Database of female experts set up to tackle male dominated panels

All-male panels at political debates will be harder to justify in future, after a website was created with a database of female experts for producers to contact.

The website – HerSay – comes amid growing anger at the prevalence of all-male panels at local political debates and on political programming.

"With male experts outnumbering female ones by four to one, there is a desperate need for more authoritative women in our media," HerSay co-founder Kirsty Walker, a former national newspaper journalist, said.

"Broadcasters admit they would like to book more expert women to appear on their programmes, but often struggle to find them.

"We hope that the creation of HerSay will provide the necessary exposure required for the media to take notice of women's fantastic skills and book them as commentators on their programmes."

The BBC's coverage of the Eastleigh by-election came under fire online for featuring no female guests at all.

Producers responded to complaints saying they had contacted all three main parties asking for female representatives but none were available.

The site has been launched in time for International Women's Day and is hoping to feature women from the world of business, politics, science, arts, education, health and the media.