Fifty-one per cent of key in-house creative, editorial and decision-making roles at Rogers Sports & Media are now held by women, according to the company’s Women in Production 2022 Annual Report.
A voluntary action plan to ensure more women have the opportunity to become decision-makers within the Canadian film and television production industry, Rogers Sports & Media says its efforts are focused on its in-house programming and productions where it can effect the greatest change, including managerial roles in production and news, programming and planning roles, and on-air hosts and journalists.
Of 74 managerial production and news roles, 31 of those positions (42%) are held by women. 80% of programming and planning decision roles are held by women, along with 58% of on-air journalism positions. The company says it’s maintained over 50% representation in those key roles for the last three reporting years, an increase from the 48% it reported in its original Action Plan in 2018/19.
Rogers says it’s continuing to recruit women and improve diversity at all levels of the organization. Sportsnet hosts an annual series of skill-building and networking workshops for young male and female BIPOC professionals and students from across Canada, who are then connected with key hiring managers to develop ongoing relationships, including paid summer internships. The OMNI Regional Scholarship program also launched in 2020, awarding 10 $2,000 scholarships last year to students from diverse ethnocultural backgrounds.
In addition, last year marked Colette Watson’s appointment as President of Rogers Sports & Media, responsible for the company’s 23 conventional and specialty TV channels, 29 local TV stations, 54 radio stations, three digital services, and two podcast networks, among other offerings. Rogers reported an increase in representation of women in its VP+ population of 1.6% year-over-year, as of Dec. 31.
“One of the key findings of the CRTC Women in Production Summit was that women continue to face barriers to career advancement. Once women are in the Rogers Sports & Media talent pool, they need opportunities to advance and grow their careers,” the report states.
Among the company initiatives designed to help build a gender-diverse executive pipeline are the Accelerated Development Program (ADP), a highly-targeted sponsorship program aimed at supporting women Directors with customized development based on assessment and feedback of their individual performance. RISE for Women (which includes Rogers Women of Colour and Rogers Women in Technology) also supports women at Rogers with a focus on networking and personal and professional development to foster leadership potential, in addition to partnerships with Women in Communications and Technology (WCT), and not-for-profit women’s accelerator, Catalyst.
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