I’m being judged.”

“I am currently putting together a pitch with her for a Radio 4 documentary. Without Sound Women and my mentor I would never have considered thinking this big, but why not?”

BBC Local Radio Mentoring Scheme, in association with Sound Women

Sound Women is pleased to announce our involvement with the BBC Local Radio Mentoring Scheme.

High profile BBC broadcasters including Kirsty Young, Jenni Murray and Victoria Derbyshire have given their support to a new scheme acting as mentors to 20 female presenters from across BBC Local Radio.

The new mentoring scheme was launched on Thursday 13 March as a joint venture between Local Radio and Sound Women, with support from the BBC’s Diversity Centre.

The mentoring process begins this month (March) and will provide the local radio broadcasters with 6 months of mentoring sessions, with the aim of building skills, confidence and ambition and the ultimate goal of securing higher profile programmes or shows on bigger stations.

Matthew Barraclough, Local Radio Development Editor, says of the project, “We’re thrilled with the support we’re getting from our mentors. This scheme allows 20 of our current crop of female presenters to work with some of the biggest names in the radio industry, it really is an incredible opportunity for us. A lot of our focus has been on finding new talent but this mentoring scheme is aimed squarely at the huge talent pool we already have, and who we hope will go on to inspire others to follow them into BBC Local Radio.”

The mentoring scheme is one of a number of measures that BBC English Regions is  pursuing in an effort to increase the on-air representation of women across its network of BBC Local Radio Stations.

The initiative also has personal support from the BBC’s Director General, Tony Hall. When the scheme was first proposed in December 2013 he said, “This is a great opportunity. We want to encourage women presenters and offer first-rate support for them – and our brilliant local radio stations – across the country. This mentoring scheme is one of a number of ideas we have to help develop the incredible talent our country has to offer.”

BBC Local Radio approached Sound Women which already runs a well-regarded national mentoring scheme for women in the radio and audio industry. We agreed to provide a bespoke scheme for 20 female presenters in local radio, with the majority of the funding for the project coming from the BBC’s Diversity Centre, which already supports the UK-wide scheme.

The scheme is  also backed by the BBC Director of Radio, Helen Boaden, who personally wrote to each of the mentors to secure their time and efforts.

Sue Ahern, Director we responsibility for training and mentoring, says of the BBC Local Radio initiative, “This is not only fantastic news for the radio industry, but also for listeners too. It will bring better balance and representation of women – their thoughts and views to the airwaves.”

Funding for the project was granted by the BBC’s Diversity Centre.  Amanda Rice, Head of Diversity sees this as ‘a key priority for the BBC.’ She says, “Increasing the representation of talented women from a range of backgrounds on air and screen is incredibly important to us and will help us connect with an even wider audience.”

Mentoring Scheme 2013-14

Update 30.08.2013 – Applications for the Sound Women Mentoring Scheme, run with the support of the BBC and Creative Skillset, have now CLOSED.

Sound Women are delighted to announce a new Sound Women Mentoring Scheme, run with the support of the BBC and Creative Skillset.

Sound Women Mentoring

The scheme will run from Oct 2013 – to March 2014 with a minimum of 6 sessions with a Mentor.

We will match Mentees and Mentors with the aim of meeting the respective needs and objectives of each Mentee. All Mentors will have considerable experience in their field.


There are 20 places open for Mentees and we ask for a minimum requirement of two years working in audio. This can include BBC, Commercial, Online, Community and Student Radio as well as Podcasting, Digital, Audiobooks and Radio Sales and Marketing.

The scheme is free to enter, but is open to Sound Women Members only.

If you are interested and not yet a member of Sound Women please click here to sign up.

We are particularly interested in hearing from women who we know from Creative Skillset’s research sometimes struggle to progress in the industry. These include:

  • Women working in technical areas
  • Women with caring responsibilities
  • Women who are 35+ and at risk of leaving the industry
  • Women trying to get into leadership roles
  • Women in local radio (particularly those looking to present on air)
  • Women in geographically isolated locations.

However the scheme is open to anyone who fits the criteria, at any stage in their career.

**Applications have now CLOSED.**


Do you feel that you could offer a Sound Women Mentee the wisdom of your experience, a sounding board and some guidance?

We are looking for experienced women who work in all aspects of the audio industry. This is also an opportunity for you to learn from Mentees – our Mentors from last year found mentoring to be a great source of (self) learning and information.

**Applications have now CLOSED.**