Hayley McQueen on being a successful woman in a male dominated industry

Hayle Mcqueen Sky Sports News

In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggero, Hayley McQueen of Sky Sports News talks about her experiences covering the sports beat.

Whether we like it or not, the world remains to be a man’s world.

Despite the societal, cultural, and technological advances that the world has seen over the past decades, women continue to face gender-based bias toward their abilities and roles in a male-dominated industry such as the sporting world.

British TV sports presenter Hayley McQueen recalled facing such challenges every time she goes up against famous male sports athletes. She said it is very common for most men to stereotype women and undermine their capabilities.

“I think originally, [the challenge for me] was the worry of being taken seriously. If I’m dressed up and I want to look nice – because we’re girls and you are on tv – does my look go against me because you are not taken seriously. But then again people will say it goes for you because that’s how you got into television, because they want people to look good, as if it was catch 22,” McQueen told CalvinAyre.com. “So it is crossing the balance between taken seriously but also being comfortable enough with you. That the barrier is kind of down a little bit. So, I think, taking advantage of the fact that they might not expect the questions I’m going to ask. They could be the same questions that another male journalist who is a bit old and more experienced than me would ask, but because they don’t look at me the same, I can just get away with some of the cheeky stuff.”

In time, McQueen said she had proven herself that she’s no-pushover and that she can go head-to-head with other male sports presenter. She did this by perfecting her trade through the years.

Before joining Sky Sports News, McQueen said that flew to Doha and joined Al Jazeera Network, where she worked for the network’s coverage of the World Cup in South Africa. She then moved back to London and joined Sky Sports News.

“I worked for Al Jazeera for a little while, I worked for their World Cup in South Africa. I have an option to stay with them and work. I didn’t really like the idea of just working in Doha, I wanted to come to England,” McQueen recalled. “Having worked at the club channel, relative obscurity whilst they have lots of fans, not necessarily just in Britain, I want to make sure that I didn’t disappear for a few years broadcasting, get to my 30s and people not knowing I really am and what I am doing, and coming back and having to make that step again. Sky gave me a chance to work up to the company, I was not going to turn it down.”

McQueen pointed out that one of the perks of her job is to interview famous sports personalities, like football star David Beckham.

“It’s really weird because the bigger the character and the more famous they are, the worst interview is going to be because they don’t need to express this big character they have because they are just them,” she said. “Actually David Beckham really cares what he says, he cares about his answers. Tends to be the ones that don’t get interviewed as much that are harder because they are not just used to it.”