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17/09/2010

Women in Creative Media 'Underpaid And Under-represented'

Women working in the creative media industries are under-represented, underpaid and more highly qualified than their male counterparts, according to a new report by Skillset.
Women in the Creative Media Industries, which was launched today, provides a comprehensive picture of the imbalances faced by women working in the sector, examining evidence gathered by Skillset since 1999.
In response, Skillset has developed a raft of initiatives to seek to redress these imbalances that include two high-level mentoring schemes, a commitment to target at least 50 per cent of training bursaries at women and a series of masterclasses.
These two high-level mentoring schemes will pair women from the film and television industries with top leaders from a range of industries to help them take their careers to the next level.
Skillset has also made a broader commitment to make sure that at least half of all its training bursaries will be targeted at women. This includes the recently launched management and leadership and multiplatform bursary schemes, as well as forthcoming bursaries for craft and technical and health and safety training.
Skillset's research shows a stark gender imbalance in the audio-visual industries where the proportion of women dropped from 38 per cent to 27 per cent between 2006 and 2009.
The television industry also has the greatest disparity in average earnings between men (£39,000) and women (£32,500). And while three-quarters (75 per cent) of men working in the industry are aged 35 and over, this is true of just over half (52 per cent) of women.
Last year, Skillset's Employment Census revealed that 5,000 women had left the television industry between 2006 and 2009, compared with just 750 men.
Skillset's Executive Director of Policy and Development, Kate O'Connor, said: "These statistics point to a significant need for intervention to redress the imbalances between men and women in our industries, Skillset is proud to lead this charge with the launch of a range of intiatives that are aimed directly at improving the skills and career progression of women working in the film and television industries."
The first scheme, which has been developed by Women in Film and TV and is being jointly funded by Skillset and the UK Film Council, will provide one-on-one mentorship to 16 mid-career level women in film and television over six months.
It will address the career development needs of experienced and talented women who have the potential to become industry role models and leaders, but who are at a pivotal point in their careers. This could include, for example, dealing with new responsibilities as part of a promotion, or coping with a change in work/life balance due to maternity leave.
These women will benefit from a range of seminars, training and networking events that will enhance their mentoring experience.
Leading mentoring and networking consultant Annmarie Dixon-Barrow will also run a series of Skillset-funded initiatives to connect women from the television industry leaders from throughout the UK.
This includes the WOMEN mentoring programme that will pair 25 women with industry leaders from around the world via a virtual network. Recruitment will begin on October 1, with the programme starting in November. Annmarie will also run six master-classes featuring the advice and insights of people who have made it to the top of their fields, and a Talent Boutique that will provide 100 people from TV with an opportunity to meet, hear and talk to a range of professionals from across the industry.
Skillset has also secured funding for a limited number of training bursaries of up to £600 via the government's Women and Work scheme.
(KMcA)
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