The Entrepreneurial Journey Towards Women's Empowerment: How Entrepreneurial Activity Can Empower Women in the British TV and Film Industry

Alexia Newland

Student thesis: Master thesis


Equality of opportunity is not a reality for women in the film industry. While the number of graduates from film schools, and universities in general, is gender balanced, women are notably underrepresented in the TV and film industry - a representation that further declines with seniority. A major underlying deterrent for women’s progression is the unconscious gender bias, which is created and perpetuated through systemic issues, preventing the industry from achieving gender equality. This thesis investigates an entrepreneurial approach as a means for women’s empowerment, and a potential route towards gender parity. In particular, the research examines how women’s entrepreneurial activity can generate opportunities for empowerment in the context of the British TV and film industry.
Based on a review of the literature on Gender Views, Women Empowerment, and Entrepreneurship, qualitative research was conducted through interviews with eleven female industry professionals. The analysis takes the reader through the entrepreneurial journeys undertaken by the filmmakers enabling them to progress in the industry. An interpretative analytical approach has led to several key findings. Firstly, entrepreneurial activity, the process of developing resources and seizing opportunities, can lead to women’s empowerment. Secondly, the act of improving one’s set of resources can aid the creation of the appropriate conditions for an opportunity to take place. Thirdly, gaining independence represents an essential step in becoming empowered. Finally, once a woman becomes empowered she is in a better position to generate opportunities for empowerment for other women. The study concludes that while governmental and/or institutional intervention is required to reduce the unconscious gender bias pervading the industry, entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in building women’s empowerment and in addressing the gender imbalance. Further research is required to investigate beyond the theoretical and into the practical context to effectively measure and evaluate the actual value of entrepreneurship in the empowerment of women in the film industry.

EducationsMSocSc in Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages106
SupervisorsStina Teilmann-Lock