LPB Sexism in the Industry DM Motion

8th October, 2012

The following motion was passed unanimously at the 2012 NUJ Delegate Meeting in Newcastle.

This DM notes with concern women photographers’ reports of sexism and bullying in the industry.

Women are woefully underrepresented. According to a National Photographic Council survey last year women represent only 17% of the news gathering industry.

Photographers, men and women, complained of a ‘boys club’ mentality, which excludes women, especially when they try to establish themselves in the industry.

Bullying and harassment occurs on jobs, on social networks, internet forums and occasionally from the picture desks where women feel they are pigeonholed for ‘soft stories’.

Women are often overlooked for staff positions or given limited shifts, one reported having to take her employer to a tribunal because she was on less pay than her male counterparts.

This DM believes that this situation is unacceptable and instructs the NEC to engage in active NUJ campaigning around the issues of gender, pay, sexism and bullying and seek to encourage more women getting a foothold in the industry through the NUJ mentoring scheme and other initiatives.

Further we would encourage our colleagues on picture desks to be mindful of the gender gap and seek to address the issues raised in this motion.

2 Responses:

  1. Pete Jenkins says:

    I can only say that my own experience as a photojournalist, certainly for the early part of my career supports the assertion that Newspaper work in particular does appear to be some sort of boys club. When I was younger it never occurred to me that this was not right – I simply never thought about it. However, as I became older and wiser, it was clear that the fact that I know maybe three hundred or so photographers around the country, but only a handful were women, was appalling. It is much better than it was, so today it is simply shocking. I would like to think that maybe women are more intelligent than men and have sussed that working in the industry is not the lucrative career that it once was, but alas I suspect that the real reason is simply that we still have a long way to go. I hope this motion helps highlight the difficulties that women still have and that the balance becomes addressed sooner rather than later.

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