WIVOS19: Report Finds Women’s Creative Leadership Essential To Reaching Gender Balance In Canadian Film and Television Industry
50:50 BY 2020
Creative Leadership by Diverse Women Key
To Achieving Greater Diversity
TORONTO (May 15, 2019)– Women in View (WIV) releases the fifth and most extensive instalment of Women in View On Screen (WIVOS), a periodic report documenting the participation of women in creative roles in Canada’s publicly funded film and TV industry. The 2019 report finds that women – especially women of colour and Indigenous women – remain significantly under-employed on Canada’s film and television productions. It also finds that women’s creative leadership is key to unlocking gender balance and greater diversity. The 2019 report examines more than 5,000 contracts issued between 2014 and 2017 in television, and between 2015 and 2017 in film.
To Read or Download the 2019 Women in View On Screen Report, click here.
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- The most revealing findings indicate that the gender of the creative leader on a project has a major impact on the project’s gender balance and diversity.
- On TV series with women showrunners, 50% of the writing, directing and cinematography contracts went to women and 50% to men. When men showran, 86% of the work went to men. When teams that included a man and a woman showran, 41% of contracts went to women.
- When women of colour and Indigenous women showran a TV series,not only was there gender balance, there was also far greater diversity among the writers, directors and cinematographers employed.
- On feature films produced by women nearly 35% of contracts went to women.
- On feature films produced by men, less than 20% of contracts went to women.
- Between 2014 and 2017, women’s share of television writing, directing and cinematography contracts increased by 11%, from 17% to 28%.
- Between 2015 and 2017, women’s share of feature film writing, directingand cinematography contracts increased 5%, from 20% to 25%.
- In 2017, 1.18% of television contracts and 4% of film contracts went to women of colour. Of the 3,206 television contracts issued between 2014 and 2017, 42 went to women of colour. Of 1,637 film contracts issued from 2015 and 2017, 29 went to women of colour.
- The volume of directing work for women of colour grew almost 5% in television but stagnated in film.
- Indigenous women’s participation in television fell to 0% in 2017 and held steady at 1% in film. Of the 3,206 television contracts issued during the four-year period, 22 went to Indigenous women. Of 1,637 film contracts issued over three years, 12 went to Indigenous women.
- The volume of directing work for Indigenous women grew 2% in film and stagnated in TV.
- Gender balance varies from region to region with respect to film directors.
- In 2017, half of all Telefilm-funded projects in Atlantic Canada went to women directors –up from 28.6% in 2015.
- In 2017, half of all Telefilm-funded projects in Ontario went to women directors. Ontario demonstrated the greatest participation for women of colour and Indigenous women. 12.7% of projects funded between 2015 and 2017 were directed by women of colour. 3.8% were directed by Indigenous women.
- Between 2015 and 2017, in Western Canada, 23.7% projects funded were directed by women. 3.39% were directed by women of colour and 1.69% by Indigenous women.
- Quebec lagged behind other regions in terms of gender balance. From 2015 and 2017, 16.8% of projects were directed by women. One film was directed by a woman of colour and two films were directed by Indigenous women
- Gender balance also varies from region to region with respect to film producers.
- Atlantic Canada has a slightly lower percentage of women-produced projects than the other regions at 28.6%, but with no diversity.
- Ontario has the largest number of women of colour-produced projects at 9.09%.
- While Quebec has the lowest number of films directed by women, it has the largest percentage of women-produced projects of all the regions at 35.1%.
- Western Canada follows a familiar pattern. 35% of the projects are produced by women but with little diversity and no Indigenous women-produced projects.
- On independently produced CMF-funded TV series, gender balance between broadcasters differed significantly. Between 2014 and 2017, the percentage of contracts awarded to women in writing, directing and cinematography at APTN was 27.3%, CBC 26.9%, Corus 17.8%, Rogers Media 16.1% and Bell Media 15.7%.
- Setting public quantifiable hiring targets work. In 2016, CBC made a commitment to hire 50% women directors for scripted television series. The results were dramatic– a 15% increase in women’s share of directing work in a single year.
“We are proud to be able to share extensive data on the participation of women of colour and Indigenous women throughout this report,” said Tracey Deer, Board Chair, Women in View.”Although the numbers are dreadful, they provide us with a baseline and we can work from here to improve them.”
“The numbers may seem dismal, but Canada has enough experienced and credited women showrunners, writers, directors and producers to take on 50% of the work today,” said Jill Golick, Executive Director of Women in View. “Broadcasters and other employers can take the industry to 50:50 in the next two years. There are many qualified women, they just have to hire them.”
The findings in the 2019 report point to a number of strategies and recommendations for achieving gender balance and greater diversity.
Five Steps to 50:50
- Commit 50% of creative leadership roles to women.
- Commit to the inclusion of women of colour and Indigenous women.
- Set concrete measurable targets, make them public and report on the results.
- Open the doors to new and under-represented talent.
- Balance funding across men and women.
About Women in View
Founded in 2008, Women in View (WIV) is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening gender and cultural diversity in Canadian media both on screen and behind the scenes. The WIV Board of Directors includes women from across Canada working in a broad spectrum of industry roles.
About Women In View On Screen Reports
Since 2012, Women in View On Screen Reportshave tracked the engagement of women writers, directors and cinematographers in Canada’s publicly funded film and television industry.
The 2019 report covers 90 television series funded by CMF between 2014 and 2017, and 267 film productions and 831 development projects funded by Telefilm Canada between 2015 and 2017. For the first time, the report includes analysis of showrunners and broadcasters in TV and producers in film. Also for the first time, data on women of colour and Indigenous women is included throughout the study.
The 2019 report was written by Women in View Executive Director Jill Golick and General Manager Amber-Sekowan Daniels, with additional research by Katie McMillan and Devon Bond. Research on the representation of women of colour and Indigenous women was overseen by Nathalie Younglai, President and Founder of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in TV and Film (BIPOC TV & film).
The report was made possible through the financial support of Ontario Creates, Canadian Media Producers Association–BC Producers Branch, ACTRA Toronto, ACTRA National and Bell Media.
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