Women and self-employment: the case of television production workers in Britain

Shirley Dex and Colin Smith

in The gender dimension of social change

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9781861343321
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303824 | DOI:
Women and self-employment: the case of television production workers in Britain

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Since the early 1980s, massive changes have occurred in the contractual status of the industry workforce of British television. Estimates in the early 1990s suggested that sixty per cent of the workforce in British television were self-employed freelance or self-employed owners of small independent production companies. Since the 1970s, there has been a large growth in self-employment in Britain. Both women and men have seen an increase in this type of contractual working arrangement, although men have a larger number in this type of working arrangement than women. This chapter offers new insights into gender inequality over time as it is reflected in this growing form of employment status in the British economy. It explores the in- and out-of-work experiences of self-employed workers in television production in Britain in the 1990s. The chapter uses the data provided by the Television Industry Tracking Study (ITS), and examines some of the dynamic elements of employment experiences. The rest of the chapter summarises the research on self-employment based on cross-sectional data. The chapter then presents more details on the context of the changing structure of the television industry. It also discusses the models for employment continuity and the findings from modelling these elements of employment continuity of women and men working in the television industry.

Keywords: contractual status; British television; self-employed; self-employment; gender inequality; self-employed workers; television production; employment continuity

Chapter.  11071 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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