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Directors UK calls for 30% of all original programmes to be directed by women

Directors UK today sets out recommendations for production companies and broadcasters to increase the employment of women directors in UK television production. The ambition is to work with production companies and broadcasters so that in 2017 women are directing 30% of all original programmes broadcast.

In collaboration with production companies and broadcasters, Directors UK details eight recommendations for industry to act on immediately, covering monitoring, behavioural change amongst those hiring freelance directors, and raising awareness of female directing talent.

The recommendations are detailed in a report published today by Directors UK.

‘Who’s Calling the Shots? Women Directors in British Television Production’ is the result of research into the current employment landscape which shows that despite women representing almost 30% of the TV and film directing workforce, they are being given a far smaller proportion of directing opportunities in many key programme genres.

The data comes from analysis of a large sample of programmes broadcast up to the end of 2012. The picture varies between programme genres, and in recent years has got worse.

Women are poorly represented directing drama, comedy and entertainment programmes; some of the most popular drama, comedy and entertainment programmes have never been directed by women.

More factual output is directed by women, but women directors mostly found work on programmes to do with body issues, food, or homes.

Directors UK has examined the reasons for the poor statistics and has consulted with broadcasters, production companies and Directors UK members.

Broadcasters and production companies have been shocked by the findings, and have committed to working with Directors UK to find effective solutions to improve the curre t employment levels. Industry reaction has been largely positive: Directors UK has already begun to work with BBC, ITV and Channel 4 on a number of initiatives to address the problem UK-wide, including training for women directors, mentoring, CV clinics and networking sessions with media executives involved in making hiring decisions.

The report includes our recommendations to industry to make change happen.

If you have any questions please contact Amanda or Victoria on 020 7 240 0009. Or you can email aparker@directors.uk.com and vmorris@directors.uk.com