Thursday 13 December 2018

'You have to keep fighting' - Miriam O'Callaghan on Time's Up and Me Too

Saturday Night with Miriam
Saturday Night with Miriam
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Miriam O'Callaghan has revealed how she has dealt with adversity in her career.

The RTE presenter, who fronts Prime Time and her own chat show, Saturday Night with Miriam, was speaking in the context of the Me Too and Time's Up movements.

Both emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and aim to expose and eradicate sexual harassment and discrimination against women, including the gender pay gap - in the workplace and beyond.

"I know people worry that it might have gone too far but I say no," she told the RTE Guide. "It's just a correction. But the thing is you have to keep fighting.

Miriam O'Callaghan
Miriam O'Callaghan

"My way of fighting adversity was to just go out there and do it and show that you were as good, and sometimes better than, others."

An independent review into gender equality in RTE, published in November, found that there is no discrimination against gender at the State broadcaster- but the author of the reviews says the findings point to a "lack of diversity" within staff which the broadcaster should look to address.

Miriam O’Callaghan with her mum Miriam
Miriam O’Callaghan with her mum Miriam

The gender pay gap in RTE stands at 4pc, lower than the national average of 14pc.

Miriam (58) also revealed that she took a very different approach to her career than that of her parents, a national school principal and a civil servant.

"I've survived because I've been willing to take risks," she said.

"I was a solicitor and gave it up to work in television in London which many might not see as sensible.  Then I went to Newsnight, then I left BBC for RTE, then jumped into radio and then jumped into a chat show."

In January it was revealed that Miriam's Sunday radio show on RTE Radio 1 saw an increase of 21,000 since the Joint National Listenership Survey book and 14,000 year on year to reach an impressive audience of 259,000.

This summer she will also work on a documentary marking the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

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