EXPERIENCES of the entertainment industry for women was the subject of SEC’s first International Women’s Day panel event, that brought together Scottish stars including comedian and actress Karen Dunbar; TV personality and podcaster Roisin Kelly and DJ/producer TAAHLIAH with SEC’s Head of Live Entertainment Ticketing Julie Carson, and DF Concerts Event Organiser Katt Lingard, on 8 March to raise vital funds for Glasgow Women’s Aid.
Presented by OVO Energy, the Women in Entertainment event was in line with this year’s official event theme, #EmbraceEquity, and STV’s Laura Boyd led the discussion which brought together performers, presenters, and promoters for a clear picture of the industry’s opportunities and challenges.
Despite being from diverse roles across the industry, they all shared similar highs and lows. The group spoke candidly about the struggles of access, opportunities, funding, and representation, with TAAHLIAH saying “You can’t be if you can’t see. If I had seen someone like me, I would have believed in myself and got there much faster”.
Karen Dunbar, self-proclaimed “national treasure”, entertained the audience with her stories of starting out as a karaoke host on Glasgow’s gay scene, but also brought up the more serious issue of gaslighting in entertainment, with the outward impression of change as veil to minimal progress behind the scenes. She said “Class comes into it too. Women don’t challenge money because of a deep-set belief that we aren’t worth it”.
To conclude, the panel bonded over the inspirational woman in their life, with host Laura Boyd choosing Scottish entertainment icon Lorraine Kelly because “she was told when she started out reading the news, she would never make it, and look at her now”.