Gendered career paths in broadcasting
Tuesday 4 December 2018, 3.00pm-5.30pm
Ground floor seminar room, CAMEo Research Institute, 7-9 Salisbury Road
Amid the context of revelations like the huge gender-pay gap in broadcasting, the 50:50 campaign, and the known ‘leaky pipe-line’ of female talent in the screen industries, this latest CAMEo afternoon seminar brings together key thinkers who have been interrogating women’s careers in broadcasting and attempting to understand the ways in which roles have been, and remain to be, segregated by gender:
- Dr. Jeannine Baker (Macquarie University) ‘Galley-slaves and stirrers: gendered labour in Australian television’.
- Dr Tamsyn Dent (Bournemouth University) The "mummy" Producer. How constructs of gender identity feed into segregated career pathways in the UK's television sector.
- Dr. Vicky Ball (De Montfort University) ‘Structures of feeling: Women Writers and Writing Women in to Histories of British Television.’
Dr. Jeannine Baker (Macquarie University)
‘Galley-slaves and stirrers: gendered labour in Australian television’
This paper will discuss the sexual division of labour in Australian television in the 1960s to 1980s, drawing on oral history interviews with women media workers conducted for the Making Airwaves project –the first comprehensive study of women’s labour and production in Australian radio and television. It will focus on two positions in particular: the ‘female’ role of production secretary, and the ‘male’ role of camera operator, and will talk about the ways that women workers challenged the gendered nature of these roles, and the limited career opportunities for women in television more broadly. It will also draw some comparisons between Australia and Britain in relation to gendered career paths in television, based on recent UK research and interviews.
Jeannine Baker is a postdoctoral research fellow, and co-Deputy Director of the Centre for Media History in the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. She is the author of Australian Women War Reporters: Boer War to Vietnam (2015). With Justine Lloyd, she co-edited a special issue of Media International Australia on ‘Gendered labour and media’ (2016), and with Kate Murphy and Kirstin Skoog is co-editing a special issue of Feminist Media Studies on ‘Transnational Broadcasting’. She is currently a British Academy Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex.
Dr Tamsyn Dent (Bournemouth University)
‘The "mummy" Producer. How constructs of gender identity feed into segregated career pathways in the UK's television sector’.
This talk looks at segregated gender roles in the UK's television sector where career pathways in production management and producing appear as more viable options to female early entrants due to the lack of opportunities in more creative or technical roles such as directing, scriptwriting, camera, sound, editing etc. One factor that feeds into the segregation are normative ideals that women are more suited to the administrative, management side of television production rather than creative lead roles. Drawing from her personal experience of working in television production and her wider research on gender and creative work, Tamsyn looks at how myths around creative job roles are introduced to women early on in their television careers and the consequences that this has on the gender imbalance across the television workforce.
Dr Tamsyn Dent is a Lecturer in Media Production at Bournemouth University. Her doctoral thesis investigated the impact of motherhood on women’s career pathways in the UK’s creative media industries and her writing focuses on the relationship between identity and employment in the creative sector. Tam studied at Glasgow University and worked first in Scotland on several independent film and television productions before moving to London to work for the independent television company Darlow Smithson. She returned to academia in 2007, completing a masters in Gender and Media at the London School of Economics (LSE) and worked for several years at the Birds Eye View Film Festival before starting her PhD at Bournemouth University which was supported by Creative Skillset. Alongside teaching and research, she provides consultancy for Raising Films, the network set up to provide support for parents and carers in the FIlm and Television industry.
Dr. Vicky Ball (De Montfort University)
‘Structures of feeling: Women Writers and Writing Women in to Histories of British Television.’
Drawing on research undertaken for the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project ‘Women’s Work, Working Women: A Longitudinal Study of Women Working in the Film and Television Industries (1933-1989)’, this paper explores some of the methodological and conceptual challenges of attempting to track women’s participation rates in British television from an intersectional feminist perspective. It provides a glimpse in to the first longitudinal study of women’s participation rates in both ‘above’ and ‘below-the-line’ roles before using television drama as a case study to interrogate the status and positioning of women in this traditionally masculine sphere of production.
Dr Vicky Ball is Senior Lecturer in Cinema and Television Histories, De Montfort University, UK. She has published articles on gender and British television drama and is currently writing a book about the British female ensemble drama entitled Heroine Television (to be published by Manchester University Press). She was the Co-Investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project ‘Women’s Work, Working Women: A Longitudinal Study of Women Working in the Film and Television Industries (1933-1989)’ and a member of the Executive Committee of the Women’s Film and Television Histories Network: UK/Ireland.