UK-based gender equality agency Birds Eye View has unveiled the fourth round of its female leadership programme, which aims to address inequality at the top of the UK distribution sector and the resulting trickle-down impact.
Future Leaders in Distribution is aimed at 10 to 12 female UK executives with seven or more years’ experience in distribution and will run from September 2019 to February 2020.
The goal is to address the gender imbalance across the UK’s male-dominated distribution sector. The initiative will comprise topics around leadership, diversity, recruitment and conflict management,
In the Creative Skillset 2017 film workforce census, only 20% of CEOs and directors in UK film distribution are female, compared to 47% of the workforce.
The Future Leaders in Distribution for 2019/2020 include:
- Nadia Lachman: Entertainment One, senior director of legal and business affairs
- Lauren Hockings: Studiocanal, vice president global creative marketing
- Violette Martin: BFI, distribution sales manager
- Ngozi Okali: Freelancer following a one-year stint as head of technical at eOne
- Abigail Merrick: Park Circus, technical director
- Charlotte Mardon-Heath: Entertainment One, theatrical marketing consultant
- Nicola Browning: Studiocanal, senior product manager
- Delphine Lievens: Gower Street Analytics, box office analyst
- Bianca Boey: Entertainment One, head of publicity
- Rebecca Ashdown: Together Films, campaign director
- Claire Roman: Curzon, legal and business affairs manager
- Sophie Wild: Entertainment One, senior marketing manager
- Droo Padhiar: Dogwoof, UK and global marketing manager
Mia Bays, course leader and Birds Eye View director-at-large said the programme hopes to “build a more equal film future.”
“It’s more necessary than ever in our view, given the inequalities we know exist across the whole film value chain and the barriers and biases inherent in our sector and culture as a whole,” said Bays. “The previous cohorts have already seen a number of major promotions, and we are excited about finding another round of potential distribution leaders, to help to build a more equal film future”.
The programme is supported by ScreenSkills using National Lottery funds awarded by the BFI as part of the Future Film Skills programme.
During the last round of the programme, a regional cinema visit was arranged for each participant in order to place some of the focus outside of London. This will return for this round and further developed.
“UK distribution is too centralised and too London focused,” added Bays. “Most of the work Birds’ Eye View has been doing in 2018/2019 has been supporting new releases of films by women (through our BFI-backed Reclaim the Frame project) and a lot of the focus of that is outside of London as that is where the work and effort and support needs to go.
“The strong regional partnerships we’ve built have taught us how ignored the regions are and how problematic a centralised vision can be.”