Women in film

Systemic Change Project proposes initiatives to curb gender-disparity in entertainment industry

Jill Soloway, writer and director of “Transparent,” won Women in Film's 2015 Lucie Award. (Monica Almeida/The New York Times)

The Systemic Change Project, a joint initiative of Women in Film Los Angeles and the Sundance Institute, is working to bridge a massive gender-gap in employment in the entertainment industry. Included among their proposals is the creation of a “gender parity stamp,” a mark of approval that would be given to films and programs that provided substantial employment opportunities to women. The project also hopes to hire an educator to train individuals and organizations about their unconscious biases, a practice which has enjoyed success at companies such as Google. Other initiatives would include promotion of “ambassadors,” industry leaders pushing inside their own companies for greater gender parity, and a fellowship program for early to mid-career female directors that would pair them with experts within the industry. A point of emphasis in discussions has been that hiring more female directors, writers and actors will lead to the creation of films and TV shows that appeal to a wider audience — in short, hiring more women will also be good for the entertainment industry’s bottom line. Last year only one in five films featured a female lead character, and fewer than 2 percent of last year’s 100 top-grossing films had female lead directors.

Read the full story at Variety.

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