Mandy Talks: Gender Representation

We were excited and proud to present our first panel event on the 29th January called Mandy talks; a series of panel discussions aimed at highlighting important topics and issues that people face within the entertainment industry. Its a place where we can bring together a collection of industry experts to discuss their thoughts and solutions to the topic at hand, amongst an audience of Mandy members who are encouraged to put forward any further questions to the panel.

31st January 2019
/ By Steph Long

Mandy talks panel THEMANDYNETWORK

Earlier this year in October 2018 we conducted a study with the purpose of this research is to shed light on how entertainment professionals are affected by issues of equal pay and opportunities within the entertainment industry. We sent out a survey to over 3,000 Mandy Network members covering actors, film crew, theatre professionals, voiceover artists, child actors, singers, dancers, music professionals and extras. 

As featured on BBC News, the Mandy Network CEO Philip Large explains “The report is only the first step, we have identified a number of issues and started to raise awareness, but we don't want to stop there. For this survey to be of any use we need to use it to drive real change in the industry”. 

Off the back of this report our efforts have been focused towards step two, and as a result we created Mandy talks. By joining up with leading associations and industry experts we can all work together to create awareness and develop a clear set of actions that will support creative professionals across the UK.

Our first event addressed issues of gender representation within the entertainment industry. We were very lucky to have such an inspiring panel of experts coming from various positions and backgrounds, discussing their thoughts, opinions and solutions to the under representation of women and inequality in TV and film. 

One of our panelists Polly Kemp, the co-founder and director of ERA 50/50 shares a staggering statistic that 2:1 men outnumbering women when it comes to casting within cast and crew, so there is no surprise that it is a topic that needs to be addressed and discussed further.

"Don’t just hire women and put them in the firing line, because that isn’t the point. Don’t insert a female director to only give them no free reign, you’re making them feel worse” - Actress Jing Lusi

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media founded has accumulated the largest body of research (spanning 20 years) on gender equality within family entertainment, with the purpose to empower women within their working environments by eliminating conscious bias and instead creating systemic change within the entertainment industry. 

In a survey following their 2017 Symposium on Gender in Media there are positive statistics with ‘more than 90% of attendees stated that the information they learned would influence how they perceive gender balance and stereotypes in their work, and 98% would share and utilise our research findings with their peers and in their companies’. It proves that with enough awareness we can all help towards gender equality.

"Generally men are hired on potential and women are hired on experience. Women have to really prove themselves and so sometimes they are set up to failure" - Polly Kemp

Our event took place at the h Club in London, a unique private members club for creative industries to have an environment where they can connect and collaborate with likeminded individuals. The atmosphere was great and we had the pleasure of standing in front a full house of 80 engaged attendees. Our CEO Philip Large was great at hosting the event and leading the direction of the discussion.

The panel included;

Academy Award®winning film producer Serena Armitage

Actress and the founder of ERA 50:50 Polly Kemp

Actress Jing Lusi co-star in Crazy Rich Asians

Head of Talent at Framestore Amy Smith

Mandy talks panel THEMANDYNETWORK
Mandy talks panel

We would like to thank all of our attendees who joined us last night, as well as the fantastic panelists for taking the time out of their busy schedules to connect with our Mandy members. It was a pleasure and we are looking forward to the next event.

If you were unable to attend then take a look at our live steaming of our Mandy talks: Gender Representation event - we hope you enjoy our first Mandy talks

To keep up to date on future Mandy events then email us at

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