Senior Vice President of Programming and Multiplatform
Senior Vice President, Original Content & Corus Studios
W Network is dedicated to showcasing strong, diverse characters and women’s stories via Corus Studios’ series, hit television programming, Hallmark films, and more.
Achieving gender parity in any business isn’t possible without ample representation – women need to see what they can achieve. Especially in an industry that influences societal norms, it’s imperative that women in entertainment are seen working on screen and off.
There’s an ever-growing shift away from traditional film and TV storytelling, which for generations has largely been told through male perspectives. Well-rounded productions must include female-centred storylines that are created by women. Increased diversity draws in a more inclusive audience and makes the content itself is richer in quality.
Corus Entertainment’s Corus Studios is a leader in developing, producing and distributing high-calibre, women-focused, Canadian film and TV. The studio’s women-led original content team believes it’s the company’s responsibility to celebrate, empower, and continue to uplift the female narrative.
Entertainment for everyone
“On W Network, we’re always in pursuit of series with strong female characters on and off screen and diverse storytelling that our viewers want to come in for,” says Jennifer Abrams, Senior Vice President of Programming and Multiplatform. “Understanding our audience and purposefully acquiring content that reflect those needs of our audiences is our biggest focus.”
Prime examples of their efforts include Corus Studios distributed made-for-TV movies The Love Club and feature-length documentary Sex with Sue – these films are created by award-winning female directors, writers, and executive producers. The Love Club is helmed by a female-owned production company, and both the movies and the documentary feature strong female leads telling compelling women’s narratives. Plus, the diverse Hallmark Channel shows, movies, and programming events are designed to entertain women.
“Women are a crucial part of compelling story telling. Their perspective, lived experiences, and talent help fuel an inclusive narrative that resonates with viewers of all backgrounds and identities,” adds Lisa Godfrey, Senior Vice President of Original Content and Corus Studios. Corus Studios is committed to developing content that ensures representation is a reality through diverse characters and stories. As Lisa explains, “This is achieved, in part, by empowering women into leading roles both in front of and behind the camera. We are proud to have titles as part of our Corus Studios slate that are helmed by female executive producers and female series leads, including The Love Club, Sex with Sue, Styled, and Sarah’s Mountain Escape. This push underscores how we view our role and responsibility to uplift female voices.”
A more inclusive future
Intending to reflect Canada’s diversity, Corus is carrying out a strategic action plan to create and foster lasting solutions that’ll ensure ample opportunities for marginalized groups. “We will achieve gender parity in key creative roles for all big budget drama series by 2025,” Jennifer says. “Together, we will work with our production partners to train, hire, and promote women and persons from diverse communities and to work towards gender equity in all key creative roles.”
Diverse and female-focused perspectives, lived experiences, and talent are crucial to creating inclusive narratives that resonate with wide audiences. Corus is proudly producing Canadian-made content that is upheld and built by women, for women.