A group empowering Utah women in the video and photography industry | Opinion

Connect. Network. Collaborate. Grow!

It is our mission to help support women in the video production and photography industry in Utah.

As three women working in production and photography, we bonded over similar challenges we’ve faced in our careers – from lower pay, to harassment, to people doubting our credibility simply. because of our sex. Once we started working at BW Productions and had a safe place to air our concerns, we knew we wanted to help other women and challenge industry norms.

We want to shape a better future for women and promote equity, inclusion and opportunity for women in this industry. In December 2021, we created the Utah Women in Production and Photography (UWIPP) Facebook group to serve as a community for women to collaborate and share this important message.

So why is this group growing so fast and necessary today?

For starters, WalletHub just named Utah 50th in the nation for worst state for women’s equality in the workplace for the fourth year in a row. On top of that, NYWIFT studies show that women accounted for 25% of key behind-the-scenes roles (directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, cinematographers) in 2021. Trends show that when women occupy key roles, the more women are hired in supporting roles.

UWIPP was established with a mission to foster an environment and support network for women in industry. Our main forum in Facebook Groups ensures easy access and availability to many women in our industry and allows us to broadcast events on Facebook Live for those who cannot attend in person.

Women in our industry unfairly face challenges that their male counterparts do not. The issues they face on a daily basis include misogyny, sexism, harassment, unequal treatment and declining wages. The video production and photography industry is also mostly made up of freelancers, which creates an environment where the consequences of bad behavior are difficult to enforce, and if action is taken, its effects are short-lived. . This leads to a culture of complacency and women feel compelled to tolerate harassment.

At our recent event, we spoke with many women who, despite their hard work, feel “stuck” in roles such as production assistant (the person who gets coffee and does simple odd jobs on a tray). There have even been stories of women reporting the harassment to their supervisors, who ultimately did nothing and treated it as just part of the job.

We want to change the culture of the industry. We want to create a safe environment that provides a foundation for women to achieve their career goals.

UWIPP strives to drive change by hosting monthly networking events, presentations, panels, mentorship programs, weekly communication via social media, and monthly articles on inspiring women. The group was able to reach more women in the community through social media, and in the first two months UWIPP reached over 150 members. By using this platform, we want to bring together this amazing community of women to drive change and shake up the industry.

Through community support and engagement, UWIPP can truly make a difference for women in our industry and others. By bringing more women together, we can achieve our goals of promoting equity, inclusion and opportunity for women. We are looking for other organizations to collaborate with, provide presentations for our group and help us change the environment for all women.

So join us to connect, network, collaborate and grow as strong women within the video production and photography industry.

McKayla Kreutzkamp, ​​Stephanie Dunn and Madison Mackay all work in production and photography for BW Productions.

Jennifer C. Burleigh