The first study of its kind, conducted by networking and development group Sound Women, provides firm evidence of the gender bias that many have long viewed as being an issue for both commercial and BBC radio.
Taken over the week beginning 18 March, Sound Women enlisted the help of the universities of Sunderland, Westminster and Birmingham City – all of which have radio courses accredited by the Creative Skillset Tick quality mark.
In further revelations that will ask questions of practices within one of the oldest forms of traditional media, in co-hosted radio shows, the study found listeners are nearly 10 times as likely to hear two or more male presenters as they are to hear two or more female presenters.
Sound Women was established in 2011 to help to raise the profile and confidence of women working in radio and audio, formed through a mentoring scheme in conjunction with the BBC Academy.
Founder, Maria Williams, said: "Having women's voices on air is hugely important, both to female radio audiences and to aspiring female presenters.
"We hear anecdotal evidence that radio stations receive fewer demos from female presenters. By drawing attention to these statistics, we hope that more women will come forward, and that the industry will look for opportunities to showcase their talent. Both will give female audiences a much stronger voice."
Sound Women worked with Creative Skillset on the research and examined 30 stations that broadcast across the UK, including all the main national networks/stations.
In addition to this research, Sound Women contacted 15 of the country’s most successful broadcasters across a range of commercial and BBC stations and asked them who they would most like to double-head with, if they were ever asked – which none of them ever had been. The names mentioned are listed below.
Jo Whiley – Claudia Winkleman
Clare Balding – Bettany Hughes
Victoria Derbyshire – Gemma Cairney
Kate Lawler – Julia Davis
Margherita Taylor – Jenni Falconer
Sandi Toksvig – Fi Glover
Anita Anand – Victoria Coren
Jane Garvey – Sue MacGregor
Annie Nightingale – Fi Glover
Liz Kershaw – Nadine Dorries
Angie Greaves – Oprah Winfrey or Dawn French
Sam Walker – Rachel Burden or Anna Foster
Sarah Montague – Jane Garvey, Stephanie Flanders or Sian Williams
Fi Glover – Kirsty Young
Jo Good – Lauren Laverne