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Bafta is to revisit its TV Craft Awards criteria to encourage more female directors to enter after criticisms that women are “woefully under-represented” across the three qualifying categories.

Strictly Come Dancing multi-camera director Nikki Parsons is the sole female nominee among the 12 names on the factual, fiction and multi-camera director shortlists.

In a statement, the We Are Doc Women collective, founded by Clare Richards said things had deteriorated in the two years since its open letter calling for better representation. The group continues to call for indies and broadcasters to commit to a 50/50 gender quota for factual directors.

“The TV industry said they’d listened. This year the situation is worse. Women directors are woefully under-represented in the leading factual categories,” it stated.

“But this is not about awards. This is a reflection of the inequality of representation and opportunity highlighted in our #TVGenderGapReport.” 

Bafta deputy chair Sara Putt, who chairs the Television Committee, said the organisation had received a smaller share of entries from female directors this year.

“We all need to look harder at the barriers to further progression and ensure that we can provide women with a sustainable career path and the opportunities to fulfil their potential; and we wholeheartedly agree that there needs to be further industry-wide change,” she said.

“As an agent - in my day job - I know this does not adequately reflect the talented women in our industry, and within Bafta we will be looking closely at this in terms of our entry requirements for Awards. We will also use the data from this year’s entries to identify the areas of under representation that we will focus on in future Bafta talent initiatives.”  

Directors UK chief executive Andy Harrower added: “The lack of representation in the director categories clearly highlights the challenges directors face, particularly those from under-represented groups, in progressing past a certain point. Intervention at mid-career is needed to ensure talent doesn’t hit the same glass ceilings others have encountered in the past.” 

Encouragingly, Bafta’s factual emerging talent shortlist has an equal gender split, featuring directors Adam Brown and Poppy Begum, producer/director Sophie Cunningham and producer Hugh Davies.

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