Women and Hollywood and Directors UK organized a meeting in December 2016 to discuss the state of the push for gender diversity in film. The goal of the meeting was to come up with strategies to be able to work internationally.
Meeting for Organizers Working on Gender Equality in Film
What is the biggest issue that you think needs to be addressed?
What are some strategies for people to work together?
How can we use social media well to amplify messages?
Can we create campaigns that focus on key dates and key events?
How do we become more inclusive and intersectional?
- Organizers need an easy way to communicate with each other.
- Pros – good cross between email and messenger; very flexible; can add lots of team members
- Cons – people are hesitant to try “new things”
- Facebook Group
- Pros – can be private, invite only; easy to use; can still upload things, make notes
- Cons – it’s on FB; less integrations than Slack
- Pros – easy
- Cons – people get too many emails
- Google Drive Folder
- Pros – can invite people to have access to documents (contact lists, action items)
- Cons – not set up for conversation
- There needs to be one (or a few) overall leaders to keep action items on track.
- Overall, it needs to be a full information share; it’s a collaboration, not a competition.
IDEAS FOR CHANGE
Small Wins versus Big Wins
- Both professional and in your private life
- Work to challenge the mindset/biases of interviewers and empower the interviewees
Interventions at all levels of hiring
- Always asking “how many women” when you are able to and questioning the processes
Using Diversity Guidelines to be successful
- Can be applied across multiple industries
Getting Databases up and running
- There are many databases; what to do about that? (see below)
Using the past to inspire the future
- Overall, there needs to be just as much optimism as there is cynicism
Continue to push for 50/50
- And oldie, but effective
- Having a database is absolutely key, because the excuse “Oh I didn’t know where to find women/POC” is no longer acceptable.
- Stats need to be kept up to date.
- Especially to impact the UK, the database needs to go beyond “directors” or “women in film” and target all industries.
- How can all the different databases work together?
- It makes it super easy—a way to almost “spoon feed” people when it comes to hiring.
- The real issue is changing the behaviours of the people who are hiring; it’s about access.
- Need to prompt/challenge people in hiring positions to think
- Tackle biases
- As an interviewee or person in power of the process, always asking “How many women have you interviewed?” “How many women work here?” “Are you paying women the same as men?”
- Crewing up with women is harder than it looks but you have to keep pushing and do it wherever you are able (small win).
- Overall, to exact big change in hiring practices , it needs to come from a high level
- When you are in a position to push for women, you NEED to do it. (Obligation, Responsibility)
- Overall, it’s a HUGE problem in the film industry as it’s so freelance driven.
- There’s a lack of transparency and a lack of moving forward with diversity standards
- Must bring forward policy changes with hiring practices
- In the UK, there needs to be something like the ACLU (+EEOC)
- Even if the action is slow, there would be a lot of publicity
- Until people are “scared” or think they might be fined, they aren’t going to change
– Maybe chat with BFI Fund about their goals to extend diversity across the industry
– The industry is coming up with diversity guidelines (especially in television) and producers/hirers are starting to get nervous
- We should be teaching/training equality in film school or even as early as grade school
- With a toolkit, we would have the ability to get into schools to start young
- Into Film has programs for schools
- Great for growing awareness, creating viral content, and connecting with like-minded companies
- Important to remember that it is a TOOL and not the end-all, be-all (e.g. action must be taken in real life as well)
TYPES OF ACTION
To keep people motivated and organized, ACTIONS could be separated into groups according to type: PERSONAL (what you can do in your own life), ORGANIZATION (what you can do at your job, whether you own it or work there), and GOVERNMENT (what we can do to influence government decisions).
|– watch/support women-directed films
– challenge your own biases
– calling out/shame
– ask questions to keep issues on people’s minds
– be conscious of what you consume
|– if you have an organization, use your power to diversity hiring practices and publicize
– use position/power to call out
– collaborate with other like-minded businesses
– support women/POC across all industries
|– learn how to lobby
– identify key people in public service/government roles who can be allies
– push for precise impact goals
- Decide how the organizers are to communicate in between Organizer Meetings (Slack, FB)
- Once decided, that’s it. If someone wants to participate, they HAVE to use the platform.
- Elect Organizer Meeting Overseers
- If W&H takes on the “main role,” these individuals would act as ambassadors so that the Organizer Meetings can take place in lots of countries and grow.
- Before/after meetings, continue to collaborate online via Slack/FB/wherever.
- Keep each other in the loop, always!
- Create a Questionnaire for Organizations/Meeting attendees.
- The purpose will be to figure out each company/person’s strengths and weaknesses and how they can help.
- Create toolkit/action plan so every Organizer’s Meeting has a similar focus
- Organizer Meeting Toolkit would contain Action Items for Organizers that cater to their organization, as well as personal goals to push toward.
- Keep it simple; no more than three or five goals at a time.
- Make it realistic!
- Decide on bi-yearly or quarterly meetings, with overseers running meetings in various locations
- Overseers will amalgamate points from all meetings and use that to plan for next meeting
- Create a big social media campaign that all organizers can participate in.
- #SeeHerNow (or a new one?)