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Moving the Needle on Hollywood’s Gender Disparity: 4 Solutions

Moving the Needle on Hollywood's Gender Disparity: 4 Solutions

Under media pressure and the threat of possible government intervention, Hollywood seems to finally be taking its female-protagonist and woman-director problems more seriously. 

Forty-four industry leaders recently attended a two-day event organized by Women in Film and the Sundance Institute to learn new techniques for battling bias and “retraining… brains.” 

“Behind closed doors, people at the studios are saying, ‘we know we have a problem,'” commented talent agent and WME partner Adriana Alberghetti. “How do we get more women behind the camera?”

The meeting is described by the LA Times as “one of the first attempts by Hollywood decision-makers to grapple with gender bias as a group.”

Here are four of the steps participants were encouraged to implement at their own offices, from a press release from WIF and the Sundance Institute: 

Advocate
‘Unconscious Bias’ training across the industry
. Leaders in other
businesses have determined that unconscious bias creates blind spots and leads
to missed market opportunities, and also hinders access to valuable consumer
segments limiting profits. Creating more content for women and people of color
is not only about equality; it also makes good business sense. An expert
Unconscious Bias educator will be selected to work with executives and
creatives across the industry.

Develop and
launch a Gender Parity Stamp
to recognize films and television shows — as
well as production companies, networks and studios — that show measurable
progress to achieving gender equity. Mirrored on the successful work by LGBT
advocates and the PGA’s producer mark, this recognition for positive progress
will be a visible identifier for companies that have prioritized equal gender
hiring practice and have financed or supported business opportunities for women
in front of and behind the camera.

Sponsor/Protégé
Program
. This high-level pilot program will identify talented early-to-mid
career female film and TV directors for a year-long training and fellowship
program, and pair them with advocates across the industry who will actively
help them move to the next level. While many individual companies have training
programs, this unique program will enable the protégé to work across different
networks, studios and agencies. With the support and participation of
executives across the industry, this program will highlight women selected by a
panel of leaders and assure they have the tools, relationships, and exposure to
launch and sustain their careers.

Ambassadors
from the industry leaders at the meeting will spread the word about the
solutions to studios, networks and agencies. Crucially, the participants have
committed to staying involved in the project and will enlist an ever-growing
group of advocates to work inside their organizations on articulating the
business case for making changes in culture and practices to hire more women
and people of color.

[via LA TImes]

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