How Priyanka Chopra's production house creating a gender-neutral workplace
To tackle gender inequality in industry, Priyanka Chopra's production house encourages women to join workforce; promises them pay equity
Having noticed the gender inequality prevalent in Indian cinema, Priyanka Chopra and her mother Madhu Chopra have initiated changes in their production house, Purple Pebble Pictures. Insiders from the banner suggest that the duo is focusing on roping in more women artistes for their upcoming projects to create a gender-neutral workplace, with equal importance to pay parity.
In their bid to support pay equity, Priyanka Chopra's studio, Purple Pebble Pictures, has included a rider in the contracts of their artistes clearly stating that gender won't be one of the determining factors in their remuneration. Madhu Chopra asserts that the inclusion of women in the production house isn't restricted to direction or acting. "We have women story writers, directors and camera technicians. So in every aspect of filmmaking, we are encouraging women. Although I would reiterate that we give equal opportunity, there is a certain bias towards women at the moment because they are marginalised and we have to give them an additional push."
Dr Madhu Chopra
Ask her about pay equity and she says that they are creating a set-up where lead actors of projects will be paid at par, irrespective of their gender. "The pay scale is determined by the merit, qualification and talent. So there are different parameters, but gender is definitely not one of them. We believe in gender equality and that applies to remuneration too."
Priyanka is also keen on backing more women-oriented stories helmed by women filmmakers. While their recently wrapped-up film Firebrand has National Award winner Aruna Raje at the helm, the studio's last offering — the Sikkimese film Pahuna: The Little Visitors — was directed by Paakhi Tyrewala. Madhu adds, "Female-centric stories make the most impact on people. Everyone knows that women are strong enough to be talked about. The impact that I am expecting [from these developments] is that women will rise from where they have been put and walk shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts."