Panel Discussion: Rethinking the role of women in cultural and media professions: A European comparison

Which concrete measures are most effective to dismantle the glass-ceiling and to advance gender equality?

On May 10, 2017, an interesting line-up of panelists presented at the Hertie School of Governance collected data on gender equality and explained which measures have been already put into practice on an European level and which still need to be realized .

For the European audiovisual sector, the European Women’s Audiovisual Network´s (EWA) recommendations for a number of actions that would allow to fill the gap between women and men were presented by Suzanne Pradel:

  • Introducing the notion of „gender of a film project“
  • Attributing additional points/incentives wherever the project is to be considered a female driven project
  • Attributing additional points/incentives when the project is directed by a women
  • Introducing a gender related data collection in the application system to national and international funds and in the reporting of fined projects (festival, training, distributed films, participation in markets).
  • Introducing a preference for projects including initiatives enhancing female driven content (festivals, promotion of works online, access to markets, film education)
  • Supporting training and other measures (mentoring, networking, etc) aimed at making women careers in the audiovisual sector sustainable
  • Introducing the support to European networks of individuals who work in the audiovisual sector in a non-profit-making capacity and having among heir goals gender equality.

Eva Fehringer is Deputy Head of Unit of the International and European Labour Law and Social Policy Department at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Social Affairs. She also chairs the Gender Equality Commission at the Council of Europe.

Lisa Jordan is a senior philanthropic executive with a twenty-year career focused on social justice, impact, and systemic change. She currently serves the Porticus Foundation as Senior Director for Strategy and Learning overseeing the development of programme and impact.

Suzanne Pradel is an international script consultant, creative content producer, lecturer for script development, and bookscout. In 2009, she founded the BuchScout Agency which develops sophisticated TV and cinematic features. She is a member of the European Women’s Audiovisual Network.

Els van der Plas is General Director of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. In 1988, she founded the Gate Foundation to encourage intercultural exchange in the field of modern and contemporary visual art. She is currently a member of the Supervisory Board of Writers Unlimited in the Hague.


Charles Landry is an authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change. His concept of the Creative City focusses on how cities can create the enabling conditions for people to think and act with imagination to solve problems and develop opportunities.