Written by Shona Smith on Oct 22, 2020. Posted in General Interest

New Diversity and Inclusion Action Group to Focus on Behind the Camera Workforce

The Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) has launched a new diversity and Inclusion action Group (DIAG) tasked with shaping an action plan to improve diversity in the UK’s film and television production workforce behind the camera.

The group is comprised of twenty-five PGGB members working in high level positions in fields ranging from production office, accountants, locations, assistant directing, post-production and VFX. Location managers Georgette Turner and Tony Hood and Edward Gramolt, Company Director, The Film Office are part of the twenty-five strong group of PGGB members.

Members will share personal testimonies of barriers or discrimination they have encountered throughout their careers and reflect on their own experience to help inform targeted initiatives to be taken forward by PGGB. Professor Lyndsay Duthie, PGGB CEO. “Whilst we’re all focused on keeping UK production flowing through the pandemic, we know that a commitment to improving diversity and inclusion in film and TV workplace must underpin all that we do...We are the voice of UK ‘behind-the-camera’ talent and the lived experience of  our members in the DIAG will be invaluable in deciding which steps to take to improve pathways and remove barriers for those who are underrepresented, including on the basis of ethnicity, disability, socio-economic background, sexuality or gender”.

PGGB’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Group will meet monthly to devise and consider a range of initiatives to be actioned, from training to mentorship. The DIAG aims to increase visibility of diverse production personnel and help mid-level career progress through the ranks. PGGB members are directly involved with hiring production office personnel and crews, with a real opportunity to influence the make up of production teams.

L-R Malika Keswani, Chika Anisiobi, Mia Martell

Chairing the group is Production Manager Chair Malika Keswani (UK Non-Fiction, London) who says “I’m excited to take on this role to create a real impact when it comes to diversity in the workplace. I believe we are uniquely positioned to tackle the issue together and slowly change the perception towards BAME talent. It's unfortunate that in most cases unconscious bias towards people of ethnic origin costs them some amazing opportunities including leadership roles. I’d like to change these misconceptions and prejudices and encourage people to go beyond target setting to meet inclusivity standards. I passionately believe that through practical initiatives, including ‘on the job’ training for all levels including mid-senior level roles, we can improve inclusion and empowerment across the workforce.”

The group is vice chaired by Chika Anisiobi (Production Finance Manager - UK Non-Fiction, Netflix) and Producer Mia Martell (moVRshaker productions). “I’m pleased to be Vice Chair of this group as I strongly believe it is time for sustained action" says Anisobi. "In my 17 years in this industry, very little appears to have changed. Everything is positive and hopeful when stories about discrimination and injustice are in the news but when the story disappears from the front pages, so does the appetite for change. I hope this group will bring about lasting improvements so that in another 17 years the diversity debate will have moved on. I’m only working in this industry because the PGGB intentionally went outside of the industry, outside of London to the regions, and made an effort to recruit people into the APATS scheme who had no connection with the film and TV industry, people who were otherwise unlikely to have access to such opportunities”.

The full list of PGGB Diversity and Inclusion Action Group can be found here.


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