How long does it for someone from a ‘diverse’ background and who is already experienced; to be trained sufficiently so they can be employed in a decision-making role in the TV and film industries? Never according to our recent survey.
Of all the respondents that took part less than 20% believed job opportunities had improved as a result of the number of diversity initiatives introduced over the past three years.
“There’s no more actual work opportunities, just courses and initiatives.”
Almost 100 participants working in Film, TV and Digital Media took part in our survey: Three years on: How has the TV and film’s Diversity Drive impacted on you? The second part in our four part study aiming to measure the achievements of the recent diversity drive and gain a snapshot of the actual impact it has had on those from diverse backgrounds (particularly BAME). It’s purpose is also to highlight any specific issues that may still exist and use the results to prioritise our areas of work over the next 18 months. You can see the results of part one here.
Although most were aware and had indeed participated in the many schemes and initiatives, none reported they had open the floodgates of opportunities or in fact had any major impact on their career.
Most agreed there was still too much focus on new entrants and schemes, and the over emphasis on training was sending out a very worrying message: diverse talent “are not quite good enough” and still seen as a “risky”.
Nearly 40% had an increase in meetings to discuss work or projects but nearly all said these meeting had yet to translate into work. It seems employers and execs are now more willing to meet but not to commit or employ.
“I am getting even bigger meetings with bigger people but it feels like they are testing the water and not actually willing to commit.”
“Companies may hold events where all of us ‘ethnic minorities’ hear a speech from a bigwig/exec but it’s all nonsense.”
The broadness of the definition of diversity was flagged as a major issue that still needed resolving.
“Diversity is everyone other than white, middle class and male so seems too broad for initiatives to really have impact unless you focus on for example disability – physical or mental. BAME could be anyone.
This left many to question whether the current political climate and Brexit could push diversity back off the agenda.
More ‘diverse’ talent in senior decision making roles along with a clear definition and ring fence money for diverse production aka the Henry Plan is still considered as the most effective method of creating change.
Others cited a lack of support for those at mid career another major stumble block. Which is one of the areas we here at The TV Collective will focus on, having developed a range of career support, masterclasses and networking events which will be scheduled over the coming months.
Although most agreed there had been little change in terms of more opportunities in the past few years, this has spawned a new seed of optimism. Talent is no longer willing to wait for a change that may or may not becoming, but instead have started looking further a field for work particular outside of the UK and via online platforms. Again this will be another key area of work for us at The Collective, look out for details of a new affiliation project soon.
“Have to be more imaginative – full time jobs increasingly rare, ability to self publish and contract work increasing.”
“I am positive but not through the mainstream media lines.”
“I believe in me, I don’t believe the ‘industry’ believes in me, as the glass ceiling remains very much in place for people of colour. However with my ability, confidence and tenacity, I will achieve and indeed succeed.”
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