Lorraine Candy: We need to speak together

Why are women still not being heard?

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Imagine for a moment that when you talk, your voice is so quiet barely anyone can hear you. That your useful thoughts and intelligent opinions are ignored because what you say is so muted everyone struggles to understand. Deep down, you know you deserve to be heard and the more people ignore you, the more your sense of injustice grows.

This muted voice I describe is what it feels like to be a woman in the lead up to the general election. We're more than 50% of the population but we don't yet have the power in that number. Despite the brilliant women who are part of the campaigns, we are still so often marginalised.

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It's something that journalist Jane Martinson has picked up on, too – her piece in the Guardian yesterday stated that less than one in five politicians featured in election coverage so far have been female. This, despite three parties being led by women.

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It makes me cross. But it's not just about politicians. I commissioned the academic and feminist journalist Zoe Strimpel to analyse the volume of the female voice across TV news media for ELLE. The results are terribly disappointing. At first this made me angry, then I realised our often pitiful representation across the news media could change - that we could become louder. And the only way to do this is if we all speak together. There's only one way to be heard, and that is en masse. So many amazing and inspiring women work in broadcast media; we need to support them in their ongoing bid to change the way society values women's voices. For too long it's been taken for granted that if you want an expert to comment on anything, you turn to a man. We need to push forward talented women and demand they're the ones in front of the camera from now on.

As Hillary Clinton said: 'Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.'

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