By Travis Johnson

Advocacy body Women in Film and Television NSW have undertaken a confidential survey to gauge the incidence of sexual harassment and discrimination in the Australian screen sector, and the results are disconcerting to say the least.

According to WIFT NSW’s press release, 58% of respondents have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, while 72% having experienced either harassment or discrimination which has negatively affected their career.

Further, 29.5% of those who responded “yes” stated they had been sexually assaulted, and an additional 34.5% said they were subjected to inappropriate touching.

WIFT President Megan Riakos 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”

Commenting on the data, 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. We all have right to feel safe in our workplace, and not be exposed to harassment.”

WIFT plan on releasing more information shortly. Their website can be found here.


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