The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) has launched the UNIC Women’s Cinema Leadership Pilot Programme and is looking for candidates for its mentorship program. The 12-month pilot initiative will see a number of female senior industry executives mentor a group of ‘up and coming’ international female cinema professionals on a one-to-one basis.
Commenting on the launch, UNIC’s outgoing CEO Jan Runge said, “Hopefully our initiative will encourage more gender – balanced leadership in cinema exhibition, which we believe is an imperative for business growth, better governance and more equity in the industry.” Last year UNIC came in for criticism for having an all-male panel (a.k.a. ‘manel’) Executive Round Table discussion kicking off CineEurope 2016 and the cinema trade body since pledged to do more to promote gender balance in the industry.
UNIC is currently looking for mentee candidates, who should be “‘up and coming’ female executives with at least 6 years’ professional experience who currently work for an operator that either is a direct or indirect member of UNIC.” These candidates can come from diverse cinema business functions, including – but not limited to – general management, marketing, retail, cinema operations and technology, programming, or other. UNIC is looking for geographical diversity as well as diversity of business areas.
The scheme has echoes of the Women’s Leadership Scheme launched by the UK’s Independent Cinema Office (ICO) in December 2015, which paired women from the exhibition industry with senior mentors. The scheme was launched after a Creative Skillset Skills Survey in 2014 found that women occupy just 4% of top cinema jobs in the UK. The scheme has since been renewed.
The deadline for application to the UNIC Pilot scheme is 25 May and prospective candidates should be sent to Diana Stratan (firstname.lastname@example.org) with CV and cover letter.
As publishers of the annual Top Women in Global Cinema list – inspired by our article asking “Why So Few Women CEOs in Exhibition“, given that it is a largely female-driven business – we at Celluloid Junkie wholly support this initiative and applaud UNIC for promoting the issue. So do send in those CVs.