Describe the main features of the policy/measure:
Gender Matters is the umbrella term referring to Screen Australia’s efforts since 2015 addressing the underutilisation of female talent in key creative roles in the Australian screen industry. Women are historically, and currently, under-represented in key creative roles in Australian screen stories. Gender Matters policies and measures support stories created by and about women, and sustainable and self-generating careers that will support women to build a range and breadth of skills in the screen industry for the long term. Gender Matters also reflects the aim of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal 5.c – adopting sound policies for the empowerment of women and girls.
First Gender Matters initiative (2016 – end of 2018-2019)
As reported in Australia’s previous Quadrennial Periodic Report, Screen Australia’s first Gender Matters initiative, comprised the following actions to address the gender imbalance within the Australian screen industry:
• A suite of initiatives attached to a A$5 million five-point plan: Brilliant Stories, Brilliant Careers, Better Deals (distribution), Attachments for Women, and assessment criteria changes;
• The initial gender-targeted key performance indicator (KPI), requiring at least 50 per cent of projects receiving Screen Australia production funding to have at least half of the key creative roles (writers, producers and directors) occupied by women, based on a three-year average (from 2016-17 – 2018-19); and
• Screen Australia’s first Gender Matters Taskforce, which provides independent advice to the agency, and works beyond Screen Australia’s direct sphere of influence to deliver outcomes for female creatives and assist in the broader industry efforts to achieve gender parity (from 2016 – current).
Second Gender Matters KPI (2019-2020 to 2021-2022)
The Gender Matters five-point plan completed in 2018, but after the initial success of the program and the KPI, Screen Australia committed to continue and expand the Gender Matters program. These measures include:
• In August 2019, Screen Australia announced a new Gender Matters key performance indicator (KPI). The second KPI requires at least 50 per cent of the key creatives (writers, producers and directors) across all projects that receive Screen Australia development and production funding to be women, across a three-year average (2019-2020 to 2021-2022).;
• Expanded public reporting on gender participation, including industry-wide data charting individual women working in key creative roles in Australian feature film, television, and online drama and documentary content, and data on the gender of protagonists in drama programs funded by Screen Australia. The data enables the industry to understand disparities and opportunities, encourage changes in hiring practices and character development, and provide evidence to inform other screen agencies gender initiatives;
• A refreshed Gender Matters Taskforce, comprising all sectors of the industry, from content development, production and distribution, to film financing and academia;
• Ongoing attachment opportunities via an expanded program, which also supports attachments reflecting the theme or content of the projects (for example, gender, Indigenous, disability, LGBTQI+, cultural or linguistically diverse); and
• A requirement that a funded drama series, which involves more than one filming ‘block’, must have at least one female director attached, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Screen Australia’s Gender Matters initiatives and KPIs ensure that agency funding encourages and supports women to be in key creative roles, therefore promoting gender equality in the screen industry. Women in producer, writer and director roles are at the forefront of creative and business decisions: their promotion encourages diverse stories and female characters on screen, supporting women’s participation in cultural life. Other attachment programs and initiatives support women in other crew roles, and those beginning their careers, while the Gender Matters Taskforce ensures that Screen Australia’s practices and initiatives targeting gender equality are well-informed, and understood, by industry.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?:
In 2019, Screen Australia announced that it exceeded its initial KPI goal of 50 per cent, with 56 per cent of projects receiving production funding having at least half of the key creative roles occupied by women, based on a three-year average (from 2016-2017 to 2018-2019).
In 2020, Screen Australia released data showing that the agency is on track to meet its second KPI at the end of 2021-2022, with 57% of key creative roles across approved development and production funding held by women in 2019-2020. The KPI measurements are different, and therefore the results are not comparable.
Some highlight titles from the Gender Matters initiative include Ride Like A Girl, which was the first Brilliant Stories-developed feature film to go into production and became the highest-grossing Australian feature film in 2019/20. The second feature to go into production supported through Brilliant Stories, Relic, had its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and has been critically acclaimed.
Across the broader Australian industry, women continue to be under-represented in almost all key creative roles, with particular disparities in feature drama despite some small gains. However, women’s participation in television drama has increased by 10 per cent across the most recent four-year reporting periods.
More information, including full notes on data, is available here: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2020/10-15-screen-australia-gender-matters-kpi-update
Financial resources allocated to the policy/measure in USD:
If yes, what are the main conclusions/recommendations?:
See above for KPI reporting results. Screen Australia is currently consulting with stakeholders including the Gender Matters Taskforce on the implementation of new policies.