YouTube takes steps to support female filmmakers
James R | On 04, Mar 2016
YouTube has announced two new initiatives to support female filmmaking talent.
The site has long been a place where female voices – as with all other voices – can express themselves and be heard.
Comedians such as GloZell have won large followings, beauty gurus such as Yuya have created new how-to videos from different corners of the world, and Gigi Gorgeous has been instrumental in opening up the conversation about being a transgender woman.
“Women on YouTube are diverse, creative, and bold,” says Danielle Tiedt, Chief Marketing Officer at YouTube.
However, issues such as GamerGate have also made it clear that the online community is not always an encouraging environment for female talent.
“It’s important to us that YouTube remains a place where everyone has the creative freedom to express themselves, their thoughts, and perspectives,” adds Tiedt.
And so the site has announced a new, year-long partnership with the United Nations that appoints top YouTube female creators as the very first Change Ambassadors for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Action campaign.
“Through the years, we’ve seen women on YouTube become beacons of inspiration to their fans. That’s why we’re so excited about this new partnership with the United Nations,” continues Tiedt.
The first group of women on YouTube to join the U.N. in advocating for gender equality as part of U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals are Ingrid Nilsen, Jackie Aina, Yuya, Taty Ferreira, Hayla Ghazal, Louise Pentland, and Chika Yoshida.
“This group of passionate female creators are brilliant role models on YouTube, and we can’t wait to see how they’ll work with the U.N. to inspire and activate their global fan communities as well as women and girls around the world.”
The second initiative is a global production program across the YouTube Spaces that puts women both in front of and behind the camera.
“An extraordinary community of women has also come together around our new global YouTube Spaces program over the last few months, creating new videos that put female voices in front of and behind the camera,” notes Tiedt. “Across our YouTube Spaces in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, New York, Sao Paulo, and Berlin, these female creators attended workshops and filmed over 50 videos on sets constructed specifically for this program. To help drive an atmosphere of collaboration throughout the program, six female creators including Anna Akana (US), Alexys Fleming (US), Julia Tolezano (Brazil), Em Ford (UK), Nilam Farooq (Germany) and Kuma Miki (Japan) acted as Creative Directors in their respective Spaces, helping mentor other creators who also participated in the global video shoots.”
From tributes honoring historical female leaders and original scripted content, to discussions about women in the workforce and other women’s issues, these new videos will begin rolling out today on the YouTube Spaces channel, as well as the creators’ own channels.
“YouTube has always been an open stage where anyone can share her story. We hope these new programs will inspire even more women to find their voices, create their own roles, scripts and stories, and advocate for the issues they care about,” concludes Tiedt.