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PANEL: A Freelancers Guide to Protections: Personal, Professional and Financial

Women identified freelancers and independent journalists are among the most vulnerable when it comes to how we work. Freelancers aren’t often aware of employment laws that could protect us, media outlets and production companies rarely provide us with a contact in Human Resources and we definitely don’t accrue paid sick leave or have access to employee health insurance or staff retirement accounts.

The Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) and the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) present A Freelancers Guide to Protections: Personal, Professional, and Financial Considerations. In this one-hour panel discussion on freelancer protections, Dr. Michelle Ferrier, founder of Troll Busters moderates a conversation with Jéneen Perkins, a financial consultant specializing in self-employment and small business finances, and AIR Managing Director Amanda Hickman who leads AIR’s Code of Fair Practices initiatives. The conversation focuses on the unique vulnerability that women face while navigating careers in journalism that often put us in the public eye.

Remote video URL


The Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS) brings together working journalists, journalism educators and researchers from across the country to share resources, support, training and information about issues that affect women in our field. We meet in person and online in an atmosphere of mutual support and enthusiastic interest in one another’s differing experiences and journalistic dreams.


AIR identifies, cultivates, and connects mission-driven story makers from across the U.S. and the world. We are committed to expanding the ecosystem where producers can do their best work. The 1,400+ journalists, podcasters, story editors, audio producers, documentarians, engineers, sound designers and media entrepreneurs who energize AIR’s creative community span 46 states and 30 countries worldwide. AIR’s training and mentoring programs enrich and expand an ecosystem where independents can do their best work, advocate for their needs and build thriving careers in audio.

Women* means all women-identified individuals, including women of color, trans women, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals. 

Bios for each speaker can be found here