The Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) has launched a new Diversity and Inclusion Action Group (DIAG) that will “shape an action plan to improve diversity in the UK’s film and television production workforce behind the camera”.
The DIAG comprises 25 PGGB members working in high level positions in a range of fields across film and TV production, including production office, accounts, locations, assistant directing, post-production and VFX.
Members of the action group will share their own testimonies of barriers or discrimination they have encountered throughout their careers, and “reflect on their own experiences, to help inform targeted initiatives to be taken forward by PGGB”.
The DIAG will meet monthly to devise and consider a range of initiatives to be actioned, including training and mentorship.
The group said it aims to “increase visibility of diverse production personnel and help mid-level career progress through the ranks”.
The DIAG is chaired by production manager Malika Keswani (UK non-fiction, London). Vice chairs include Chika Anisiobi (production finance manager – UK non-fiction, Netflix) and Producer Mia Martell (moVRshaker productions).
Professor Lyndsay Duthie, PGGB CEO, said, “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.
“Our new Diversity and Inclusion Action Group is bringing the right people together to help us move forward initiatives that will create a more equal industry. There is much work to do, not just in senior roles but all parts of the production office, from producing to location management to accounting.”
She added: “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.”
Malika Keswani, chair of the Diversity Action Group, said: “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.”
She added: “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.”