Big win for our Canadian counterparts around gender equity

Posted Monday 29 May 2017

We're taking our hats off to our Canadian counterparts at WIFTV - their lobbying and engagement has paid off with new government commitments affecting women in screen-based media.

The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), in its licence-renewal decisions for English-language large broadcasters on May 15, made significant commitments affecting women in screen-based media across Canada.

The CRTC decision contained three critical components:

1) It acknowledged WIFTV's presentation at the hearing in November 2016 and the rationale for the need to implement change given the CRTC's mandate under the Broadcasting Act (1991). The act states, "That the Canadian broadcasting system should, through its programming and the employment opportunities arising out of its operations, serve the needs and interests, and reflect the circumstances and aspirations, of Canadian men, women and children, including equal rights.";

2) The CRTC recognizes that intervention is necessary: "The Commission considers that women's access to key leadership positions is an important issue and that intervention by the Commission is necessary to further the achievement of this objective of the Act." Accordingly, the Commission intends to engage a wider discussion on these issues with particular emphasis on women in leadership positions. The CRTC commitment is reflected in both English and French language broadcaster renewal decisions issued on May 15.

3) Finally, the CRTC intends to monitor Canadian broadcasters' activities by requiring them to report annually regarding the employment of women in key leadership creative positions on the productions they broadcast. As the Commission notes, this will allow both the CRTC and the public to better identify women's challenges in the Canadian television industry.

"WIFTV is thrilled that our voice has been heard with this remarkable step forward by the CRTC. We believe this will have a strong and timely impact on gender equality in the screen-based media industries. WITV intends to be an active participant in the process going forward with the Commission," says Carolyn Combs, WIFTV executive director.

To get the full story, check out the WIFTV media release.