By Nobetternina (@nobetternina)
VIBE105 recently hosted a panel discussion celebrating International Women’s Day, with VIBE’s very own female ambassadors: Danae Peart, Carrie Mullings, MC Nadzzz, Rhea Gamana, Simply Leah and nobetternina - with Fatima Husain as panel moderator.
The panelists openly shared their personal struggles and experiences as BIPOC women in the media industry - and how these largely differ from those of their White counterparts.
Danae Peart – Member, Board of Directors (VX3 Exchange), kicked off the conversation touching on stats showcasing the lack of racialized women in media. Danae also addressed specific issues when it comes to the access of ever changing technology and how that very access is not only provided to women, but men as well, making the media industry extremely saturated.
Carrie Mullings, host of Rebel Vibez and a member of Canada’s first family of reggae, spoke on the laneway she helped create with CHRY for the representation of BIPOC women in the Canadian reggae scene. Carrie expanded on Danae’s experience, having been in radio for 18 years, and constantly learning to adapt to new technology, in order to effectively continue being a voice for racialized women in Reggae.
Rhea Gamana, award-winning host of Filipino talk radio show Radio Migrante, shared her thoughts on who the media serves, with its overall role being to ensure that those in power are doing their job for the people they vowed to serve. However, Rhea also briefly pointed out how this has become a severe problem in the Philippines, because state owned media has simply become a fake news central, which she has previously fallen victim to.
DJ Mel Boogie, hip-hop expert and host of Studio B, spoke to the longevity of female representation in hip-hop explaining why hip-hop culture is a reflection of what we see every day in society, with men being gatekeepers, power holders and storytellers. DJ Mel Boogie further explained how over the last five years, women in the rap game have taken control of their bodies and expressed that throughout their music, while emphasizing her concern for the lack of exposure for female rappers who intellectually use their music to tell a story.
Host of the Tuesday Afternoon Vibe, MC Nadzzz addressed more stats regarding gender and cultural diversity in the workplace, highlighting the gender discrimination that racialized women in the workplace face and how men simply stating their support for women is not enough. MC Nadzzz expressed how organizations giving women in media a chance in front of a camera or a microphone is great, but still does not address the lack of representation of BIPOC women behind that very same camera or microphone on a corporate level.
Simply Leah, host of the Thursday Midday Vibe underlined how BIPOC women can challenge the lack of diversity in media by continuing to push through and being true to themselves. Simply Leah referenced her own experiences as a BIPOC woman and being told she needs to look a certain way in order to obtain certain gigs and explained how this has determined her to make sure her talent is still given an opportunity to be heard regardless of what others have to say.
Last, but not least, Nobetternina host of the Afternoon & Midday Vibe, RPN and co-host of #Hashtag, spoke to her own experiences in the social media world as a racialized woman in media and how this has impacted gender equality. nobetternina shared some insight as to how women are perceived in the male dominated media world based off of what they chose to post on social media, and how they often become objectified and judged based off of these posts, rather than their actual talent or hard work.
The efforts of International Women’s Day should last year-round in order to make a lasting impact, giving amazing women like VIBE’s very own female ambassadors a fair chance in the media industry.