Jacqui Oatley: How women in football are raising their voice
Match of the Day is a British institution.
The BBC’s Saturday night football show started in 1964 and still sets the weekly agenda for the sport that dominates the UK and the League that enthralls the world.
So it is incredible to think that it took until 2007 to hear the voice of a female commentator.
In this podcast, Jacqui Oatley MBE talks to me about the attention she received on the back of that appearance. We also discussed the state of play for women sports broadcasters and journalists in the UK. What is changing, what is not and, as usual, how social media has changed the landscape.
As you’ll hear, everyone, including me, has a lot to learn.
2:30 Looking back on the publicity when she became the first female commentator on Match of the Day
“I didn’t want to be a celebrity, I did not want to be a token. I did not want to be different from any of the men”
6:52 Being a role model for aspiring women reporters
8:18 Her advice to young female sports reporters
10:45 The effect of social media to sports reporters, especially female ones
14:30 Taking on the ‘trolls’ - how, when and why
18:10 How social media has exposed more sexism
21:31 The effect of motherhood on her career
25:45 The pressure to change yourself
28:45 Why cricket appears more accepting to women broadcasters
33.35 The recent appointment of the first female chair of the Football Writers’ Association
35:20 The Women in Football movement
39:25 Subtle sexism v overt sexism in the workplace - which is worse
41:30 The problem of women not having the confidence to apply
42:50 The heroics of Rachael Heyhoe-Flint, athlete, administrator and journalist.
47:30 Women’s Super League: the progress from 200 in the stands to 2,500 inside 10 years
“When Faye White was little, she did not know there was an England team.”
53:30 The next step: Operation Bums-On-Seats
54:10 Finding a market for women’s football in the UK
59:40 The opportunity in the Women’s World Cup this year
“If England were to get to the final, I think the game would explode in this country.”
1:02:34 What is needed in the future? What will show the development of women sports broadcasters/journalists is on the right track
PS. Apologies to all, especially Jacqui, for the error in research I made in this podcast. I have an excuse but it is exactly that, an excuse and not a reason. That is not good enough. I left it in as lesson to myself to improve in this area. In the future, I will look to get an interview with a representative of Women in Football to expand my knowledge. It is too close to do one back-to-back. However I will ask. Apologies again, Rich.