More than twenty years ago, a group of women called for a special conference day for women in campus and community radio, in an effort to provide support and resources for women and to broaden the participation of a diversity of women. The Women In Radio conference has been now an important part of the annual National Campus and Community Radio Conference for more than a decade.
One of the earliest Women In Radio one-day conferences, in Vancouver in 1992, set a tone of urgency and importance, proportionate to the need for change in the level and nature of women's representation in campus and community radio. Since then, the women's conference has grown and changed direction and been the subject of intense debate and discussion. Resolutions at the 2002, 2003 and 2004 national conferences of the National Campus and Community Radio Association show continued support for the original initiative for a Women In Radio conference.
Meanwhile, the issue of women's representation within the campus and community radio sector has been discussed on the local and national levels, through word-of-mouth, electronic discussion, and more formal forums. Changes have occurred and various efforts have been underaken at the local level, yet a small sample of stations taken in the summer of 2003 indicated an average of 25%-30% women programmers, with slightly higher percentages of women staff and board members, and slightly lower levels of on-air programmers.