The Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) has launched a new Diversity and Inclusion Action Group (DIAG) comprises 25 PGGB members working in high level positions in a range of fields across film and TV production including production office, accounts, locations, assistant directing, post-production and VFX. Members will share personal testimonies of barriers or discrimination they have encountered throughout their careers and reflect on their own experiences, to help inform targeted initiatives to be taken forward by PGGB.
The DIAG is chaired by production manager Malika Keswani (UK Non-Fiction, London); Vice Chairs are Chika Anisiobi (production finance manager – UK non-fiction, Netflix) and producer Mia Martell (moVRshaker productions).
Professor Lyndsay Duthie, PGGB CEO says, “Whilst we’re all focused on keeping UK production flowing through the pandemic, we know that a commitment to improving diversity and inclusion in film and TV workplace must underpin all that we do. Our new Diversity and Inclusion Action Group is bringing the right people together to help us move forward initiatives that will create a more equal industry. There is much work to do, not just in senior roles but all parts of the production office, from producing to location management to accounting. We are the voice of UK ‘behind-the-camera’ talent and the lived experience of our members in the DIAG will be invaluable in deciding which steps to take to improve pathways and remove barriers for those who are underrepresented, including on the basis of ethnicity, disability, socio-economic background, sexuality or gender.”
Malika Keswani, Chair of the Diversity Action Group & PGGB Board Member says: “I’m excited to take on this role to create a real impact when it comes to diversity in the workplace. I believe we are uniquely positioned to tackle the issue together and slowly change the perception towards BAME talent. It’s unfortunate that in most cases unconscious bias towards people of ethnic origin costs them some amazing opportunities including leadership roles. I’d like to change these misconceptions and prejudices and encourage people to go beyond target setting to meet inclusivity standards. I passionately believe that through practical initiatives, including ‘on the job’ training for all levels including mid-senior level roles, we can improve inclusion and empowerment across the workforce.”
Chika Anisiobi, Vice Chair says: “I’m pleased to be Vice Chair of this group as I strongly believe it is time for sustained action. In my 17 years in this industry, very little appears to have changed. Everything is positive and hopeful when stories about discrimination and injustice are in the news but when the story disappears from the front pages, so does the appetite for change. I hope this group will bring about lasting improvements so that in another 17 years the diversity debate will have moved on. I’m only working in this industry because the PGGB intentionally went outside of the industry, outside of London to the regions, and made an effort to recruit people into the APATS scheme who had no connection with the film and TV industry, people who were otherwise unlikely to have access to such opportunities.”
Mia Martell, Vice Chair says: “The work begins with a belief that a situation can change and a desire to be a part of that change. As Vice Chair of PGGB’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Group, I want to use that belief and desire to make a substantial difference in the way the film and television industry is perceived and operates in the areas of diversity and inclusion.”
PGGB’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Group will meet monthly to devise and consider a range of initiatives to be actioned, from training to mentorship. The DIAG aims to increase visibility of diverse production personnel and help mid-level career progress through the ranks. PGGB members are directly involved with hiring production office personnel and crews, with a real opportunity to influence the make up of production teams.
View the full list of PGGB Diversity and Inclusion Action Group members at https://productionguild.com/about-us/diversity-and-inclusion-action-group