Written by Kristina Calhoun
Netflix is showing more power to women with their new program known as the Creative Equity Fund. The program, announced shortly before International Women’s Day, is designed to “nurture, develop, and uplift” women in the entertainment industry (Deadline).
The streaming service is known for its diverse female leads, starring in shows like Euphoria, The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit and many more. This new program will see Netflix invest $20 million a year for the next five years to create “more inclusive pipelines” for women behind the camera (Deadline). The first $5 million will go towards locating, training, and setting up work placements for the up-and-coming female talent that will be unveiled.
The inspiration for the Creative Equity Fund came from Netflix’s Head of Global TV, Bela Bajaria. She created the idea because she is an Indian woman who grew up in the U.S. without ever seeing a single actress like her until 2003. She is very proud of Netflix and what they have done for their female actresses. “Today, I’m proud to work at a company that has brought many female firsts to life in front of and behind the camera,” she said (Deadline).
Bajaria went further into her inspiration by explaining how great stories can come from many different backgrounds and people and that those stories are universal. The only thing that matters is that they are told with authenticity.
Netflix is not the only one working on this project. The scheme cannot be completed without the partnerships of third parties that are needed to help bring this project to life. Collectif 50/50, Into the Wild, Women in Post and Narrative Short Film Industry are a few programs, lasting from eight months to a full year, that will help educate and empower women as part of Netflix and Bajaria’s new initiative.
“I am more determined than ever to ensure that the next generation of female storytellers has more opportunities than the women who came before them,” said Bajaria (Deadline).
Hopefully this new program will enable more women to get behind the camera and will lead to more strong female characters in roles besides the “damsel in distress.” Small girls will have role models to look up to and to show them that women can be strong, independent leaders. With the creation of the Creative Equity Fund, Netflix is taking important steps in the right direction.