Women make up over half the US population, but when it comes to the film industry, they are underrepresented, stereotyped, and often hyper-sexualized.

To remedy the problems prevalent in the entertainment business, several organizations dedicated to women in film have taken the lead.

If you are a woman in the industry looking to build your career, then take advantage of women-centric organizations to form alliances. After all, there’s strength in numbers!

In this post, we’re going to introduce such organizations in the USA, Canada, Europe, and we’ll cover a few well-known international ones, too.

 

USA

1. Women in Film (WIF)

Founded in 1973

Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

WIF advocates for women working in front of and behind the camera. The organization aims to promote inclusivity and fairness in the industry.

Through research, media campaigns, and education, WIF plans to move closer to its objectives.

Membership benefits:

  • Annual financing intensive
  • Listing on the membership directory
  • Mentoring programs
  • Speaker and screening series
  • Special discounts for services, publications, and at WIF events
  • Production training program
  • Legal aid
  • Writing labs
  • Film finishing funds

Yearly membership plans:

  • Student member: $50
  • Associate member: $85
  • Career Member: $200
  • Executive Member: $500
  • Advocate Member: $1500

Membership is open to all screen industry professionals.

 

2. Women in Film and Video (WIFV)

Founded in 1979

Headquarters: Washington, DC

Women in Film and Video comprises nearly 40 chapters with more than 10,000 media professionals worldwide. The organization is one of the country’s major non-fiction film production centers and aims to support women in all areas of film, TV, and other multimedia outlets. To help women in entertainment make strides in their careers, WIFV provides opportunities for professional development and promotes equality.

Membership benefits:

  • Free or reduced admission to approximately 90 events each year
  • Discounted admission to a range of workshops and educational programs
  • Access to WIFV’s annual Media Job Fair
  • Opportunity to network with 1000+ media professionals
  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Additional perks, such as free movie passes.

Yearly membership plans:

  • Student: $60
  • Dual: $75
  • Professional: $135
  • Executive: $220
  • Basic corporate: $350
  • Sustaining corporate: $650
  • Premier corporate: $1000

For details, check out the WIFV’s membership PDF link.

 

3. New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT)

Founded in 1977

Headquarters: New York, NY

With over 15,000 members and a roster of over 50 programs and special events annually, NYWIFT has a lot to offer women in the entertainment industry. The organization advocates for equality and offers support to women at each stage of their careers.

To celebrate women in front of and behind the camera, NYWIFT organizes each year the Muse Awards and the Designing Women Awards.

Membership benefits:

  • Discounted/free NYWIFT program access
  • Access to grants and scholarships
  • Training and development programs
  • Free screenings
  • Access to membership directory and job board access
  • Health/well-being plans
  • Discounted gym and health club memberships
  • Financial planning consultation
  • Discounted Broadway and cinema tickets
  • Exclusive rates for location rentals
  • Discounted equipment rentals and production services
  • Discounted subscriptions to several trade publications, and more.

Yearly membership plans:

  • Regular: $185
  • Gold: $260
  • Platinum: $500
  • Leadership: $1,000

 

4. Women Make Movies (WMM)

Founded in 1972

Headquarters: New York, NY

Women Make Movies is a non-profit feminist social enterprise and distributor of independent films made for and by women (with special emphasis on women of color). Independent filmmakers from around the globe can submit their film to WMM if the two conditions are met:

  • A woman directed or co-directed the work submitted
  • The work’s subject matter should be a woman or should be about issues that are relevant to women.

WMM Production Assistance Program:

The specialized Program offers fiscal sponsorship, individualized consultations, workshops, networking, and more.

Program benefits:

  • Fiscal sponsorship
  • Fundraising and project consultations
  • Mentoring session
  • Online resources
  • Project listing to secure online donations via a secure server
  • Networking opportunities
  • Workshops and webinar discounts
  • Scheduled use of the conference room
  • Access to WMM distribution titles
  • Feedback submitted work
  • Social media support for your project

To check eligibility requirements for the program, visit this page.

 

5. Women in Comedy

Founded in 2015

Headquarters: Chicago, IL

Women in Comedy is a non-profit run by volunteers and is supported by donations. This organization seeks to aid women, minorities, and non-binary people in comedy and aims to advance the careers of women and girls in the field.

To join a program, volunteer, or inquire about an interview, contact them.

Benefits of joining:

  • Access to free or very low-cost resources
  • Safe rehearsal and performance spaces

 

6. Camp Reel Stories

Founded in 2013

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Reel Stories is a non-profit organization that offers seasonal programs designed to give young women the skills they need to develop, produce, and distribute stories using film, video, and other multimedia.

Camp Reel Stories offers virtual and in-person programs for youth and adults. You can also purchase pre-recorded courses and check out events and workshops.

 

7. Alliance for Women Film Composers 

Founded in 2014

Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

The organization has its roots in the USA but the database includes female composers — working in film, video games, TV, etc. — from different parts of the world.

The directory gives filmmakers a chance to discover new talent.

Membership benefits:

  • Access to events, workshops
  • Opportunity to attend festival brunches at Sundance and Tribeca
  • Networking opportunities.

Yearly membership plans:

  • Student: $30
  • Professional: $50
  • Supporting: $100

To see the specific benefits for each plan, check out the membership page.

 

8. Women In Media (WIM)

Founded in 2017

Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

Women In Media provides women, women-identifying, and non-binary above-and below-the-line workers opportunities to rise above in their careers. The aim is to minimize the gender imbalance in the industry through networking, professional development, and advocacy.

WIM also has an extensive database that producers can tap into to find crews. Visitors can search and find crew members with detailed profiles and IMDb links.

Membership benefits:

  • VIP access to special events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Professional development
  • Exclusive video content, and more

Membership plans:

  • Student: $45
  • Pro: $90
  • Supporting: $125
  • Executive: $250

 

9. Women Independent Producers (WIP)

Founded in 2016

Headquarters: New York, NY

WIP is a network of women producers that provides support, collaboration opportunities, and promotion to its members. The goal is to get more women-backed projects financed and distributed so the gender gap in Hollywood comes to a close.

Producers can also tap into the global database to find suitable talent for their projects.

Membership benefits:

  • Resource Sharing
  • Talent recommendations
  • Opportunities to collaborate and form partnerships with members
  • Masterclasses and workshops

Membership requirements:

  • At least one referral from a WIP, PGA, or NYWIFT member
  • Must be a producer
  • Must have at least one feature film or TV series produced and distributed and/or
  • Must have at least 10 years of experience working in a senior position within the entertainment and media industry

If you’re eligible and/or have been recommended for membership, complete the WIP membership form.

 

Canada

1. Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC)

Founded in 1997

Headquarters: North Vancouver, British Columbia

WIDC was formed as part of an initial collaboration among the Banff Centre,  and Women In Film and Television Vancouver. The organization offers creative and professional development to Canadian women who are mid-career directors of screen-based fiction.

Available programs (this year)

  • Career Advancement Module (CAM) – Online Edition
  • Story & Leadership

For details, visit WIDC’s Program page.

 

2. Women in Music Canada

Founded in 2014

Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario

Women in Music Canada is a non-profit working toward fostering gender equality in the Canadian music industry. The organization offers support, professional development opportunities, and other resources to female-identifying individuals at every stage of their careers.

If you’re interested, you can check out the website for resources regarding COVID-19, safer spaces, music funding organizations in Canada, mental health, and industry links.

 

Europe

EWA European Women’s Audiovisual Network

Founded in 2013

Headquarters: Strasbourg, France

EWA Network is dedicated to supporting women in audiovisual professions all across Europe.

Through the organization, women can take advantage of networking opportunities, career programs, workshops, and other knowledge resources.

Membership benefits:

  • Annual members meeting in Berlin with masterclasses and networking opportunities.
  • Access to programs including the Berlin Scriptwriter’s Residency and the Mentoring Programme for emerging Women Producers
  • Opportunity to network at festival events
  • Discounted access to consulting services offered by industry experts
  • Access to member directory and ability to create your own profile
  • Online hang-outs
  • Opportunity to find the right talent using the EWA network for your project using the notice board

Yearly membership plan: 50€

 

International

1. Women In Film & Television International (WIFTI)

Founded in the 1970s

Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

WIFTI was established to help women in entertainment to stand their ground in a male-dominated industry. The first WIF network (Women in Film LA) was established in Los Angeles. Now, there are WIFT-partner chapters on six continents. And they’re all working toward achieving gender balance in the industry.

For more information, find a chapter near you.

 

2. Women in Entertainment

Founded in 2015

Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

Women in Entertainment was established with the aim to bring together individuals from different areas of the entertainment industry to discuss topics that impact women. The organization tackles human rights issues, women empowerment and leadership, and more.

The annual Women in Entertainment Summit is a much-awaited event and is held each fall. It opens the stage to broader discussions and allows participants to analyze issues deeply.

To join, you’ll have to send the organization a message via their website.

 

That wraps up our list of the need-to-know organizations for women in entertainment. If you’d like more resources related to entertainment production, check out our website.

One thing is certain, though, if the media dictates the behavior of society, then organizations like this can empower women to take control of the narrative and incite positive change.

So check out your local organizations and connect with like-minded folks.