72% of Women in Australian film and television have experienced workplace harassment or discrimination, study reveals

A study on sexual harassment in the Australian film and television industry has found 72% of Australians have experienced either harassment or discrimination in the workplace, which has had a negative effect on their career.

The study, conducted by Women In Film and Television (WITF) New South Wales, initially caused concerns when it was publicised with an email headed “Tell us who is Australia’s Harvey Weinstein”, something the organisation later apologised for.

In its findings, the study also revealed 58% of Australians working in film and television have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.

Of those who responded ‘yes’ to being sexually harassed at work, 29.5% of those said they had been “sexually assaulted”, while an additional 35% outlined they were “subjected to inappropriate touching”.

The survey comes off the back of the Australian Bureau of Statistics finding 53% of women had experienced sexual harassment during their life.

Megan Riakos, the president of WIFT, said in a statement: “These results are by no means an exhaustive set of data, but merely the tip of the iceberg and when you balance them against potential unreported incidences and the other issues facing women in the industry including gender bias and access to appropriate child care, we’re dealing with a tapestry of serious concerns.

“WIFT are in discussions with key industry bodies and organisations to develop a sector wide approach to address this issue, with the immediate steps including the development of an industry wide agreement and a nationally streamed Sexual Harassment Industry Forum as a matter of urgency.”

In a statement to Mumbrella, Riakos, said: “We are committed to continuing to listen and educate ourselves so that we can advocate for women in the industry in the most effective way possible.”

Speaking of the latest survey results, Georgie McClean, head of strategy and governance at AFTRS, said: “It’s disappointing to read these stats. They are a wakeup call for an industry wide cultural shift, particularly as more and more young women join the industry seeking a long-term career.”

Riakos told Mumbrella most of the respondents to the survey were based in New South Wales, however the survey was open to anyone working in the screen industry across Australia.


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