WIF (Women In Film, Los Angeles) is launching the Hire Her Back multimedia campaign and calling on entertainment employers to achieve gender and racial parity as the industry plans to resume production.
Hire Her Back will call attention to the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on women and people of colour and will roll out in the coming weeks with the support of industry figures.
WIF in partnership with New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) and Women In Film and Television Atlanta (WIFTA) is raising the Hire Her Back Fund.
The fund will provide grants to women in the screen industries whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic. The grants will be administered by The Actors Fund.
Seed funding has been provided by Shivani Rawat, the producer and founder of ShivHans Pictures. Additional contributions to the fund can be made here, and application information will be available on the website in early July.
WIF Board president Amy Baer said, “With the increased commitment to parity across the entertainment community in recent years, we are seeing an uptick in the number of women working in front of and behind the camera. We cannot lose this important momentum because of entertainment job losses related to the Covid-19 crisis.”
According to the Labor Department figures for May, female unemployment reached 13.9%, more than two percentage points higher than that of men in the same time period.
Following the economic crisis in 2008, women regained employment across all sectors at a much lower rate than men, and took longer to rebound according to the Pew Research Center. There are fears the same will be true for women rebounding from the Covid-19 crisis, in particular Latinas and black women who according to The Center For American Progress have faced some of the highest rates of unemployment of any group.
WIF executive director Kirsten Schaffer added, “With the convergence of a pandemic and the national uprising in defence of Black lives, it must be made clear that current market structures have to be transformed if we are serious about creating equity.
“We call on leaders to join us in building a new normal that prioritises equity and career sustainability for women, especially women of colour, in the screen industries.”