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22/03/2010

Pregnancy Fatal For TV Career?

A career in television proves to be short-term for women intending to raise a family, according to a survey on Women in TV, the industry’s online network for freelancers working in TV, film and commercial production.
The ProductionBase survey reported that some 55% of respondents (89% women; 11% men) who work freelance in the UK production industry agreed that it is difficult to get back into television if they have taken a career break to have children, while 81% felt it is better to wait until they are established in their career before starting a family. Unsocial working hours was cited as one of the key reasons why a TV career is not conducive to raising a family.
The majority (58%) of those surveyed felt women have the same career opportunities as men, but 69% believed men are paid more than women. While there are many women that have been promoted into senior level roles (executives, commissioning editors) and just as many in entry level positions (runners to researchers to APs), few become directors, DOPs and editors, citing the difficulty of progressing in the industry as a woman.
Respondents were asked their opinions on a number of topics including what can be done to address this situation. One of the responses included: "It seems the only way that women in the TV industry can have a career and children is if they have a staff job. These are now few and far between. Of the women I know that work in TV only around 5% have children."
Other opinion on the topic included: "I would not encourage any women I meet to enter in to TV if they want to have children. It's sad to say that, but due to the nature of freelance work and unpredictable hours it is just too difficult. I know of women not getting a job because they say 'I have to be away by 5pm a couple of days a week.' This would not be tolerated in any other industry."
Joe Mahoney, Managing Director at ProductionBase concluded: "Balancing family life against the demands of work in TV production clearly remains an area of concern for many freelance women."
(BMcN/GK)
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