Our Campaign

Equal Representation for Actresses 5050 by 2020 was created in 2015 in response to an industry call for change and on the findings by The Geena Davies Institute: Gender Bias without Borders on gender in media and Eva Wiseman’s article entitled ‘Women are everywhere so why are we invisible on film?’

A collective of actresses set out to challenge the British broadcast, film and theatre industry’s unconscious bias against women.

ERA is the UK industry’s key pressure group for 5050 gender equality in film and theatre and has grown exponentially within a unique industry keen to see change by 2020.

Our experience:

The vast majority of actresses working in television, film and theatre struggle with lack of opportunity. Compared to men, many women find it impossible to sustain meaningful and economically viable careers into their forties and beyond and find themselves faced with an early retirement and uncertain future. The business squanders talent and their rich CV’s, excluding these women who fall off a fiscal cliff.


Without gender balance, women of all ages go underrepresented in British broadcasting/film and theatre. This industry wide distortion of our society excludes an audience that make up 51% of the population. This damages how women are viewed and valued and perpetuates a myth in younger generations that women have less currency.

ERA think:

This is detrimental to women who want to be productive artists throughout their lifetimes and detrimental to an audience who want to see themselves accurately and meaningfully represented in what they watch.

ERA’s objective:

To achieve greater equality in representation and pay by 2020.


  1. To grow ERA’s membership within the profession by the end of 2017.
  2. To launch an ERA campaign with a public meeting and panel discussion in the autumn of 2017.
  3. To publicise the ‘ERA 50:50’ campaign as widely as possible through social media and media outlets.

ERA strategy:

  1. To engage in productive dialogue regarding more employment of more female performers and offer / discuss solutions with writers, directors, producers, commissioners, and casting directors.


Further reading:


A message of support from #WakingTheFeminists: “#WakingTheFeminists is a grassroots movement calling for equality for women across the Irish theatre sector. We are proud to raise our voices alongside the women and men internationally who believe that fair and equal representation in the arts can only lead to a richer culture. As such, WTF stands in solidarity with Equal Representation for Actresses and supports their demand for equality for female performers.”

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