Industry / Market - UK
Industry Report: Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
New app Call It! to monitor and prevent workplace bullying and discrimination in the film and TV industry
The tool will empower everyone working in the sector to record incidents anonymously, providing easy access to procedures for formal reporting and signposting mental-health support
A new, British-designed app is set to raise industry standards by monitoring and preventing bullying and harassment in the film and TV industry. Call It! will be a tool to “engender collective and individual accountability” and to “empower everyone working in the film and TV industry to record incidents quickly and anonymously, providing easy access to companies’ ‘dignity at work’ policies and procedures for formal reporting, and signposting confidential mental-health support”.
The app will enable companies and productions to monitor the safety and well-being of their staff by asking, “How were you treated at work today?” and gathering anonymised data regarding experiences of bullying and harassment.
In the official press release, its creators disclosed that the app has been created “to tackle the shocking statistic that 84% of workers in the film and TV industry have experienced or witnessed bullying at work, and are subsequently twice as likely to leave the industry and more likely to have mental-health problems”. Moreover, the economic impact of these incidents accounts for an estimated loss of £45 billion every year.
In terms of how the app actually works,firstly, companies set up an account and create a QR code for their project, providing links to their dignity at work policies and procedures, and the name and e-mail address of an appropriate point of contact. Next, staff, freelancers and volunteers associated with the project scan the QR code once, keeping multiple projects’ codes stored in the app if required, and share answers to three very simple tick-box questions every working day.
The app claims to hold no identifying information about the individuals and that their feedback cannot be traced back to them. In the event of an incident, the user is signposted out of the app to their employers’ resources and/or to existing mental-health support and advisory services.
The app is obviously not designed to be a substitute for good management skills, correct procedures and work policies, but will act as a complementary resource to facilitate “best practice” and will allow employers “to know when things are working”. It will also help to identify “industry-wide patterns and trends”.
Among the Call It! partners are Birmingham City University’s Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, Bectu, the Casting Directors’ Guild, Directors UK, the Film and TV Charity, the Mark Milsome Foundation, The Production Guild, Sara Putt Associates, Time’s Up and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB).
Currently in the pilot and testing phase with select productions and organisations, Call It! is set to roll out industry-wide by the end of this year. Co-founded by producers Kate Wilson and Jules Hussey along with director Delyth Thomas, the app is being developed by Hull-based outfit Sauce. You can find out more about the tool and its functionalities here.
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