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Women In News Programme Launch

(25 June 2014, Johannesburg) A 5 month-long educational programme aimed at propelling media women into top management positions, while addressing the print media industry’s transformation imperatives, was today launched. The Women in News (WIN) programme – an industry first in South Africa, but successfully launched in other African countries – will be managed by Print and Digital Media South Africa (PDMSA) in partnership with the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).  Further, the initiative is conducted under a strategic partnership to advance media development and press freedom worldwide between WAN-IFRA and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

“The WIN programme is a crucial component in spearheading the achievement of greater gender balance within the media industry,” said Ingrid Louw, CEO of PDMSA, “and allows media houses to show their commitment to skills development and other broader strategic imperatives.”

Media houses Independent Newspapers, The Times Media Group, Caxton, Media 24, Mail and Guardian, the Association of Independent Publishers and the MDDA will collectively send 20 promising women in middle management (on both the business and editorial side of newspapers and magazines) on the WIN programme to garner the wherewithal to take on, and excel in, top management positions.

Each WIN South Africa participant will partake in facilitated group mentoring, skills development, networking and individual coaching. In addition, participants will receive NQF 8 Media Management and Leadership Skills certification and accreditation in Media Management from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Louw noted that WIN is a “results-based programme”. Botswana, Namibia and Zambia have had the WIN programme for three years, with 50 women graduating to date. Research at the end of last year showed that 88{2469049d4765708acc81cf9a9945e9ec8fb710558d9eddbbea6bd15c42014f67} of participants were given more responsibility, 35{2469049d4765708acc81cf9a9945e9ec8fb710558d9eddbbea6bd15c42014f67} secured a promotion and 62{2469049d4765708acc81cf9a9945e9ec8fb710558d9eddbbea6bd15c42014f67} reported more opportunities given to them to progress in their companies.

“As the WIN programme takes hold in South Africa, as partners we are sure that it will contribute greatly to industry strategic imperatives,” said the former chair of the Diversity and Ethics committee at SANEF, Ferial Haffajee .

Issued by:
Print and Digital Media SA