Over my years at ACTRA, I’ve fought in the trenches to help our union win gains on several important files. Yet on October 5, 2017, the Weinstein revelations, and the thunderstorm that followed, signalled a wake-up call and marked a turning point in my political life. As a woman, I struggled to understand how we got here. How did sexual harassment become so easily accepted as the norm in this industry I call home and, as a newly-minted president, how could I help make our lives better?
Admitting we couldn’t affect real cultural change alone determined our first steps. Within a few short weeks, we gathered creative industry stakeholders together and promised ourselves we would work to change the culture of bullying, sexual harassment and violence in our industry.
We recognized we needed to increase diversity and gender representation in decision-making roles in front of and behind the camera. We created three working groups to focus on creating a Code of Conduct, fostering industry-wide Education, Training and Awareness, and finding Safe Reporting Mechanisms.