Women's Month is the time in which we remember and honour the achievements of women throughout the ages - their strength, resolve, and extremely important place in this world.
Kriya Gangiah, owner of Kri8tive Media
How are they seen through the eyes of media platforms, though? And how are their work experiences affected?
We speak to women who have significant experience over a wide range of media platforms to find out how the representation of women looks in 2021. Today, we speak to Kriya Gangiah, owner of Kri8tive Media.
A significant roster of experience
Gangiah owns Kri8tive Media - a digital agency that specialises in social media, website design, and event coverage. Before realising that she needed to be in a more creative space to be happy, she wanted to be a veterinarian. After studying information science and multimedia, she landed a job at PWC and Deloitte as an IT security specialist. She also worked as a presenter on Craz-E on Etv, Ballz Visual Radio, and later, Jacaranda FM. After about four years in IT security, she joined Kagiso Media full-time as a digital strategist at Jacaranda FM.
“I started Kri8tive Media in 2018 to further my exposure in the digital media space and assist more businesses in their digital marketing efforts,” said Gangiah. “Through all of this, I still take pride in the radio and television space and took every opportunity I could find to be in front of a camera or microphone.”
Gender equality affects all industries
“Starting in the digital space such a long time ago, it was a very male-dominated industry,” said Gangiah. “It was novel to have a ‘leading’ woman, which I’m sure helped a number of women to find great opportunities. On the flip side, you tend to come into contact with a variety of people in positions of power, who would either help you grow or find it easier to diminish you.”
Gangiah said that she was fortunate enough, and unfortunate, to come into contact with both kinds of people. In the media industry, Gangiah believes that gender equality is a particular issue that needs attention. “Through my career, I tried my hardest to not make it something that influenced me. I tried to have the confidence to ignore prejudices and used this to find opportunities to grow and develop,” she said.
Transparency through good leadership
Gangiah believes that to create an inclusive message, there needs to be a good representation of the diversity in South Africa. In influencing, business and acting, this is misrepresented across the board. “I’ve always said that the media industry will benefit from better leadership, whether male or female. If leadership grew and developed talent and allowed for equal opportunities we would see an immediate improvement,” she said.
For Gangiah, we are already seeing positive change in today’s society. Women are speaking up more about their experiences, worries, and triumphs - and it’s making a significant impact. We can see this through the way Simone Biles broke mental health barriers recently by withdrawing from the Olympic Games.
“Working hard is one of the most important things. You need to ensure your work and determination pushes through the stigmas and boundaries,” said Gangiah.
Women’s place in work and representation in media is key to the way we see them in our communities. This discussion has been ongoing for a while - has it changed over time?
Look out for the last part in this series, where we speak with more women to find out more about these issues - and find recurring themes in what they say.