How Verbit’s Team Members Are Taking a Stand to Support Gender Equality in Media 

By: Sarah Roberts
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According to a recent study, women make up more than half of graduates in broadcast media and entertainment. However, as media professionals work their way up the corporate ladder, more women drop out at each level. Women take up fewer than three out of every 10 seats at the C-suite table. This gender disparity is what the non-profit organization Rise, in partnership with some Verbit team members, is working to combat.  

Take 1, a Verbit company, and its UK-based team members are supporting Rise’s efforts, including mentorship programs with youth, to raise awareness about the gender gap in the broadcast media and entertainment industry. Verbit was recognized recently for its strong representation of women and is proud of its work with Rise to drive greater equity in media, one of the main industries the company serves.  

“I think we can all probably recognize that we’ve come quite a way, but there’s still a lot more to do,” said Carrie Wootten, Managing Director of Rise, at this fall’s IBC Show. “We need more gender diversity in the industry,” she said when announcing the group’s newest initiative, Strive to Rise.  

Through Strive to Rise, the organization is helping businesses perform self-assessments to gauge their diversity and inclusivity. Take 1 helped Rise develop the metrics for their program and is actively involved in many of the organization’s efforts. 

Students work on set in a studio in front of a green room

Supporting this important media initiative 

Take 1 started supporting Rise in 2020. Stephen Stewart, Take 1’s Chief Operating Officer, has served as a mentor for the organization, contributed to sessions with the Rise Up Academy and is taking part in another Rise event this February. Josh Martin, Take 1’s Head of Product, and David Rogers, a Business Analyst, are also active volunteers with the Rise Academy. Many other Take 1 employees participated in the Rise mentorship programs as well.   

Take 1 has employees in the mentorship program, both as mentors and mentees.  According to Take 1’s Chief of Staff, Isabel Withey, the company’s involvement with Rise is mutually beneficial for both organizations.  

Additionally, Verbit’s leadership team promotes the philosophy of “Do Good, Win Together.” That concept helps guide the company’s approach toward its employees and the communities in which it works. Rise’s goals and Take 1’s involvement with them align with these priorities and the culture Verbit is fostering. 

How Rise is taking action to combat gender disparity  

When it comes to improving diversity in broadcast and entertainment, Rise is engaging Take 1 and others around a few strategic initiatives.  

Mentorship initiatives 

One of the ways that Rise creates more opportunities for women is through mentorship. Plenty of research, including a study by Cornell University, indicates mentorship programs can increase workplace diversity, including gender diversity, by 24%.  

Rise’s award-winning mentorship programs extend beyond borders to support women in Europe, the UK, North America, ANZ and APAC.  

Ensuring recognition of women’s achievements 

For today’s young female students, seeing women in leadership roles helps them conceptualize their potential future careers. Recognizing women for their professional achievements is a great way to showcase successful women. 

The Rise Awards celebrate the successes and achievements of women in media and technology, highlighting their work and showcasing it for the next generation of professional women to witness. This year, Amanda Wall, a former Rise mentee and Take 1’s Director of Operations for its Maryland team, made the shortlist for the Rise Award’s Business Operations category. 

Woman speaking at podium at the Rise Awards

Engaging everyone- regardless of gender 

Membership for Rise is free for everyone. The organization knows that it’s important to have the support of male leaders in media and entertainment technology. These professionals can be supportive allies and mentors for women in the workplace. 

Anyone interested in furthering Rise’s mission can join the organization as a member and have access to frequent events, including seminars, workshops, conferences and other networking opportunities.  

Educating the next generation 

Rise Up Academy offers workshops on broadcast engineering and technology for students ages nine through 18. The goal of this program is to increase the diversity of future professionals entering the industry. 

Rise is partnering with University Technical Colleges to bring targeted educational programs to students across England. Students between 16 and 18 also have a chance to work with a mentor in the industry.  

This important initiative is serving as a pipeline for diverse individuals, from school to positions in media. With the support of professionals with established careers, today’s mentees are preparing to be tomorrow’s leaders. 

Two girls smiling at the Rise Academy

Promoting accountability with Strive to Rise 

Rise understands that if businesses are going to improve diversity, they need to be able to measure it first. As a part of this new initiative, Rise is helping organizations assess their inclusivity and gender diversity. Armed with more information, organizations can strategically plan improvement initiatives that will bring them closer to their targets

A partner committed to the cause of gender diversity in media 

As an accessibility partner for media companies, businesses, universities and other institutions worldwide, Verbit’s mission is to make the world more inclusive for everyone. Together with like-minded organizations like Rise, Verbit is promoting a future that supports gender diversity, accessibility, equality and inclusion. 

Reach out to us today to learn more about our initiatives and solutions for the media industry.