Report commends BAI on its contribution to gender equality efforts in the audiovisual sector

 Stakeholder evaluation finds BAI achieves majority of aims set out in its Gender Action Plan

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has made a “very positive and real contribution to encouraging the development of gender initiatives” in the audiovisual sector. That’s according to a new report evaluating the broadcasting regulator’s Gender Action Plan. The ‘Stakeholder Review of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Gender Action Plan’ assesses the BAI’s contribution to gender equality as part of its Gender Action Plan. It also provides feedback for the development of an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy.  Garnering the views of stakeholders, it found that the BAI has achieved a majority of the activities set out in its action plan.  

Developed in 2018, the BAI’s Gender Action Plan forms part of its commitment to promoting gender equality in the Irish audiovisual sector. The review was commissioned by the BAI and conducted by CommSol through interviews with individuals representing 27 organisations related to the BAI’s work. The report includes stakeholder feedback on the Gender Action Plan; views on diversity and inclusion, and a review of international and national trends and policies relating to gender equality, diversity and inclusion. It puts these in the context of ongoing changes around the legislative and regulatory framework for the Irish audiovisual sector. Interviews were conducted between August and October 2021.

Stakeholder feedback and recommendations are provided under the four pillars of activity within the action plan: data collection, research, encouraging the development of gender initiatives and enhancing accountability processes. The report states that feedback was particularly positive in relation to the gathering of data via the BAI’s Sound & Vision Scheme; recent research activities of the BAI, relating to the action plan; the delivery of gender initiatives in the industry; and activities raising awareness of the action plan and the dissemination of results.

As part of the review process, stakeholders made recommendations across the four areas of activities. An improvement in the gathering of workforce data in the broadcasting sector; increased research into on-air representation, stereotypes and the framing of women’s issues; and encouraging broadcasters to develop mentorship schemes for women directors, writers and other crew members, were among the recommendations made.

Responding to the findings of the review, Chief Executive of the BAI, Celene Craig said: “Promoting diversity and equality in the Irish audiovisual industry is a strategic priority for the BAI and the Gender Action Plan has contributed towards our strategic goals in this area. We welcome the findings from this review and the feedback received from stakeholders.

“It was important that this review both assessed what has been achieved, while also being future-focused. The feedback highlights the opportunity to build on the success and learnings of the action plan and to adapt many of its tools to achieve wider EDI goals and to help to foster a more equal, diverse and inclusive audiovisual sector. The report’s findings therefore may prove useful to the Media Commission, once established, when considering its strategic objectives for the sector.

Report author, Deirdre Kevin from CommSol said: “Given the wide range of stakeholders engaged, the review provides an extensive and comprehensive overview of the current thinking and approaches of the industry in relation to gender equality. Our research has found that the BAI’s contribution to encouraging gender equality in the Irish audiovisual sector is recognised at an industry level and that there is an appetite within the industry for further progress in this regard.”

The review can be found on the BAI website here.


Media contact: Patricia Ryan, DHR Communications, Tel: 087-241 2928

All other queries: BAI, 01-6441200.

Notes to editors:

  • Stephanie Comey, a Senior Manager from the BAI is available for interview, on request.
  • Deirdre Kevin from CommSol is also available for interview on request.
  • The BAI conducted a review of its Gender Action Plan activities in 2020, which can be found here