WIFT NSW survey highlights sexual harassment in the local industry

A recent survey conducted by Women in Film and Television NSW has indicated potentially high levels of sexual harassment in the local screen industry.

Of 189 respondents to the survey conducted by the organisation, which was open to anyone in the screen industry, 58 per cent reported having experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.

More than half of those who reported experiencing sexual harassment chose to further detail their experiences, with 29.5 per stating they had been sexually assaulted, and an additional 34.5 per cent reporting inappropriate touching.

Seventy-two (72) per cent of overall respondents also reported that they had experienced harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace that had negatively impacted their career.

Almost all of the respondents to the survey, bar four, were women.

The results are similar to data released via the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Safety Survey earlier this week, which found 53 per cent of women and 25 of men had experienced sexual harassment at some point during their life.

WIFT NSW president Megan Riakos said the organisation has begun discussions with key screen industry bodies and organisations to develop a sector-wide approach to sexual harassment. These will include the development of an industry wide agreement and a nationally-streamed industry forum on sexual harassment.

“These results are by no means an exhaustive set of data, but merely the tip of the iceberg and when you balance them against potential unreported incidences and the other issues facing women in the industry including gender bias and access to appropriate child care, we’re dealing with a tapestry of serious concerns,” said Riakos.