The Women’s Corner: Being the only female on the set

Tabitha Barr

A couple weeks ago, Hutchinson had one of its biggest events, held at the Sports Arena. The NJCAA Tournament is a staple to Hutchinson and Hutchinson Community College in the way that visitors come from all over. An event this big needs an even bigger number of people behind the scenes to make it all run smoothly for the people watching it, whether in person or on another medium.

This year, I had the opportunity to work with CBS Sports and Niles Media Group in helping to broadcast the championship game live. I am majoring in media communications and production, which meant it was great experience to have and put on my resume for future opportunities. I learned a lot in the hours that I worked, but it was a tough project to be apart of. And it didn’t help that I was the only female on set.

Now, with sports being male dominated in general, I knew what I was getting into, but I didn’t realize that I was going to be the only women surrounded by men.

Now, these guys were hardworking and versed in their jobs, and all of them were kind and treated me like any other person. However, it was just a surprise for me actually to see with my own eyes the lack of female representation in my working field. And to a certain degree, it discouraged me a little bit.

When working on projects that are a part of the real world, I take into account that this is what it’s like to work outside of just the classroom. At these kind of sets/events, it is planned out and done pretty professionally and by professional people. This was a little different.

Live sets are different from other sets, because what you do at that moment matters to the public and wherever that broadcast is showing. It is a quick-paced world that needs to run efficiently to provide a good broadcast. Now, add into the mix that this was a sporting event, and it becomes that much more important for the people watching. This is because sports is treated like a staple to life.

For someone who isn’t that attached to sports, at all, it was hard for me to feel comfortable not only with the topic, but the setting I was in.

When doing certain tasks, I was completely on my own and having to figure out what I was doing. And it wasn’t needed, but it would have been appreciated if I have a woman in charge of the project, so I could watch what she was doing and how she was carrying herself on set, and follow her lead.

It’s one of those things that most people overlook, but for me, it is a staple that I need to be able to have in my future endeavors. I need to be reassured that I can make it in this profession. Because it is a male-dominated industry, but I don’t want that to stop me. It just means I’m going to work 10 times harder to make this field as equal as possible.

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