Media Parents

Media Parents flexible working meeting : Bristol – who said what (1).

December 6, 2010 @ 8:53 pm Posted in Events, News Comments

In November Media Parents held a meeting in Bristol called “Can TV work more flexibly in the South West?”  Many employers and freelancers from across the South West gathered to have their say.   The overwhelming message of the evening?  If you want to work flexibly you’ve got to start by having the courage to ASK…

A full list of those attending can be found elsewhere on this blog: It's worth looking at the attendance list to see some of the employers who support flexible working, and some of the talent that wants to work flexibly. They can all be found at

Media Parents Director, Amy Walker :

“I hope we will be able to discuss the viability of flexible working from both a business and creative standpoint this evening, that we go away better informed and inspired to make positive changes. is all about flexible work that suits you – as a freelancer or as an employer. is a new jobs and social networking website which collects short-term contracts, part-time, job share and regular hours media jobs in one place so experienced talent can find them.

We all know the hair-raising stat about 5000 women leaving TV and 750 men over 3 years.  But that’s not the only one –  compare the percentage of people in the national workforce as a whole who are parents – 62%  - with industry norms for TV:

% of men in TV who are parents : 34% And women in TV who are parents: 21%

Media Parents are now largely considered to be a diversity group. Within a relatively short time, the Cultural Diversity Network has named working with Media Parents as one way to fulfil its Diversity Pledge – the one which Channel 4 has said companies must be signed up to or Channel 4 will no longer commission from them.   So please GET INVOLVED!”

Chris Hutchins (centre) Head of Talent for Factual and the NHU at BBC Bristol

Chris Hutchins, Head of Talent for Factual and the NHU at BBC Bristol : “Our workforce doesn’t reflect the diversity of our viewers – and that includes parents.  We NEED to change. I’m committed to making flexible working work here at the BBC and I will persuade my colleagues to get on board.”
Chris is the new head of talent at the NHU and BBC factual.  He’s been in the new post since September and was Series Producing before that.  He claims that most of his team does or has worked flexibly, and that he’s always encouraged this.  It makes people happier.
“Parents are better time managers and so very desirable employees.” Chris admits that this is easier to achieve on some projects more than others, especially within the NHU it’s possible though – it can be a good use of budget to have part time workers.  Chris’s own mother was an actress, so he’s familiar with the problems she had juggling care of him and his brother.
Chris is trying to convince other BBC departments that flexible working can work for the employer. If anyone feels the BBC isn’t getting it right, let him know.

COMING NEXT : Annie Warburton from Skillset and the Bristol Anchor Partnership speaks.

With thanks to Chris Hutchins and BBC Bristol for hosting, to Harriet Wallace, Kate Edwards, and Rachael Power for taking notes, and to Amy Organ for taking photos.

by Amy Walker

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