Women are still very much underrepresented in the field of journalism around the world. There are fewer women in top roles than there are women in the profession as a whole — on this women's day, HELLO! Pakistan celebrates Madiha Masood, a journalist who started her career at a very young age. 

Masood #choosetochallenge the gender biasness and inequality of our society by choosing a career for herself. A career that allowed her to learn new things travel new places, and cover stories of people who were not known to the world

This women's day Hello! celebrates women's achievements and increasing visibility while calling out inequality because everyone is equal. 

Can you tell, HELLO! a bit about yourself and your current show? 

I am Madiha Masood, I am an MPhil degree holder journalist who has worked for 11 years in Pakistan. I started my career with city42 and after that got the opportunity to work for all top media houses including, Express, Geo, DunyaTV, 92 news. Now I’m making my way to get a doctorate in journalism & practicing media, and gaining international experience. 

What does the 2021 International Women’s Day theme, #ChooseToChallenge mean for you in your work life? 

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. Individually, we're all responsible for our thoughts and actions - all day, every day. So, let's all choose to challenge. 

Why did you choose to become a journalist?

I love to learn new things; journalism was the perfect field for me. As a journalist, you inquire about new information and ask 'why?' being a journalist can provide you with the chance to travel to new places to cover stories. You get to know people from all walks of life and have the opportunity to hear their stories. This can allow you to reshape perspective that will benefit you both in your career and life & of course, it builds your network.

Do you think there’s a stereotype attached to female anchors?

Yes, age/color/ beauty is still the requirement for tv, and people are complex about it. News anchors should be young and petite, why? There is an age barrier for them? Why an older woman can't be the anchor? Why beauty is the demand, not the brain? I believe that now things and time have changed, now the field should be open for all talented people.

What barriers have you faced, as a woman, and as an anchor in becoming successful? How did you overcome them?

I have faced a lot, It started with my accent, (as I am Punjabi so it's very hard to get your space among Urdu speaking, and to make them convince that you can have a clear accent too). I practiced a lot, I made Urdu speaking friends, used to listen to BBC Urdu service, newspapers articles, discussions made my way to success.

In your opinion, how do our individual actions, conversations, behaviors, and mindsets have an impact on our larger society?

Only education can bring change in our community and society, and an educated mentality reflects your opinion, thoughts, sayings, and personality. It's a digital age, and you can have an idea about anyone about their sayings on digital, people learn from us we all need to be very careful of our actions 

    On International Women’s Day, how can men get more involved? How could men contribute to promoting gender equality?

    The majority of Men believe in gender equality. Time has changed, working women are the biggest example itself in Pakistan. Now women do jobs after completing their studies it has become a must, and it's happening just because of men. Only education can make things easy for both. It will take time, but we are on right track.

    Can you tell us about a role model who has inspired you over your career?

    My Sister Mariyam Umair is my role model, she is a scientist, she's happily married with two kids she manages everything so easily, I call her iron-woman & my father motivated me to join this journalism field, I wanted to study business initially, I had objections, but now I am thankful to him, as he suggested the best 

    What do you find is most important to working professionals today? Are priorities changing?

    Media ethics are very important. Both for the media house and the journalist. Dedication, integrity, and responsibility are elements of professionalism that make a person successful in her field. By taking ownership of their roles and duties, professionals make names for themselves and usually find promotion, opportunities and repeat business come easily to them.

    How can women better enable each other instead of competing? What needs to change in your opinion?

    I always say a woman alone has power; collectively we have an impact. Traditionally we have been taught to be competitive with one another because there was such a scarcity of jobs at the top. It’s so clear that strategy doesn’t work. The truth is that raising each other and channeling the power of collaboration is truly how we’ll change the equation—and have a lot more fun along the way.

    What do you think helped you get so far in your career? How can we mentor young girls to dream bigger?

    Consistency is the only key to success. Hard work of course & say no to shortcuts just trust yourself everything needs time and possible, so never lose hope just stay confident and learn from everyone. 

    What is your favorite thing about being a woman?

    Not one, but several, being a woman means being the most responsible person in the whole family. A woman is the beginning and the end of all humanity. Without the help and love and guidance of women, we, as a society, wouldn’t exist. 

    Are there equal opportunities for women in journalism? 

    Absolutely! women are an anchor, reporter, writer, analyst, producer, director. It’s a big success for us, and I’m proud of that.

    Are there any assumptions about women that you would like to change? And why?

    A little need to prevail the sense to understand our society more. Everyone is sensible, and they know their best 

    Any other comments or thoughts you would like to share?

    Respect your family values, make your parents and family proud by making your name gleam.