Ian Scott and Dr. Caroline J. Simard at the 2018 Canadian Women in Communications and Technology Awards
Women in Broadcasting Production – Status Report
April 16, 2018
Ian Scott, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Caroline J. Simard, Vice-Chairperson, Broadcasting
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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Hello everyone. It’s a pleasure to be here with you this evening and participate in this important event.
We want to acknowledge that we gather here together today on traditional territory of the Algonquin people. We give them thanks and pay respect to their elders.
We are so proud of all these great women who are being recognized tonight and would like to congratulate all of the nominees.
Let me start by thanking the WCT for its unflagging efforts to promote gender parity and diversity in the Canadian communications industry. While acknowledging the incredible accomplishments of women in the Canadian telecommunications and STEM industries, I want to focus my remarks on the role of women in the Canadian broadcasting industry.
To state the obvious, the industry’s potential will only be fully realized when women – half the country’s population – are in key creative and decision-making positions. And yet, women continue to face systemic barriers to career advancement in this industry.
The problem has been well defined by studies over the years. But unfortunately, the metrics are not changing. It is long past time we do something about it.
As we announced last year, we are determined to do our part to ensure more women play leading roles – not only on-screen but also behind the scenes – in Canadian productions. The CRTC is using its convening powers to bring key players together to find lasting solutions to this unacceptable situation.
To tell you more about this initiative, I would like to give the floor over to someone whose career demonstrates the indispensable leadership role women play in this industry, my colleague and the CRTC’s Vice-Chair of Broadcasting, Dr. Caroline Simard.
Thank you, Ian – Good evening.
To continue on this topic, I would add that this problem is everyone’s! This lack of gender diversity in influential positions does not only affect women; it affects the entire industry. So it's without surprise that it will require the collective efforts of all of us – women and men – to address.
We are currently working with public and private-sector partners, including Status of Women Canada, to organize a Women in Production event later this fall. This closed-door event will bring senior industry executives together for a frank discussion about how we can create real change.
So, this fall, we will convene decision makers who can commit to concrete actions to make a meaningful difference for the whole industry. We need to have decision makers around the table who can agree on measurable results and to hash out the practical actions needed to reach those results.
Backed by the impressive leaders in this room, I’m sure we all agree the time is ripe for real progress. As Ian said, it’s time to act. And, there is no better time than now.
We will be providing more information in the coming months. We look forward to working with you to see this goal achieved.
Thank you and have a great evening.
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