Martin shared her story about walking into a newsroom in Victoria more than 30 years ago with no journalism experience to becoming one of the most recognizable faces on TV news in Canada.
She started as one of the few women in news but today is part of the growing majority, she said, adding recent statistics show 57 per cent of news anchors are women, and so are 58 per cent of news producers.
It’s been an uphill battle, and while much has changed because of the work by women news reporters and anchors, there’s still a lot of work ahead, she said.
“There was a question ‘Could women do the job?’” Martin said. “Would our voices have enough authority because it wasn’t deep?”
If the current trends are any indication, Martin said women have proved their worth in newsrooms across the country and people are beginning to recognize that.
In the U.S. one of the top news organizations, CBS, has become a pioneer after hiring Katie Couric as anchor of their evening news.
Canada is still a bit behind, Martin noted, adding the three national news anchors are currently all men.
“Lloyd (Robertson), Peter (Mansbridge) and Kevin (Newman)... they’re all friends of mine but I do have to say, they are still men,” Martin said, eliciting laughs from the crowd. “Can a women be 74 and still anchor the news?”
Good question! It would be lovely to have a female national news anchor in Canada. Anyone want to get into a pool as to when that might happen. I call dibs on 2010! Although, perhaps I'm just being too optimistic!