Build back better? Not without inclusion action

We have talked enough about film & TV’s lack of inclusion — we must now take action.

Film set shot

Before COVID-19 hit the screen industries had one defining challenge; inclusion.

In a 2017 report, the BFI defined “the single biggest challenge facing the UK screen industries” as “a pandemic lack of representation across the industry affecting all minority groups.” Read in 2020, the report’s findings hold greater weight; where we have a new understanding of the crippling and lasting impact of an issue of this scale.

Despite reports like the BFI’s, countless high profile keynote speeches, and hours of panel discussions all raising the alarm, much of the industry is only now realising that we are infected, with no tangible plans in place to find a vaccine.

There is no single origin of this problem, however one key practice perpetuates the issue and blocks progress; the nepotistic way we hire — through our network.

Fast paced production leaves no room for error and limited time to advertise available roles. The result: the understandable, but ultimately fateful practice of hiring only people we know. This prevents qualified crew within the industry from accessing all the roles they might be interested in, and limits new talent from gaining initial access to the industry. Perpetuating the closed shop that operates today and leaves us with a community of crew to hire from that is not representative of the UK population as a whole.

To amplify the issue there is limited visibility or reliable data to understand how we as an industry or individual production company are tracking against our goals.

Without action we stand to lose another generation of talent that don’t fit into the industry standard model — either unable to access the industry, or if they managed to get in, unable to progress. We will continue to create content that only speaks to a section of the community, and wonder why audiences are disengaging.

Everywhere we are hearing people say “we want to do something, but what?” At POP the frequency of requests from production companies and hirers for help to hire more inclusively or support capturing and gathering of insight from D&I data has increased tenfold in recent months. It seems like the industry has an appetite to take meaningful action to build our industry back, better than it was before.

From the start we’ve been on a mission to drive a smarter, fairer future for entertainment. Inclusion is core to this vision; we are actively seeking the right opportunities to positively contribute to creating a more inclusive industry.

How we can help right now

We specialise in building smart technology to digitise, connect and open the film & TV industry. We take a partnered approach to ensure we create what is needed, when it’s needed.

Our clients and industry partners have a need to access crew outside of their networks and we heard from crew that they needed greater control of their career — a way to change course or climb the ladder.

Our first step is creating the Crew Portal which through a public jobs board, insights and 1-to-1 virtual networking allows fairer hiring by equipping hirers to meet crew outside of their network and gives crew the insight and opportunity they need to take control of their career.

There is more to come but we believe this is a meaningful step to enable a more inclusive future for film & TV. Now is the time to drive hard as the industry’s collective focus is on building our industry back better than it was before.

We welcome involvement with us on this journey, please get in contact

Are you a hirer in film & TV? These are the small changes you can make to create a more inclusive future for film & TV.

Are you a Crew member? This is how film & TV freelancers are regaining control of their careers.

Inclusion at POP

Since our inception POP has been guided by a vision of a smarter, fairer future for entertainment. We’re proud of the unique and talented team we’ve built, but acknowledge that we still have work to do in creating a truly inclusive workplace. Our first step is collecting our own data so it can be measured and verified properly. We will then explore targeted and measurable initiatives to counter any gaps revealed by the data.

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