The documentary departments at the BBC and Channel 4 have both committed to 50 percent women director hires across their respective outputs. According to Deadline, they follow the current affairs team at Channel 4, which signed the same pledge last month.
The agreement is a successful outcome of a campaign from U.K. collective We Are Doc Women, who has announced they will continue reaching out to other independent production companies, broadcasters, and subscription VOD platforms. Six U.K. production companies, including Mindhouse Productions, have also signed up.
We Are Doc Women’s October 2021 Factual Television Survey Report found that of 700 people surveyed in the U.K. docs world, men were three times more likely to direct than women, and that after their first director credit, nearly three times more women than men had yet to be offered a second directing role.
The collective was founded in 2017 to provide peer support for women directors working in factual television in the U.K. They made headlines in 2020 when they wrote to BAFTA in criticism of the all-male nominations in the BAFTA TV factual director category, and raised the point that “no woman has ever won and no Black, Asian, or Ethnic Minority (BAME) woman has even been nominated in the entire 13-year history of BAFTA’s factual director category.”
At last night’s BAFTA TV Awards, director Tanya Stephan won in the Specialist Factual category for ITV’s “The Missing Children,” and director Sarah Collinson snapped up the Current Affairs prize for “Fearless: The Women Fighting Putin.”