Gender & Diversity Policy and Key Statements

Gender and Diversity

FÉ/SI Gender & Diversity Policy

As part of our artistic leadership role in film and screen content, it is vitally important that Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) represents a contemporary Ireland with all of its uniqueness, originality of voice and cultural diversity. In doing so, we want to provide a breadth of storytelling and serve a wide range of audiences.

We are committed to addressing the issue of gender inequality in Irish filmmaking and screen content, in particular the roles of writers and directors. We outlined our vision for gender and diversity in our Five-Year Strategy, which outlines our focus in ensuring a diversity of voices in Irish film and filmmaking will be on gender.

Our Key Actions in this Area are:

  • Working to achieve enhanced levels of diversity in films and screen content supported by the FÉ/SI
  • Continuing to implement the Six Point Plan on Gender Equality published in December 2015, including the following initiatives:

Six Point Plan on Gender Equality

  1. The collection, publication and monitoring of data on gender inequality
  2. Engagement with production companies and representative organisations to raise awareness of gender imbalance and working with them in education and training initiatives highlighting unconscious bias in creative decision making
  3. Enhancing the skills and capacities of creative decision makers in relation to diversity and equality issues in the creative decision-making process
  4. Continuing training and mentorship initiatives through Screen Training Ireland
  5. Supporting education initiatives in schools and colleges in the area of Irish culture
  6. Working with our partners in funding film and screen content, including the public service broadcasters RTÉ and TG4, as well as the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) Sound and Vision Scheme, so that gender equality and diversity is promoted in publicly funding screen content

Intended Outcomes

  • A more inclusive diversity of creative talent and screen content across the full spectrum of Irish society
  • That diversity within Irish society is fully reflected in the film and screen content production sector, within the workforce as a whole and in the audiences for whom the film is created
  • That the target of 50/50 gender parity in creative talent working in screen content is achieved
  • That diversity and gender equality are embedded within the funding process of all publicly funded film and screen content

Specific Gender Focused Funding Initiative

Since FÉ/SI announced its 'Six Point Gender Plan' in December 2015 aimed at addressing the under-representation of women in Irish film, considerable progress has been made in terms of encouraging female writers, directors and producers into the sector through training initiatives and through the FÉ/SI short film schemes. The commitment of FÉ/SI to gender equality has been acknowledged nationally and internationally, and 70% of FÉ/SI short films funded under the FÉ/SI Short Stories and Frameworks schemes in 2017 have female directors attached.

However, the actual number of funding applications received by the FÉ/SI on an ongoing basis, with female writers and directors attached remains relatively low.

Therefore we have introduced a number of initiatives specifically targeted at incentivising female writers, directors and producers, in order to directly increase female representation in the Irish film, television and animation industry.

These initiatives represent the continued commitment of FÉ/SI to achieving gender parity within the film, television and animation sector. We are of the view that whilst a lot has been achieved in developing the careers of female writers and directors, not enough has been achieved in relation to increasing the actual funding applications received by FÉ/SI, with female talent attached.

These direct funding initiatives will incentivise an increased number of applications from female led talent and will support, empower and elevate Irish female talent working within the Industry.

The specific gender-focused funding initiatives are:

  • POV: A funding and training scheme aimed exclusively at female talent
  • Enhanced Production Funding for female initiated and driven feature films
  • Development Focus for female initiated feature films
  • Promotion and dialogue focused on female talent
  • A new Gender Equality and Diversity Subcommittee has been appointed by the FÉ/SI board, who will consult with external bodies. The Subcommittee will establish ongoing policies and guidelines in relation to the application process and funding arrangements and will be responsible for their implementation and delivery. 

We will continue to monitor our annual statistics to make sure we are seeing progress. 50/50 parity of funding remains our goal and it is one to which we remain steadfastly committed.

Key Statements

22 November 2017: Statement from the Board of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) on Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Power

12 January 2018: Statement from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) on Gender Imbalance Across 2018 IFTA Nominations