After realizing that there was a lack of female directors at the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Entertainment President of NBC Jennifer Salke made the initiative in partnership with TV director Lesli Glatter to fix this problem. Salke and Glatter started the “Female Forward Program” in hopes of hiring and training more women episodic directors. The new program is set to begin during the 2018-19 season.
“There’s a huge drought of female directors and females across the board in our business,” Salke said. “And we were really determined, after the pilot season and after staffing directors for the first season, to do something actionable about that finally. It’s an honor to have a partner and advocate in the amazing Lesli Linka Glatter, who shares these ideal with us and has passionately acted as a mentor to other women throughout her career.”
Glatter and Salke are both well established in their fields. Glatter is arguably the most successful female drama episodic director in today’s entertainment industry; earning five Emmy nominations for shows like Homeland and Mad Men. She has been a mentor to other female directors like Holly Dale, a Canadian film director/producer. Salke is known for her strong relationships with creators and writers that have fostered some of the biggest scripted successes on NBC in year this includes the #1 new show “This Is Us,” which has earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Drama Series
Both women have a passion to create equality in an industry that lacks just that. “It shouldn’t be harder for our daughters to direct than for our sons. It should be an equal playing field,” Linka Glatter said.
Ten female directors will get the opportunity to shadow up to three episodes of an NBC series, followed by an in-season commitment to direct at least one episode of the series she shadows.