CRTC Announces Broadcast Decisions Including Measures to Ensure Women’s Access to Key Leadership Positions
Thank you to CRTC Chairman JP Blais and the CRTC for their support in response to the submission made by WIFTV board and advocacy committee members Sharon McGowan and Susan Brinton. Today the commission not only acknowledged the importance of women’s access to key leadership positions, but also recognized that intervention by the Commission is necessary to further the achievement of gender equality in Canadian programming.
Check out this excerpt from the Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-148 :
"Women’s access to key leadership positions
Positions of parties
- Women in Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV) proposed that the Commission impose an annual reporting obligation on large ownership groups to assess the role of women in certain key roles, including producer, director, writer, cinematographer and editor.
- In support of its position, WIFTV cited a 2013 report by the Canadian Unions for Equality on Screen, which found that men progressed up decision-making levels and income brackets at much higher rates than women, particularly in some of the key creative positions that define Canadian content. The report concluded:
The women working behind the scenes in Canadian media are facing systemic barriers to career advancement into the highest creative and decision-making ranks. This is both an employment equity issue, as well as a social, political and cultural issue. A gender imbalance behind the screen shapes the stories we see on the screen.
- None of the groups made specific commitments on this issue. However, Bell noted that it employed several women at very senior levels, such as president of the news division and independent production. Bell also noted that its productions include a number of women in production and direction roles. Similarly, Corus cited the number of women in senior or executive positions within its company. Corus also stated that many of its services produce programming created by and for women. Finally, Rogers confirmed that it had taken steps to ensure fair representation of women within the company.
Commission’s analysis and decision
- Although women have access to management positions within the broadcasting system, they still face barriers to entry with respect to key positions within the creative and production sectors. Section 3(1)(d)(iii) of the Act states that the Canadian broadcasting system should, through its programming and the employment opportunities arising out of its operations, serve the needs and interests, and reflect the circumstances and aspirations, of Canadian men, women and children, including equal rights. The Commission considers that women’s access to key leadership positions is an important issue and that intervention by the Commission is necessary to further the achievement of this objective of the Act.
- Accordingly, in order to engage all interested parties in a wider discussion on this issue, the Commission considers it appropriate to initiate an event on women in production, with particular emphasis on women in leadership positions.
- In addition, to address the concerns of certain stakeholders regarding the lack of data, the Commission intends to monitor broadcasters’ efforts in this area by requiring the groups to provide information on a yearly basis regarding the employment of women in key leadership creative positions in the productions they broadcast. This will allow the Commission and the public to better identify women’s challenges in the television industry prior to the next renewal process."
Read the May 15th CRTC press release here and WIFTV's press release here.