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Gender Equity Policy (GEP) Analysis

Assessing, Understanding, and Modelling the Impact of Gender Equity Policies (GEP) in the Film Industry

Project start:
Project completion:

The project „GEP Analysis: Assessing, Understanding, and Modelling the Impact of Gender Equity Policies (GEP) in the Film Industry“ (04/2021–03/2024) aims at redefining how we understand and address gender inequality in the film industries internationally. As part of the joint Open Research Area (ORA) for the Social Sciences programme it is funded by Agence nationale de la recherche (ANR), France; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Germany; Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), United Kingdom; and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

The GEP Analysis project will focus on the industry norms, structures and practices that constrain gender equality in the screen industries. Using a mixed method, interdisciplinary approach the project will draw on quantitative and qualitative empirical media research, cultural policy studies, communication science and network data science to investigate two core research questions:

1. What are the industry norms, structures and practices that constrain women’s participation in the international screen industries?

2. Which policy levers and interventions can most effectively deliver fundamental shifts in industry norms, structures and practices and improve women’s participation in the global screen industries?

GEP Analysis will specifically work across the social sciences to combine analyses of heterogeneous quantitative data with analyses of the policy and decision-making contexts that shape the political economy of specific national screen production industries. This evidence base will provide the foundation for an analysis of the preconditions as well as the industry programs and public policy/regulatory interventions required to create foundational change.

As a multidisciplinary cooperation under the direction and overall coordination of PI Prof. Dr. Skadi Loist (Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, Germany), the project combines expertise in different methodological approaches and disciplines as well as extensive empirical knowledge on relevant geographical areas (Canada, Germany and the UK in their international context).  For the first time, qualitative expert interviews and the social relationships of the industry are combined with economic and financial data in the interaction of various subprojects for media research.

The subproject, led by CI Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Prommer (University of Rostock, Germany), is creating a new database that combines data sets on women's participation in the European, German, British and Canadian screen industries with data from the other subprojects. 

The subproject, led by PI Prof. Dr. Doris R. Eikhof (University of Glasgow, Great Britain) and CI Dr. Amanda Coles (Deakin University, Australia), will provide an overview of existing policy measures, conduct interviews with experts and exchange information with representatives of the industry. 

The subproject, led by PI Prof. Dr. Deb Verhoeven (University of Alberta, Canada), uses the latest big-data and networking methods to model and visualize the complex interrelationships of industry structures.

Lead PI


Gender Equity Policy (GEP) Analysis Project – Values Statement

September 2021 (Version 1)

The GEP project values express what we believe is important in how we work on the project and engage with each other and external stakeholders. Our values motivate and guide our decision-making and help us to determine our priorities. They relate to the intended outcomes of the GEP project as well as the actions we will take to reach these goals.  We understand values as dynamic, which means they may evolve during the research process. We also understand them as recursive, which means we will continually reflect upon them to ensure our actions (what we do) mirror our motivations (what we ought to do). Our values are based on an intersectional understanding of gender equity and are embedded across all areas of project activity.

In some instances, actions that correspond to one of our values may contradict another value. We therefore may need to prioritise some values over others. Rather than being read as a checklist, our values statement is best understood as guidance for action.

The GEP project has four core values:

  • Accountability – our work does not happen in a vacuum but in interaction with a range of others, inside and outside of academia. Central to our relationship with others is accountability: for example, we are accountable to those whose stories we tell; to each other as a project team; to other researchers and future users of our work. Inversely, the GEP project can also function as a tool to hold others to account and use findings to disrupt the status quo in the film industry.
  • Interconnectedness – a two-way relationship exists between ourselves and the focus of our research. We are implicated in what we seek to change, in terms of the assumptions we bring to our research and our immersion in the topic. Reflecting on our interconnectedness requires us to create opportunities for solidarity between and across different groups.
  • Willingness to share power – research is a political endeavour and we aim to redistribute resources and disperse power (as a means to bring knowledge into being) among individuals and organisations involved.
  • Responsibility – with our position in the academic and industry landscapes comes a responsibility to use our power for good. Knowledge produced by the project should uplift and strengthen the work of others who address gender inequity and make solutions visible.

These core values inform our practice across four areas of project activity:

Communication and engagement: how do we share knowledge with the wider world?

The GEP project will communicate with a diverse range of people using different formats and mediums. As an international team working across multiple locations, cultures and languages we actively listen and learn from one another, and create space where misunderstandings are constructively resolved. We use accessible language and are transparent about the limitations of our knowledge. We share knowledge in ways that maximise impact, strengthens and empower others, and mobilises individuals, groups and communities to take action.

Recognition: where do we find knowledge and how do we recognise the work of others?

The GEP project invites and collects knowledge from a diversity of voices. We recognise that opportunities to produce and contribute knowledge are unequally distributed, requiring us to be generous and proactively respond to barriers and challenges that arise from exclusionary power structures. We foreground the voices of those with greatest proximity to the issue under investigation. Our interactions with others are non-exploitative and we meaningfully recognise, reward and value people’s labour. Our representation of the lives and experiences of others will never present a complete picture, we therefore value feedback on our work.

Rigour: how do we ensure the knowledge we produce is reliable, robust and improves academic practice?

The GEP project is based on academic principles that promote ethical and robust scholarship. While building on what has come before, we have the courage to critically interrogate assumptions and propose new ways to understand and address the problem of gender inequity in the film industry. We proactively invite project team members and externals to scrutinise our work and constructively engage with their feedback. We recognise our responsibility to produce work that empowers the next generation to do better.

Team relations: how do we engage with other team members on the project?

As academics and professionals, we oppose confrontational working cultures. Relations between project team members are built on a foundation of fairness and respect. We foster a culture where team members enjoy working with each other, feel able to make themselves vulnerable and – in turn – feel uplifted by the team and receive reciprocal moral support. When issues are voiced, they are expressed constructively with an eye to productive solutions.

The GEP project team will review our values statement every six months. This review will enable us to reflect upon what we are doing, assess whether our values align with our actions and agree on any changes to our values.