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07/10/2010

Skills Council Targets Gender Inequality

Skillset has signed up to the UKRC's CEO Charter as part of its campaign to tackle the gender imbalance in science, engineering and technology job roles.
This commitment comes as Secretary for Business and Skills, Vince Cable, has highlighted the importance of science, technology and creative industries to the future of the UK economy.
This means the issue of gender balance is likely to become more pronounced as these industries continue to grow in significance.
By signing up to the Charter the SSC for Creative Media has made a visible commitment to increase the participation and progression of women across the creative industries.
Latest statistics reveal that gender inequality is rife in many parts of the creative media industries. For example, Skillset research reveals that women make up 39% of the film production workforce - compared with 46% of the general UK workforce. They represent the vast majority in roles such as make-up (85%) and costume (80%), but very few of the camera department (15%) and fewer still in sound and electrical roles (4%).
Di Barber, Employer Consultant for Greater London & South East England at the UKRC, commented: "Skillset has recently campaigned strongly on behalf of women in TV after finding that a disproportionate number of women had left the industry over the past three years. As a result they are committing at least 50% of their bursaries for film and TV training specifically at women and have secured funding via the Women and Work scheme that will be used to cover complimentary training costs for women. This is some great work and we hope that it will impact on women and companies on the technological side of Skillset's remit, helping to address the lack of women in computer programming for games and roles such as camera operator."
Skillset Chief Executive Dinah Caine said: "There are a number of challenges ahead to improve gender equality in the creative industries, definitely the case for women in IT and technological roles.
"Skillset is delighted to demonstrate our commitment to this tackling these issues by signing the UKRC's charter. We hope our commitment to tackling gender inequality will be taken up by more and more employers across the industries we represent. We would encourage as many of them as possible to sign up to the Charter."
The signing of the Charter also coincides with Skillset's partnership with NESTA and e-skills in a new independent review of computer games and visual effects skills, led by Eidos Life President Ian Livingstone, examining the role of science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) talent in these world-class industries.
Skillset is also funding a range of training measures to redress the imbalances faced by women in film and TV industries. Among these are two high level mentoring schemes - one that is being run by Women in Film and TV and another by international diversity networking and mentoring expert Annmarie Dixon-Barrow.
Annmarie will also be running a talent boutique and a series of masterclasses aimed at connecting women from these industries with business leaders from across the economy.
(KMcA/GK)
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