From my own experience, diversity in larger production companies and corporations only seems to happen by directive of a 'diversity program' or 'fellowship' - an award of sorts given by said organization to a filmmaker either in the form of work training, workshop-ing of a specific script, mentorship, and sometimes even actual funds to produce or complete a project. The problem however with these 'fellowships' is that they wind up being money-making machines more than filmmaker-making machines.
So do these programs and fellowships actually help women in the industry and create diversity? Or do they bankrupt and frustrate the few of us who spend the time to apply while filling the pockets of these organizations? I personally haven't heard any success stories.
I decided in the end not to submit to that particular fellowship because I can't afford to waste the money considering the small likelihood of being chosen. The sad part is that I imagine many other filmmakers like myself have had that same conversation. In a way, it's like playing the lottery except the chances of winning are somehow even slimmer (and the cost of playing even higher!)
Have any of you had a positive experience being a part of a Diversity Program or a Fellowship, or maybe have ideas about how we can diversify the industry better?
Let us hear about it!