Canadian survey seeks to understand challenges women are facing in screen industries during COVID-19 pandemic

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      With childcare and family-care pressures ramped up by the COVID-19 pandemic, a national organization is seeking to find out what issues Canadian women are facing in screen industries.

      Women have often borne the brunt of caring for dependents during the pandemic, particularly during lockdowns, home-based or remote schooling, and other periods of disruption—and many women have had to give up their careers to do so.

      Women in Film and Television Canada Coalition (WIFT Canada Coalition) and Reel Families for Change Canada, with support from the Canada Media Fund, have teamed up to launch an industry survey about challenges and issues that women and caregivers in screen industries are contending with.

      WIFT Canada Coalition project manager Susan Brinton explained that women and caregivers have been experiencing heightened stress from juggling personal and family wellbeing with work demands in film, TV, and media industries.

      Because screen industries often require long working hours and short-term contracts with limited accommodations for pregnancies, parents, and family caregivers or culturally diverse family dynamics, they aren’t considered as family friendly as some other industries. 

      "Our aim with the survey is to break down the barriers that prevent all caregivers, and women in particular, from full participation in the Canadian film and media industry,” Brinton said in a news release. “The results of this survey will be incorporated into an initial report, due in spring 2021, which will highlight issues related to child and family care for workers in our industry, consider options and inform the direction of more in-depth analysis, advocacy and policy development.”

      WIFT Canada Coalition is asking all women and caregivers in screen industries to fill out the online survey.

      The coalition will host a national webinar to discuss the survey results on March 11.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.