The Broad Side

Staff Writer

Amanda Lee is the Music Director at Fox FM Melbourne.

Some 10 or so years ago, a young and very inexperienced lass started working at Sun FM in Shepparton as breakfast co-host. During that time, she worked with an all-male programming team which was great as she loved being ‘one of the boys’ but also found it challenging when it came to consistently finding female relatable content and trying to work this into the daily show.

This lass later became obsessed with the show ‘Sex and the City’ and realised the huge benefits for groups of women getting together sharing their experiences and asking for advice.

Alright, yes I admit I am old – that lass was me!

In previous years the radio industry has been perceived as being quite male dominated – some may argue it still is. However, it’s encouraging to see that these days, women are being put forward for more executive roles in the industry, especially in content with current metro Content Directors like Donna Puechmarin at 2DAYFM (right) and Erica Hodge at MIX in Perth (below).

After reading Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘Lean In’ (which no matter what sex you are, if you’re in management, it’s a great read), I wanted to do more for encouraging women in our company to really go after their goals, whatever they were. I teamed up with Jo Stanley (Weekend Breakfast Host) and together we founded ‘The Broad Side.’

Now before you go off and start playing Beyoncé’s ‘Run The World Girls’ and start thinking this group is all about feminism and girl power, let me stop you in your tracks – although that is actually a really good song.

Jo (right) and I worked together many moons ago on the TV show ‘The Panel’ for Channel 10. We were both new to the production company and both of us felt completely out of our depths. Luckily we became each other’s sounding boards and confidants. As Jo mentioned in her initial invite to The Broad Side: “It was serendipitous that Amanda came to me suggesting a professional network in which SCA women could share ideas, ask for advice and most importantly, to be connected.”

And that is exactly what The Broad Side is – a Facebook community for female on air talent, producers, content makers (including Integration) from both metro and regional Today, MMM and Local Works Stations.

It’s a resource for sharing content ideas, asking for advice and hearing from some pretty awesome ladies not just in the media but in life like ‘The Project’s’ Carrie Bickmore, ‘Boost Juice’ Founder Janine Allis, ‘The Voice’s’ Faustina Agolley, ‘Show And Tell’s’ Katie ‘Monty’ Dimond and more.

You would think with an all-female group there would be a lot of bitching, but I am proud to say that is something Jo and I were absolutely against. It’s not a platform to bitch about men or management but rather it’s a network which is positive, supportive and encouraging.

The group has been hugely supported by SCA’s Craig Bruce, Dave Cameron & Mike Fitzpatrick and really well received by not just The Broad Side members but the blokes in the company who quite fancy starting their own group called ‘The Bro Side’, which I am sure will be more about sharing funny memes and basketball highlights!

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