Woman's Hour - 24/09/2009
With Jenni Murray.
A recent survey by The Guardian showed that still only one in fifteen boardroom seats in the FTSE 100 are occupied by women, indicating that very little change has taken place in the past few years. So does the glass ceiling remain firmly in place for women wanting to gain entry to senior roles in the blue chip index? And what needs to happen for more definitive progress to be made? Is a legal requirement for female representation, as in Norway, the way forward? Jenni is joined by Peninah Thomson, who has spent the last five years running the FTSE cross-company mentoring programme supporting women to apply for top jobs, and the writer and broadcaster Janet Street-Porter, who claims that the so-called glass ceiling for women is actually made of reinforced concrete.
Wasafiri was one of the first literary magazines to promote international writing. It was founded in 1984, at a time when few publications featured the work of writers from Africa, the Caribbean and south Asia. It has since provided a platform for hundreds of writers struggling to be heard at the outset of their writing careers, many of whom have since gone on to become world-renowned award winners, including Vikram Seth and Toni Morrison. It also has an impressive roll-call of contributors, which includes the Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer. Jenni meets Wasafari's founding editor, Susheila Nasta.
Mary Berry is known as the undisputed queen of baking. One of UK's best-known and respected cookery writers, she has written over 70 books and sold more than five million copies worldwide - a feat which helped earn her the Guild of Food Writers lifetime achievement award. Her new book, Mary Berry's Baking Bible, contains more than 250 classic baking recipes, from chocolate cake to Bath buns, Shrewsbury biscuits to courgette loaf. Mary joins Jenni to discuss her latest book, some healthier baking options and why baking has had such a resurgence in popularity.
Since the Iranian elections, groups including Human Rights Watch have been warning of a worsening human rights crisis. Hengameh Shahidi, and Iranian journalist and supporter of Mehdi Karroubi's opposition party, is currently being held without charge in Evin prison in Tehran. The comedian Miriam Elia is a close friend of Hengameh's, and, along with some of Britain's top comics, has organised a night of comedy in order to highlight her situation. Amnesty International has now issued an urgent appeal for Hengameh's release. Jenni is joined by Miriam and by Nazenin Ansari, diplomatic editor of Kayhan, a Persian language newspaper, to hear how the situation in Iran has developed since the elections in June.