The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has today (08.03.23) published the review of its Gender Action Plan. Developed in 2018, the BAI’s Gender Action Plan forms part of its commitment to promoting gender equality in the Irish audio and audiovisual sector. Developed in line with the Council of Europe’s “Recommendations on Gender Equality in the Audiovisual Sector”, the BAI plan identified four key areas for achieving gender equality. These are: 1) data collection and publication, b) the promotion of high-quality research; c) the development of gender initiatives, and d) enhancing accountability processes.
The two-part review was commissioned by the BAI to determine the progress made and to look at what else might need to be done to achieve a more equitable industry. The review included a stakeholder consultation undertaken by CommSol between June to November 2021 and a broader internal analysis of the entirety of the work completed by the BAI since the publication of the plan. The results of the stakeholder consultation were published on International Women’s Day 2022. A copy of the review document can be found here.
Overall, together with key industry partners, a significant amount of work has been undertaken in the implementation of the BAI’s Gender Action Plan. Key successes include:
- The collection of gender data for key creative roles in funding applications to the Authority’s Sound & Vision Scheme has given greater visibility to the importance the BAI places in ensuring the inclusion of women in the sector. This type of data collection has also led to a marked increase in the number of projects with women in key creative roles receiving funding under the Scheme.
- Projects such as the specialist ‘Women’s Stories’ round of Sound & Vision in 2019 set about to change narratives and challenge the status quo both on and off air and screen. It resulted in 70% of radio projects and 100% of television projects funded including at least one woman’s narrative in each project.
- BAI-supported projects such as X-Pollinator, set up to address the lack of gender diversity in the Irish screen industry; Women on Air and Women in Film and Television (WIFT) have enabled greater opportunities for women working, and accessing work, in the audio and audiovisual sector.
- Collaborations with third-level institutes such as Dublin City University, University College Dublin, MIC University of Limerick and Maynooth University have delivered invaluable insights into the challenges faced by women in terms of representation in the media and in opportunities in the audio and audiovisual sector.
Despite the successes of the BAI’s Gender Action Plan, the review also highlighted some of the challenges women continue to face in the film, television, and radio industries. In particular, the Sound & Vision gender data shows that the number of radio applications submitted with at least one woman in a key creative role has declined by three percentage points since 2018. Similarly, the figures note that further work is required to increase low numbers of women in some key creative roles, such as Directors of Photography.
Commenting, Chief Executive of the BAI, Celene Craig said: “One of the BAI’s strategic aims is to foster a media landscape that is representative of, and accessible to, the diversity of Irish society. As part of our work in this regard, the BAI has long worked to support women and women’s voices, particularly through meaningful representation on/off air and on/off screen in the audio/audiovisual industries. The findings from this review have been illuminating. While we have achieved a lot since the introduction of the BAI Gender Action Plan in 2018, there is still a lot more to be done.
“As we now look forward to the establishment of the new Coimisiún na Meán, we will encourage the Coimisiún to build on the BAI’s work in this regard and to develop a Gender, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (GEDI) Strategy. This would be the benchmark for a more inclusive and diverse audio & audiovisual industry, not just for women, but for all underrepresented citizens in Irish society. In turn, this could help facilitate a more pluralistic and democratic society for everyone.”
The report can be found here.
Media contact: Joanne Ahern, DHR Communications, Tel: 087-9881837
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