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Film London's Equal Access Network launches new leadership programme for BAME professionals in the Film and TV industry

Date posted: 31.10.2019

Film London’s Equal Access Network has launched Breaking The Glass Ceiling, a new leadership programme to support black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) mid-level professionals in the Film and TV industry, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery through funds awarded from People’s Postcode Trust, Sony Pictures Entertainment, BBC Films and HBO.

Designed with and led by industry Executive Coach Jill Tandy, with involvement from leading industry experts such as BFI, Film4, ITV Studios and more, the programme will benefit ten outstanding mid-level professionals from BAME backgrounds over the next year, who are committed to developing an inclusive leadership style.

The programme will not only help accelerate the career of the participants, but also provide them with the skills to support and develop others starting out in the industry, helping to retain crucial talent from entry and mid-level to senior and management roles. As well as being matched with their own leading industry mentor, each participant will also be paired with a new entrant mentee from Film London’s Equal Access Network.

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “Breaking The Glass Ceiling is a significant new addition to our Equal Access Network programme (EAN). The EAN seeks, like much of Film London’s work, to ensure that the capital’s screen industries represent the diversity of the city itself. We know this isn’t currently the case, with reports such as OFCOMs Diversity and Equal Opportunities in TV 2019 stating only 8 per cent of minority ethnic employees are in senior management positions compared to the UK national workforce average of 12 per cent.

This is a truly unique moment of expansion and development for London’s screen industries and a crucial time to address the demand for highly skilled professionals who truly represent our city. The cyclical nature of Breaking The Glass Ceiling both creates and sustains a long-term, positive effect on the industry, investing in the potential of future senior leaders of a dynamic, diverse creative work force, as well as maintaining London’s world-beating position.

The programme will comprise of group coaching, training and networking from top industry speakers from across Film and TV:

Waqas Ali (Head of HR, ITV Studios), Ebony Amoroso (Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Endeavor), Ash Atalla (MD, Roughcut TV), Daniel Battsek (Director of Film4), Anne Foster (Director of Diversity, Leadership and Organisational Development (EMEA), Sony Pictures Entertainment), Rose Garnett (Director, BBC Films), Caroline Goyder (Author and Speaker), Sharon Henry (MD, Sharon Henry Management), Professor Gareth Jones, Ade Rawcliffe (Head of Diversity, ITV Commissioning), Ben Roberts (Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Film Fund, BFI), Jennifer Smith (Head of Inclusion, BFI), Jane Turton (CEO, All3Media), Richard Watsham (Director of Commissioning, UKTV), and Patrick Younge (Managing Director, Sugar Films) are all set to speak.

Patrick Younge, Managing Director at Sugar Films said: “If we want more senior BAME leaders we have to equip them to lead change and make an impact in this constantly changing environment. After all, the slower day is never coming.”

As well as being assigned a mentor from the likes of Iain Canning (Joint MD, See-Saw Films), Nina Gold (Casting Director, Nina Gold Casting), Gaylene Gould (Creative Director), Elizabeth Karlsen (Producer, Number 9 Films), Tessa Ross (CEO, House Productions) and Krista Wegener (Executive VP Sales and Distribution, Participant), participants will apply the skills learnt by guiding their own mentee chosen from Film London’s Equal Access Network.

Gaylene Gould, Creative Director said: “Britain's greatness lies in the multiplicity of its creative voice - the way in which its global history plays out in iconic new forms, languages and stories. It's critical that we nurture the talent that continues to make Britain brilliant and relevant on a global stage. It is this, often unsupported, talent that needs sheltering and caring for the most. I'm proud to help out.”

The ten selected participants for Breaking The Glass Ceiling are:

  • Corrina Antrobus (Arts and Culture Communications Officer For Hackney Council / Founder of Bechdel Test Fest)
  • Yaw Basoah (Producer)
  • Aisha Bywaters (Casting Director)
  • Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor (Producer & Writer)
  • Kurban Kassam (Producer)
  • Gursharn Khaira (Head of Legal & Business Affairs at Altitude Film Entertainment)
  • Fiona Lamptey (Producer)
  • Bennett McGhee (Producer)
  • Kam Odedra (Writer and story Producer)
  • Lisa White (VP Commercial Finance & Business Development at STX Entertainment)

For more information regarding Film London’s Equal Access Network, click here

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