With teams up with NatWest and The Heard to offer fintech’s leading women and non-binary voices free media training
With, a leading international business communications agency, today announces a new media training initiative with NatWest, the UK’s largest business bank and The Heard, the spokesperson index for women and non-binary people in fintech. The initiative will provide three entrepreneurs from the NatWest accelerator programme and three members The Heard, free media training as part of ongoing work to help close the gender news gap.
With’s pilot with NatWest will support women on the bank’s accelerator entrepreneur programmes in Birmingham and Cambridge. It will offer three female business founders free media training. This will support them to speak on panels about fintech and be interviewed by the press. NatWest’s 13 accelerators across the UK offer a free programme to entrepreneurs who want to grow and scale their businesses.
Research from Women In Journalism shows that women are outnumbered five to one as expert contributors. Only 28% of journalists reported that their organisations had set targets to improve the representation of expert women contributors in their reporting.
The goal of these initiatives is simple – improving the gender representation of voices in the media to progress parity.
The opportunity and application process will be announced to all members of The Heard and female founders from the NatWest accelerator in January. They’ll be asked to submit a short application where three participants from each organisation will take part in a training session led by the senior management team at With.
Participants will learn how to tell their unique story, tackle specialist topics, and handle tricky questions. With’s all-female senior leadership team will also support the participants in building their personal brands.
This is the latest initiative from With as it continues to encourage all businesses to improve the diversity of spokespeople in the media, following a successful programme in training news editors, a similar initiative with Management Today and work with clients on gender representative media training.
Commenting on the initiative, Elizabeth Jones, Managing Director of With said: “. We have already seen that this kind of media training can help participants see their value as an expert commentator and feel confident in front of the media. Our end goal is to encourage more organisations to appoint a diverse set of spokespeople for their businesses.”
Debbie Lewis, Regional Ecosystem Manager, NatWest, Enterprise Team adds: ‘We’re committed to supporting women who set up their own businesses and aim for 60% of our accelerator hub spaces to go to women. Our hubs turbocharge companies and this pilot is our latest initiative to help these entrepreneurs step up to media and panel opportunities. We’re tackling the current under representation of women by adding to the pipeline of confident voices ready to take their places.’
Chantal Swainston, Founder of The Heard says: “While our index is one step in shining a light on underrepresented talent in the industry, delivering meaningful benefits to our members is the next goal. With is committed to helping close the gender news gap, and I can’t wait to offer this to our members, and help equip them with everything they need to tackle speaking with media.”
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