Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

The Bettina Fund: Transforming women's careers

13/01/2022

Eleven women who participated in the inaugural Bettina Fund - Women in Media Leadership programme say it will transform their careers as they have gained confidence to own their career development paths.

The three-month programme launched in Kenya in September 2021 aims to help women working in the media overcome barriers in newsrooms and navigate an industry that remains dominated by men.

This is achieved through one to one weekly sessions with mentors and a series of webinars with high profile female media managers, entrepreneurs and senior journalists.

I have grown my net-worth, says course participant, Hellen Shikanda, Health and Science Reporter, Nation Media Group. Now, I believe that leaders can be shaped. I have realised sometimes it takes close interaction with a leader to be one.

Diverse recruitment The women participating in the programmes were drawn from different areas of Kenyan media; the traditional legacy platforms of print and broadcast to digital start-ups.

The virtual nature of this programme caused by restrictions due to the pandemic benefitted journalists based outside the capital Nairobi. Travel costs and time often prohibit people travelling for face-to-face training but because every activity had to be done online the foundation was able to recruit participants from across Kenya with all women enjoying access to the same benefits.

In their feedback on the programme, mentees say the weekly sessions with mentors- all distinguished Kenyan women in the media - increased their confidence through improving personal skills and developing leadership competencies.

The webinars and mentor sessions provided a safe space for them to discuss openly their ambitions and provided guidance on how to overcome challenges in the workplace and as media entrepreneurs.

The mentees also completed bespoke e-learning courses developed by the Thomson Foundation.

Networking The programme ticks all the boxes of a programme designed to better equip young journalists with the nitty-gritty needed in their field of practice, says reporter and course participant Hellen Shikanda.

Ms Shikanda's mentor was Pamella Makotsi Sittoni, the first woman to hold the position of executive editor and managing editor of the Daily Nation at the Nation Media Group.

In 2017 she was named the Laureate of the Women in News Editorial Leadership Award for Sub-Saharan Africa by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN-IFRA).

She emphasises the importance of mentoring female journalists as a way of bridging the gender gap in media organisations.

The only way to challenge the gender disparity in media leadership is by creating a pipeline of women journalists with the right skills to take up senior positions, says Ms Sittoni. Through the Bettina Fund mentorship, we hope our colleagues will take the lessons we learned and avoid our mistakes, to get to the top faster and better prepared.

Florence Chepkorir, a news editor from Nakuru - a city north west of Nairobi in the Great Rift Valley; says the mentorship program enriched her professional network and taught her practical skills to advance her career. She now feels more confident to pursue opportunities in the media.

Getting to interact with other women journalists was awesome, she says. It helped me appreciate the fact that I am not the only one facing challenges specific to women in the newsroom. This has helped me put on a brave face, focus and endeavour to achieve the best in my career.

Empowering women in the workplace

The Bettina Fund has been set up by the Thomson Foundation in memory of its Director of Development Bettina Peters who died in 2020. Bettina was a tireless advocate for equality in the media. The aim is to empower women to take on senior roles in media organisations and build a sustainable network of women journalists and media professionals.

For the inaugural programme the foundation teamed up with the Baraza Media Lab, an initiative working to promote a strong and diverse media ecosystem from its collaborative space in Nairobi.

The aim is to extend the programme to include other countries in East Africa and replicate in other regions of the world.

The mentor and mentee relationship

-- Play

-- --

-- Play

-- --

-- Play

-- --

-- Play

-- --

Related content

The Bettina Fund: Empowering women in media

Women in Media: Confronting the confidence gap

When diversity in newsrooms and leadership is not enough

Berna Namata East Africa Programmes Manager

Berna is Thomson Foundations East Africa Programmes Manager. Her main role is in the business development and promotion of our e-learning platform, Journalism Now.

Explore our projects across the globe
LINK: http://www.thomsonfoundation.org/latest/the-bettina-fund-transforming-...
See more stories from thompsonfoundation

More from Thomson

28/09/2022

Young Journalist Award shortlist revealed

A remarkable number of entries arrived from all over the world for this years Young Journalist Award - Cameroon to Colombia, Ukraine to Uganda and Egypt to Ecua...

12/09/2022

Why Pakistan needs more women leaders

This article is written by Hudaibia Iftikhar, a blogger working in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province of Pakistan. Despite being highly educated, she holds a ...

23/08/2022

Western Balkans footprints: Innovation in media training makes an impact

Running a media organisation in the Western Balkans (WB) is far from easy. A region beset by instability, corruption with challenges to media freedom which prov...

08/08/2022

WhatsApp misinformation course goes viral

A digital learning course on mis and disinformation delivered via the messaging platform WhatsApp has gone viral in Sudan. The first seven days after publicat...

28/07/2022

Why the environment crisis doesn t make news in Serbia

Dina or evi is a journalist with the Centre for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS). She has won a number of national and international awards for her w...

01/07/2022

Fresh perspectives: Young Journalist Award 2022

Thomson Foundation is celebrating 60 years of promoting excellence in journalism and to mark the occasion, we're offering six rising stars the chance to con...

24/06/2022

Finding Africa s new voice

Hello, can you hear me? The zoom screen springs to life and the responses quickly follow. Yes, we can. Good morning . The greetings come from Kenya, Nigeri...

20/06/2022

A new chapter in a migration story

The crisis in Ukraine has again focused world attention on the plight of refugees and mass migration. It has also challenged journalists to report on the issue ...

10/05/2022

Changing the way news and stories about Africa are told

The moment you see your byline next to a story is a magical moment for any journalist. It brings with it a sense of relief, pride and hope that you'll get n...

06/05/2022

International success for Montenegrin mobile journalist

Success in our training programmes is measured in many ways but one of the most rewarding is reading or watching powerful stories produced by young journalists ...

25/04/2022

Shifting the focus: Sudan on the edge of change

A pioneering band of creatives in Sudan are promoting social change through photography. The Thomson Media training for digital media entrepreneurs formed part ...

31/03/2022

Telegram course: Reacting to a chemical attack

Chemical and biological weapons may be banned but that has not stopped them being used in recent conflicts and for journalists reporting on the war in Ukraine k...

25/01/2022

A vote of confidence: Empowering women politicians in Gagauzia

The look of politics in Gagauzia, the small autonomous territory in southern Moldova, is decidedly male. Just two of the 35 members of local parliament are wome...

13/01/2022

The Bettina Fund: Transforming women's careers

Eleven women who participated in the inaugural Bettina Fund - Women in Media Leadership programme say it will transform their careers as they have gained confid...

18/12/2021

Investigating Moldova: Journalists pick up two awards

Stories on ecology and corruption, developed with Thomson Media support, are among the best investigations of the year. By Dima Stoianov, media support expert ...

17/12/2021

Boosting media portrayals of minorities in the Western Balkans

Media in minority languages are relatively well developed, but one segment is significantly neglected in the six countries of the Western Balkans - Albania, Bos...

14/12/2021

The definitive guide to podcasting has arrived

Award-winning podcasters and journalists from the UK, India, Kenya, Australia and South Africa have joined forces to create what's believed to be the first ...

08/12/2021

Podcasts: Why I love audio

The 7th of January 1991 was a big day for me. It was the day I started working as a radio journalist. As someone who writes for a living, I'm supposed to a...

30/11/2021

Persistence pays off for the first ever Malaysian Young Journalist winner

PROFILE: Young Journalist Award 2021 winner It was Kai Hui Wong's persistence in her investigations which led her to reveal abuses of power that convin...

30/11/2021

Doing the groundwork: Monika Mondal wins our environmental prize

PROFILE: Young Journalist Award 2021 (environment) winner It's hard to believe that Monika Mondal only started her journalism career last year at the hei...

17/11/2021

Who are the Young Journalist Award 2021 finalists?

Three journalists - from India, and for the first time, Colombia and Malaysia - are the finalists for the 2021 Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award, in par...

06/11/2021

We can change our migration narrative - election time is a good time to do it

By Eileen Truax Eileen is a journalist specialising in migration working with Thomson Media on Moving Voices - a project looking at cross border issues affectin...

02/11/2021

All fired up: The journalists addressing the climate emergency with words and actions

As world leaders gather for COP26, it is a pertinent time to showcase the work o...

20/10/2021

When diversity in newsrooms and newsleadership is not enough

In the latest in a series of personal reflections on womens role in the media, Luba Kassova, author of The Missing Perspectives of Women in News reflects on why...

16/10/2021

Meet the new generation of journalists making a mark

It's one of those points in the annual media calendar that early-career journalists await on the edge of their seats - and the moment has arrived. We can ...

06/10/2021

Women in media: Confronting the confidence gap

A confidence gap is a constant theme when discussing the lack of women in leadership positions in media. Why do women feel that they dont merit their success mo...

20/09/2021

Circular economy: Bringing the intellectually ambitious concept to life

Chances are, most things that currently surround you have been produced following the principles of the linear economy. From the clothes that you wear to the ph...

13/09/2021

Why we're all environmental journalists now

Journalists have a unique role to play in changing the narrative around the worlds environmental breakdown and becoming an essential part of the solution. Hear ...

08/09/2021

The next generation of leaders in Kenya's media

Twelve women aiming to become future leaders and entrepreneurs in Kenya's media. They were chosen from more than 500 who applied to join the inaugural progr...

23/08/2021

Encounters with a Sudanese artist pushing for a brighter future

Profile: Reem Al Jeally, Sudan A matriarchal figure is painted on a concrete wall on Jamhuriya Avenue, next to the University of Khartoum. Her face is not depic...

17/08/2021

Truth always wins - spotlight on former Young Journalist winner, Martin Camacho

Applications are open for the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award, one of the highlights of the UK's Foreign Press Association Awards. Closes Septembe...

30/07/2021

Lessons of a lifetime help to deliver Thomson Foundation's mission

As he retires as Thomson Foundation chief executive - after a decade at the helm - Nigel Baker reflects on his previous 35-year career in journalism and lessons...

29/07/2021

News writing: The art of storytelling

Journalism is competitive. It can be a hard occupation to get into and it is just as hard to succeed in it. Thomson Foundations new online course News writing: ...

22/07/2021

Covering the escalation of police brutality in Kenya

On the 13th March, Kenya announced its first coronavirus case. The government announced measures to contain the spread. However, some of the measures proved dea...

15/07/2021

An environmental twist on this year's Young Journalist Award

We are excited to announce the return of the prestigious Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award where young journalists, their work and their voices are at t...

30/06/2021

The Bettina Fund: Empowering women in media

Women remain underrepresented in leadership roles in media organisations despite a higher proportion of female students graduating from university journalism co...

18/06/2021

Reporting on refugees: Belonging and unbelonging

Ahead of World Refugee Day, a day dedicated to refugees, their plight and their rights, we spotlight the work of Jordan-based filmmaker Jumana Saadeh and Kashmi...

04/06/2021

Bettina Peters Fund: Empowering women in media

Women remain underrepresented in leadership roles in media organisations despite a higher proportion of female students graduating from university journalism co...

07/05/2021

Environmental journalism - Why local matters

They're subjects central to the way we live our lives and the survival of the planet and increasingly there's a link to many journalists' investigat...

28/04/2021

A visual insight into the consequences of climate change

It may be a well-worn adage, but to a photojournalist a picture is worth every one of a beautifully-crafted thousand words. And in a digital age where that pict...

13/04/2021

Creating greater transparency and accountability of government

By Henry O. Maina Government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is a...

30/03/2021

Thomson Foundation appoints Caro Kriel as chief executive

Thomson Foundation has appointed Caro Kriel - a veteran journalist with more than 20 years' experience in international news - as its new chief executive. ...

29/03/2021

Greatest reward: Helping to progress the careers of countless journalists

Thomson Foundation is unique: the place where the cut and thrust of the news industry meets the more strategic international media development sector. Every ye...

08/03/2021

Giving Sudanese a voice in rebuilding their economy

Rebuilding Sudan's shattered economy after the 2019 uprising requires the country's journalists to understand and explain the key economic issues to the...

07/03/2021

Giving Sudanese a voice in rebuilding their economy.

Rebuilding Sudan's shattered economy after the 2019 uprising requires the country's journalists to understand and explain the key economic issues to the...

05/03/2021

Raised voices: Giving women a voice in local media

A unique research project in a remote district of north-west Pakistan has helped to empower women and give them a voice in local media. Thomson was approached...

02/03/2021

Remote control: Covid-19 and the smartphone

Ask Spanish television reporter Leonor Su rez what role mobile journalism played during the first wave of the pandemic and she barely pauses for thought. Moj...

02/03/2021

Staying Safe: Introducing a journalist s guide to covering protests

Nata a Kova ev is a reporter with the Balkans based 24 hour news channel N1. She is the instructor for our online learning course, Staying safe: Covering protes...

15/01/2021

Hidden from view: Reporting on human trafficking and modern slavery

Every journalist wants to go on a rescue mission. But hidden from view, the human trafficking story is one of the most challenging, complex and ethically testin...

23/12/2020

Challenges of becoming a journalist in a restrictive society

Maryam Anam is an aspiring young radio journalist in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a region in north-west Pakistan where women's voices are rarely heard. She is being...