‘Women play a central role in the management, on screen and in collaboration with TG4 and we intend building on that in the coming year’, according to Alan Esslemont, Chief Executive of the station, speaking this week.
‘As we celebrate ‘International Womens Day’ today, we are striving to ensure that we in TG4 are making great progress in relation to gender equality, in front of and behind the cameras. We announced this week that women must be the central characters in our new series of films to be commissioned in our ‘Cine4’ strand and in the following round that the directors must be women. We are building on our collaboration with Ladies Gaelic Football, ‘Peil na mBan’ , ensuring that womens sport is front and centre in Irish society.
TG4’s Director of Marketing & Development, Lís Ní Dhálaigh, concurs with this assessment. ‘Women are in leading roles at all levels of our organisation. The Chair of our board is female and we have an equal gender balance amongst our board members. Three out of five of our senior managers are women, and of the seven people running our commissioning department, six of them are female. We have men working at every level throughout the organisation as well of course, but TG4 has a healthy, progressive approach to equality in all our activities and the role of women in the running of the station is yet another example of that.
Around 600,000 women watch TG4 every week and as ever, women feature prominently on programmes to be aired on TG4 over the coming days anchoring our news output and ‘7 Lá’. Corkonian camogie star Ashling Thompson is featured in the ‘Laochra Gael’ programme being broadcast on the 14th March on TG4 and Irish traditional music icons Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh & Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh will join the likes of Alison Krauss, Eddi Reader & Julie Fowlis on the ‘Transatlantic Sessions’.
According to Alan Esslemont, ‘In light of all of the public discourse at present around Womens Rights in the film and arts sectors, we are proud to say that TG4 is successfully implementing one of our core principles. There will always be more that we can do of course, which is why we will continue to work hard to continue to improve our practices, applying our specific ‘Súil Eile’, or ‘alternate view’ approach to everything that we do’.