Sky Sports’ Hayley McQueen talks to UCFB students about rolling news and the huge opportunities for women in the sport industry
Sky Sports News and its 24/7 rolling TV coverage has become a regular scene in many households throughout the UK since its launch in 1998.
Its popularity has soared and Sky Sports News has long been recognised for its healthy dose of female presenters and reporters despite the often male dominated content.
Hayley McQueen, one of Sky Sports’ most popular and prominent presenters, recently visited UCFB Wembley to talk to students about her exciting career path so far, the increasing role of women within the sport industry and to pass on words of wisdom to aspiring media, broadcasting and journalism students.
As daughter of former Scotland international Gordon McQueen, Hayley was no stranger to football growing up and started her journey in the world of sports journalism with Middlesbrough’s in-house TV channel Boro TV as a reporter, before going on to Manchester United and then making her name on Sky.
Speaking to students, McQueen said she’s seen a positive change in attitudes since she entered the industry.
She said: “I think to break into the industry is a lot easier for women now. It wasn’t so popular for girls of my generation who had grown up loving and watching sport, and they didn’t realise you could work in it, you could study it and there were doors that were opening. When I started out there were a lot less females, but now it’s just become normal.
“Girls watch football, girls play football and girls are excelling at playing football. The demand for women’s football and women working in football is quite high, and there are so many girls working at Sky now that I can’t imagine what it would be like to go back to 15 years ago when I started out.”
Referencing her role at Middlesbrough, where she was initially one of just two women on the team – both presenters – McQueen added: “Now it’s not just presenting – a lot of our senior producers at Sky are women, most of our directors are women, the director on Soccer Saturday is a woman. At Sky I don’t see myself working in a man’s world because there are so many women there.”
For women looking to break into sport, whether a role in media or not, McQueen has one bit of advice: “Don’t think of yourself as ‘I’m, a girl it’s going to be tough’, don’t even see yourself as a sex, see yourself as an equal. As soon as you see yourself as an equal, which you are, other people will see that too.”
She added: “Women are equal in every other industry so why can’t they be in sport?”