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Industry / Market - Ireland

Industry Report: Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Raising Films Ireland publishes a study on major challenges for parents and carers working in the country’s audiovisual sector


The report, based on a survey compiled from the replies of over 450 respondents, sheds light on the main critiques but also on some viable solutions

Raising Films Ireland publishes a study on major challenges for parents and carers working in the country’s audiovisual sector

Last week, Raising Films Ireland, the Irish chapter of the advocacy and support group for parents and carers in the local audiovisual industry, published a new research report titled “The Pursuit of Change: Issues Affecting Parents and Carers in Ireland’s Screen Industries.” 

The document was launched during a dedicated, sold-out event held by the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival and aims to shed light on the major issues faced by parents and carers working in the country’s audiovisual sector. The study is based on a survey completed by 455 respondents. The vast majority live in Leinster, with over half in Dublin, of which 76% of the respondents identified as female, 23% identified as male. 61% of participants are freelancers or self-employed, and working in a variety of positions across the industries including writer, director, producer, and in a range of roles categorised as ‘crew.’ 73% have caring responsibilities and, of those, 79% are caring for children. 

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In summary, the report found that the sector’s parents and carers are facing four main challenges, namely extremely long working hours (“often on location and at short notice”); financial uncertainty and “the absence of long-term stable employment which often characterises freelance work” (18% of respondents earn under €10,000 per year, with a further 10% earning €11,000–€19,999, with many lamenting the lack of regional opportunities which forces them to live in and around the capital); juggling work and caring responsibilities (75% state that caring has a negative impact on their work, and 79% find it has a negative impact on their income) as well as bias/discrimination issues. For directors, on-screen cast, writers and professionals working the field of film academia/education, “financial uncertainty” is marked as their primary challenges, whilst producers, crew members and professionals working in the field of development and training put “long working hours” as their primary concern. Additional challenges include “lack of industry flexibility,” “sexism” and “difficulties in re-entering work after a caring break.”

The impact of such exclusion results in a loss of talent and skills resulting from industry hours and the industry attitude to workers with care duties as well as loss of women from the workforce.

In terms of solutions, most of the respondents demand for “child/adult care on location/set” (87%), “flexible, short-notice, state-funded 24-hour child/adult care” (81%), “improved paternity leave and equal parenting legislation” (81%), “the implementation of a personal tax relief” (75%) as well as a “greater availability of part-time/flexible roles” (70%). Other proposals include “a legal requirement that all roles be available for job share,” the creation of “city-centre drop-in crèches/adult care centres for film and TV workers,”  giving “part-time/freelance workers same status as full-time employees in terms of their level of commitment to the project,” “stronger union rules on early morning, late night and weekend work,” initiatives to promote a “better understanding by employers and financiers of the impact of caring” as well as an “increase in tele/video conferencing for meetings.”

You can access the full document here

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