Christelle Chiroux

Deputy Director of Information in charge of mediation and CSR




Has TF1 group news achieved gender parity ?

There are as many female as male journalists on TF1 and LCI editorial teams, and we have two women in charge of TF1 news bulletins. On our channels we are continuing efforts to achieve gender parity, which takes time. French society currently comprises 52% women, but only 41% of our interviewees are women: that’s not enough, though the figure has increased significantly. In 2016, only 34% of interviewees were female, and most of them were asked about education or the family, but rarely about the big subjects.

How have you increased the visibility of women ?

We started with some self-criticism. In 2016 we set up our High Committee for Gender Equality, and an annual survey to count and categorize women in our news content. Then we organised workshops for everyone working in news – journalists, researchers, technicians – on the need to avoid stereotyping. Our journalists can now use the Expertes site with its database of more than 3,000 female experts. Since January 2020, we have carried out a monthly survey of each department which reveals any deficiencies so they can be adjusted. There was one more step to be taken: persuading women to step up.

So the problem of visibility is also partly caused by women ?

Though our news teams have made a start, many women still turn down requests to appear, and we sometimes struggle to find women to interview. It could be a lack of confidence, an availability problem in some cases, the fear of straying outside their area of competence, etc. It is our job to provide them with support and demystify the process. Women shouldn’t be afraid of speaking up.

With Expertes à la une since 2016 we have been offering special training days during which we provide women with coaching, media training, meetings with editorial staff, etc.

These have been a success and in 2020 we decided to ratchet up by organising a class of female experts.

What does the Expertes à la une class do ?

Fifteen female experts have been selected in fields where women have less visibility: police/law, healthcare, technology, etc. We support the class throughout the year with coaching, inspiring meetings, and in particular immersion in news, with all the female experts being mentored by a journalist, editor-in-chief or presenter. We also guarantee that the experts will appear in the studio or in a live report, the aim, of course, being to see more of them in future… and not just on our channels! We are extremely proud of this project and the second class has been launched in 2022.

Is gender equality still a struggle ?

We speak to millions of French people every day. So we have the power to change mindsets, to stimulate debate. These initiatives on the media have led to awareness of the issue becoming more widespread.

Our responsibility as a major media outlet is to reflect our society, to work on diversity and achieving a plurality of points of view.

Things are moving in sectors which have historically been male-dominated. For example the police have more and more spokeswomen. For us journalists it has become natural to think in terms of gender equality, whereas that was not the case five years ago. It is no longer acceptable to see all-male line-ups on our channels. We are thrilled with this first victory. Now we are aiming for complete gender equality.