The Everyone Project – SDIN launches significant new initiative to track screen industry diversity.
Diversity is high on the agenda for film and television producers around the globe, but what does a diverse work force actually look like? How do producers and broadcasters know just how diverse their projects really are, both on screen and behind the cameras?
The Everyone Project, a significant new initiative to help Australian screen industry companies and organisations track and boost diversity in their screen productions, is launched today by The Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network (SDIN) and Screen Industry Innovation.
The Everyone Project is an easy-to-use web app that invites people to self-identify on a set of characteristics around the diversity of the talent and crews working in their current projects.
The Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network (SDIN) is a network of broadcasters, screen funding agencies, business associations, guilds and industry-aligned education and training organisations who have committed to working together towards an inclusive and diverse screen industry – more here.
The Everybody Project is a voluntary and confidential survey of on-screen and off-screen contributors to productions funded by SDIN members. The Project will benchmark the production industry for diversity against the broader population and over time.
The platform importantly also acts as a tool for organisations to themselves better understand the demographic make-up of their workforce, membership, crews and cast and to measure the impact of their efforts to make this more diverse and inclusive.
The Everyone Project has been developed by Sii, a benefit corporation established by long time screen industry executives Adam Smith and Alex Hannell, with the support of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), an Australian Commonwealth government statutory authority.
The platform aims to be easy and engaging whilst prioritising personal privacy, security, respectfulness and inclusion.
“Strong evidence demonstrates that diverse and inclusive organisations are more innovative, resilient and effective. It’s our ambition that The Everyone Project will be a game changer and a world-leader that will extend into measuring diversity across a wide range of industries and sectors,” Adam Smith says.
SDIN Co-chair Tim Soutphommasane said: “Diversity and inclusion are crucial. Measurement helps us to get things right. Please join us in supporting this project.”
Tim is the former Race Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission and a Professor of Practice in Sociology and Political Theory at Sydney University.
Hoodlum Chief Content Officer and SDIN Co-chair Tracey Viera said: “Measuring and increasing diversity is not only a moral imperative but it also makes business sense. There is a proven positive link between diversity and financial performance. Our industry thrives from diverse narratives and perspectives both in front of and behind the camera.”
CEO of Screen Producers Australia Matthew Deaner said: “All the work that Screen Producers Australia does with its over 500 screen business members and through its activities to develop the sector is through the prism of creating a diverse community of content creators who reflect the world in which we all belong. We are pleased and proud to support this project.”
Head of Screen NSW Grainne Brunsdon said: “Diversity is a must for Screen NSW and we’re proud to be involved with any efforts that seek to embrace the topic and make their mark for a more inclusive outcome. This is a great initiative that we hope will be widely adopted across the industry and we will certainly be encouraging all of our supported productions to get on board.”
SBS Managing Director James Taylor said: “SBS continues to champion greater inclusion in our sector, both on screen and behind the scenes, because we believe the faces we see and the stories explored across the media landscape should be more reflective of the diversity of the nation today. We support this initiative by the industry to improve our performance as a sector, not only because it makes for better storytelling, but because a more inclusive society presents benefits and opportunities for all of us.”
Acting CEO of AFTRS Georgie McClean said: “AFTRS is thrilled to be supporting this significant initiative for the sector. The Everyone Project will give us a trackable snapshot of who is making Australian screen stories, and where talent from all backgrounds are still experiencing barriers to working in screen production. It will be a great guide for where our industry is seeing change and where we still have work to do in building a vibrant and representative screen culture.”
Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said: “Being able to capture data on the diversity of our sector will allow us to honestly reflect on how inclusive we truly are and what we can do better. It will show us where we need to commit more energy to increase pathways into the industry for diverse practitioners and how we can harness our investments in screen stories to help drive cultural change and connect with audiences.
SDIN members subscribe to the platform and then invite all audio-visual productions they fund, both in-house and external to their organisation, to register a production on the platform. The platform has been designed to make the process of registering a project as simple as possible. For most productions, this should only take a few minutes. Significant input from industry has shaped the design.
The Project is committed to consent and privacy and the platform has applied ‘best practice’ privacy by design principles from conception and has opted in to be bound by the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act (Cth).
Backgrounder and Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this initiative so important and what does it hope to achieve?
The Everyone Project will help Australian screen industry companies and organisations track and boost diversity in their screen productions. SDIN members are committed to an industry that is diverse and inclusive, however they have previously not had the tools to measure if their objectives are being met.
Has this ever been done before?
Yes. UK broadcasters began collecting similar data for their industry in 2016. The underlying approach is the same, but the technology is very different. This is the first open access platform. The UK version integrates with an existing proprietary program delivery system used by those broadcasters. See: https://creativediversitynetwork.com/diamond/.
How is it being collected? Do producers list their cast and crew’s details?
Through general industry engagement, and direct producer communication, production contributors are made aware of the project and its purpose and how they as individuals will be asked to contribute. In their engagement agreements and/or in other forms their express consent will be sought to provide their role and contact information to the platform.
SDIN members require their in-house producers and independent producers commissioned to then register their productions on the system and upload their cast and crew details (name, role and email address – with their consent).
The platform contacts any individual who is not already registered on the platform and encourages them to participate in the voluntary survey. For most people, completing the survey should only take about two minutes.
What data is being collected?
From production companies, the platform collects information about the type of production (title, format, genre, funders etc.) and name, role and email address (or mobile number) of all on screen contributors and crew.
From contributors, the platform seeks to collect demographic data on: age, gender, sex, sexuality, cultural background, disability, carer status, geography and socio-economic status.
See privacy and security safeguards described below.
What data can be accessed? (e.g. can a broadcaster access data from their commissioned shows even if they were made by a production company?)
Platform subscribers will be able to access reports on productions they have funded, both in-house and produced by independent producers, with benchmarking against whole of industry reports and the broader Australian population. Data will be aggregated to ensure de-identification and preserve individual’s privacy. The protocols around the publication of these reports is to be agreed by SDIN.
How will the data be stored?
The data will be encrypted and stored on Australian servers maintained by an Australian Signals Directorate Certified Cloud Service (https://www.cyber.gov.au/irap/asd-certified-cloud-services).
What safeguards are in place for privacy and security?
The platform has been designed to achieve the highest possible levels of privacy and security consistent with the platform purpose and available budget. The operation of the platform will be governed by the Australian Privacy Act. Highly regarded independent experts CQR and SallingerPrivacy have been engaged to provide security and privacy design and assurance services. They will evaluate the platform performance on completion of testing and these reports will be provided to SDIN members.
Privacy and security are core principals of the platform’s design and operation and are a commitment made by the platform to each individual contributor. Maintaining privacy and security requires continual ongoing investment in the platform. This is funded by subscription fees.
Who owns the data?
Contributors retain ‘ownership’ in the demographic data that they contribute to the platform. The platform aggregates that data and its use of that data is restricted through its agreements with Contributors and Subscribers. The Subscribers own the reports they generate from that data.
As part of completing the survey, contributors are asked to provide the platform with limited consents to use their personal information as follows: “You can view, alter and delete your answers at any time. We’ll save your name and apply your answers to other productions you contribute to so we don’t need to ask you again. We won’t disclose the personal information you provide to anyone (including your employer) or use it for any purpose you haven’t agreed to.
We will only use your personal information to:
• create reports and analysis on industry demographics (without identifying you)
• seek further consents or information from you
• maintain and improve our service
• remind you we have this information”
Tracey Mair, TM Publicity
Ph: +61 02 8333 9066
Ph: +61 02 9805 6661