Winterson’s agency pledges to improve gender equality on its books
Acting agency Winterson's has pledged to improve gender equality on its books, as part of a new initiative to champion female talent in the industry.
The West End agency has committed to representing more women than men by the end of 2016 in a bid to eventually achieve a 50:50 balance in the number of male and female actors it represents.
Its website currently lists 82 performers: 28 women and 54 men.
Niki Winterson, the company's leading theatrical agent, said that during its five-year history, Winterson's had "gone with the grain of the industry", which is to take on more men than women, reflecting "the fairest way to operate in keeping with current trends, number of opportunities and demands of the industry".
"We're in a privileged position now, going into our fifth year, to be able to tackle the inequality of the sector, which remains a huge problem for women. As a growing agency, we have a real opportunity to make a stand. It's not about swapping one imbalance for another – it's about using our role within the wider ecosystem to help address the industry imbalance at large," she said.
Winterson's will be putting an emphasis on finding the next generation of female talent at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this month.
Trainee agent Faye Timby said Edinburgh provided a "huge pool of extremely talented female theatrical performers" who were ready to take the next step in their careers.
"We aim to be the champion of that mobility," she added.