'Hire Her Back' initiative launched to help women and BIPOC in film industry affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Women In Film, Los Angeles announced the initiative on Wednesday.

June 10, 2020, 3:22 PM

Women In Film, Los Angeles is launching a campaign to continue pushing for gender and racial equality in the film and television industries hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nonprofit organization's "Hire Her Back" initiative will highlight how the virus has disproportionately impacted black, indigenous and people of color and urge employers to rehire women at the same rate as men in the industry. The initiative continues to advance the group's goal of shining a light on gender parity in the realm.

WIF will partner with New York Women in Film and Television and Women In Film and Television Atlanta for the Hire Her Back Fund, which will directly benefit women in the television and film industries affected by the pandemic.

"With the increased commitment to parity across the entertainment community in recent years, we are seeing an uptick in the number of women working in front of and behind the camera. We cannot lose this important momentum because of entertainment job losses related to the COVID-19 crisis," Amy Baer, WIF board president, said in a statement.

A release for the campaign states that "roughly half a million jobs in the entertainment sector have been lost in recent months," according to estimates from the Motion Picture Association found in a Variety report from May.

Grants from the Hire Her Back Fund will be administered by The Actors Fund. Shivani Rawat, founder and CEO of ShivHans Pictures, has already contributed seed funding, according to WIF.

"With the convergence of a pandemic and the national uprising in defense of Black lives, it must be made clear that current market structures have to be transformed if we are serious about creating equity," WIF Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer said in a statement.

"We call on leaders to join us in building a new normal that prioritizes equity and career sustainability for women, especially Women of Color, in the screen industries," Schaffer's statement continued.

Read more about the campaign here.