NUI Galway and Galway Film Fleadh to Discuss Gender Representation in the Audio Visual Industry

Jul 11 2017 Posted: 10:58 IST

The J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics and the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway, along with Galway Film Fleadh, will host a public event to discuss the influence of gender stereotyping on female participation and leadership in the audio-visual, business and technology industries. The event will take place as part of Galway Film Fleadh on Saturday 15 July.

The panel discussion aims to inform an NUI Galway research agenda following a recent survey carried out by technology consultants Accenture. As part of the report, 1,000 females comprising of secondary school students, young women (ages 18-23), secondary school teachers, and parents with daughters in post-primary education were surveyed on why they thought girls constituted a minority in STEM courses? As many as 44% of the survey respondents indicated that STEM subjects are more suited to males than females. Teachers cited that the promotion of ‘traditional’ female career paths (nursing, teaching) only served to exacerbate the stereotype that STEM careers are more suitable for boys than girls.

The event invites participants to discuss how the representation of women in movies and popular culture may impact on the involvement of women in creative leadership positions in these three particular industries. However, research is emerging which suggests that the way in which women are presented in movies and popular culture tell women, and their teachers and mentors that these industries are not for women.

Dr Seán Crosson, Acting Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway, said: “A recent American study of women in film and television found that women made up just 7% of all directors in the top 250 films, a 2% decline from 2015. In Ireland, one study from the 20-year period, 1993-2013, found only 13% of Irish-produced screenplays were penned by female writers with the percentage of women in directing roles in single figures. The ongoing and increasing under-representation of women in this area is a serious issue that requires radical and imaginative responses from the film and audio-visual industry. We hope that this event can help foreground this important topic and contribute to a better understanding of the issues involved and potential solutions to address it in the future, through more progressive depictions of women in film and popular culture.”

Miriam Allen, Managing Director of Galway Film Fleadh, said: “As the Irish film industry finds itself at something of a crossroads in terms of female participation in the audio-visual sector, events such as these are invaluable, not only in terms of raising awareness and discussing policy but, more importantly in informing policy and discourse going forward. All of us at the Fleadh are delighted to be involved in this event.”

The panel will include representatives from the audio visual industries: Dr Susana Liddy (Lecturer in Media Studies, Producer, Writer); Marian Quinn (Irish Film Board member, Janey Pictures); Ciara Nic Chormaic (Producer, Magamedia) and representatives from the business and technology industries; Lorna Martyn (Senior Vice President and Head of Technology, Fidelity Investments Ireland), Vicky Godolphin (Digital Lead, Accenture Ireland) and Saima Clohessy (Senior Data Engineer, Fidelity Investments Ireland).

Event organisers, Dr Trevor Clohessy and Dr Murray Scott from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, remarked: “The report conducted by Accenture Ireland entitled ‘Powering economic growth: Attracting more young women into science and technology’, highlights how career stereotypes and negative perceptions pertaining to STEM subjects is worrying. We hope that this event can identify barriers which are ultimately contributing to the shortage of women taking up roles in the Business and the IT industry. The major issues and insights arising from the panel discussion will be useful to inform the development of government policy in this area, and signpost a future research agenda.”

The panel discussion will take place on Saturday 15 July from 9am-12pm in Room MRA201 Lecture Theatre, in the Ryan Institute Annex, NUI Galway as part of Galway Film Fleadh.

For bookings to attend the event, visit:

To read the Accenture report, visit:


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