Campaigning for gender equality on British stage and screen
ERA5050 is a high-profile campaign founded in 2015 to campaign for 50:50 gender balance on British stage and screen.
Equity, Spotlight, TimesUp UK, BFI, PIPA, MonoBox, Directors UK, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, Geena Davis Institute, Act for Change
Emma Thompson, Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies
ERA5050 is a high-profile campaign founded in 2015 to campaign for 50:50 gender balance on British stage and screen. ERA5050 has grown rapidly in influence and represents over 7000 members across the UK and internationally.
After experiencing a particularly awful incidence of workplace harrassment and contructive dismissal that affected three colleagues in 2011 and resulting in all three of us having to leave the toxic environment, I realised there were few female role models or clear avenues for help. At the same time, the Geena Davis Institute had published their report ‘Gender Bias Without Borders’ on inequality in the media, revealing the staggering ratio of 2:1 actors to every actress and an average of 17% female representation in crowd scenes in films. When I was invited to help bring a movement to life by Co-Founders Polly Kemp and Elizabeth Berrington, I jumped at the opportunity and possibility of changing perceptions of women on our screen and how improved representation might positively affect our children.
The campaign has built an incredible wealth of supporters that include Olivia Colman, Emma Thompson and Emma Watson. Industry partners include Spotlight, Equity, TIMESUP UK, Directors’ UK, Primetime, Act for Change and the Geena Davis Institute.
ERA5050 wants women to be represented in film, TV and theatre in a way that reflects the full extent of their presence and the diversity of their untold experiences in the real world. We want to change the way women are presented on our screens, highlighting and addressing the relationship between the lack of women in key creative roles, the lack of on-screen representation of actresses and the impact on society and particularly children.
We champion the equal representation of women, working with the industry, with Parliament and other relevant regulatory and funding bodies in our efforts to secure 50:50 gender balance on UK screens and stages across annual programmes of content.
We believe audiences deserve to see women represented as scientists and superheroes, rather than merely wives, sex objects and victims, and that actresses deserve equal pay and roles that make the most of their skills, at every stage of their careers.
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“In 2018, a century since the first women got the vote – it is simply unacceptable that your gender can still determine your opportunities in life, how much you get paid and your career prospects. There are still too few women in public life, in boardrooms and on our screens. It’s so important for young women pursuing their career to have positive role models to aspire to. That’s why I’m proud to support the ERA 50:50 campaign, telling the world that Behind Every Great City is equality, opportunity and progress regardless of your gender. Throughout this year and beyond, I will be working with every sector to redouble our efforts in the fight for gender equality, and doing all we can to remove any barriers to women’s success so that everybody can unlock their full potential.”