“You can’t be what you can’t see.”
–Focus on Women 2013 report prepared by Dr. Amanda Coles
This year’s Focus on Women 2013 report prepared by Dr. Amanda Coles for Canadian Unions for Equality on Screen (CUES) had sober findings examining gender inequality in the Canadian independent screen-based production industry.
The quote above was emphasized in the report as stunningly few women in this Canadian industry advance up into key creative and decision making positions at the same rates at which men do. With few role models and seemingly fewer opportunities for women as the statistics in the report suggest, it is easy to see how prospective female employees cannot envision a rewarding future in this industry.The report noted,
“A gender balance of men and women within departments is more prevalent in entry level positions, such as Production Assistants and Camera Trainees. Yet as with other occupations and industries, the gender split within departments sharply favours men who progress up decision making levels, and income brackets, at much higher rates then women.This is particularly evident in some of the key creative positions that define Canadian content.”
Where women are highly concentrated behind the camera, it is usually in roles that seem to focus on care-taking in some way, or roles that are typically associated with women. For example, women comprise 88% of the membership in costume departments, 79% in makeup, 93% of script supervisors, and 75% of production office roles.
Compare representation in such roles to those which are more technical, and you will see incomparable numbers–women are hardly represented at all in roles like grip and lighting, where men hold 95% of these roles. Men hold 94% of sound and construction roles, 80% of special effects roles, and 72% of editing roles.
Read more here.
For further information and examination of this report, be sure to attend the Catalyst for Change Panel hosted by WIFTV President Rachelle Chartrand where she will discuss more findings of the CUES report with various industry experts on International Women’s Day–Saturday, March 8th at 10:00 am.