13th March 2019
Only 4% of public service broadcaster professionals identify as LGBT+, 13% have a black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) background and 6% have a disability. Just 19% of people working in the games industry is female and BAME representation in VFX is 15%.
Committed to changing these worrying statistics, ScreenSkills organised a half-day conference about the practical ways in which diversity and inclusion in the screen industries can be improved.
Around 75 screen industry professionals heard ScreenSkills CEO Seetha Kumar open the event with an account of some of the struggles she experienced in the early years of her career as a producer. “It is hard when you apply for jobs and you know even as you are doing so that you are unlikely to get an equal shot…There are so many odds you battle against – being a woman, a mother, an Asian,” she said. “The reason I am sharing my story is because one thing I have realised is that people often have good intentions. What trips them up is their blindspots and, of course, their fears.”
However, Seetha concluded that “today there is a genuine drive for change.”
ScreenSkills is committed to building a more diverse and inclusive workforce. This includes enabling people from a wide range of backgrounds and circumstances a pathway into the industry as well as helping people step up. “More than ever, it is important we share insights and experience of practical doing,” she said.
ScreenSkills executives Kaye Elliott (high-end TV) and Gareth Ellis-Unwin (film and animation) then gave an overview of some of the diversity initiatives ScreenSkills supports in television and film, including Trainee Finder, Make a Move, In-house runners programme, Grips for Heroes, Film On and BIFA Unconscious Bias Training.
Afterwards delegates participated in training sessions and workshops on the following topics:
Films of some of the conference will be available on the website soon.
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