The BBC and Channel 4’s documentary departments have committed to 50% women directors across their output in the wake of a campaign from UK collective We Are Doc Women.
We Are Doc Women said it will be contacting more indies, broadcasters and SVoDs to make the commitment after BBC documentaries and Channel 4 documentaries and specialist factual signed up earlier today, with the BBC targeting 50/50 directing representation across all factual by 2024. Channel 4’s current affairs team signed the pledge last month.
The teams will now target 50% female directors across all of their output, coming in what has traditionally been the heavily male-skewed sub genre of documentary helmers.
Six UK production companies including Louis Theroux’s Mindhouse Productions have also signed up to the pledge.
A statement from BBC documentaries said the organization has “led the way” with its 50/50 commitment to increasing female representation across its content and will now apply this work to documentary directing, adding: “BBC commissioners are committed to supporting brilliant women directors across our slate and with a range of initiatives.”
We Are Doc Women’s alarming October 2021 survey of 700 people found that men were three times more likely to direct UK docs than women and there was an outcry when just one of 12 nominated directors at last month’s BAFTA TV Craft Awards was female.
The collective had previously written to BAFTA when a similar eventuality happened in 2020.
Last night’s BAFTA TV Awards (not Craft) saw victories for women-directed factual shows such as ITV double The Missing Children and The Women Fighting Putin.