It's always difficult to ascribe motives without either sounding conspiratorial or being accused of being so. It doesn't go without saying though that Norton branding being all over the materials in question, and the fact that this is released on, or about, International Women's Day, when any other day would have been fine, speaks for itself in terms of "using the day to draw attention to the issue [whilst raising brand awareness]". That must always be a
consequence of a 'brand' speaking to an issue (even KatsBits can be accused of this). The question is whether there's 'bad-faith' in their doing so, something that can only be speculated upon unless told otherwise by those involved.
With that said, and on its own, one might argue charitably. Taken as a whole however and the picture changes. For example a tweet from a training outlet (they train individuals in the film industry) showed up in KatsBits timeline stating "Women still only make up 23% of average film crew. We need far more girls in craft and tech roles
", the implication being that the low number represents some systemic oppression holding women back from gaining entrance into the industry, a position later confirmed - "Not that they don't want to. Girls often aren't aware of huge range of jobs available. Or they simply can't get in.
The problem with this is that whilst the statistic may very well be correct, their conclusion misrepresents a broader (and what appears to be a universal) truth; the numbers are low in technical fields because women choose different career paths in the industry
, a point backed up by the UK Governments own data; Creative Skillset survey for 2012 (last complete set based on ONS
data) has the breakdown for "Film" as follows (generally speaking); women comprise some 46%
of the UK film industry on the production side with 64%
being in business management, 47%
creative development, 41%
strategic management and 27%
art and design. From this it's possible to conclude women appear to gravitate towards jobs that involve dealing with other people
. This traditional preference weighs the conclusion that women are underrepresented "in film crew
" to be made, which is numerically true, whilst not accounting for over-representation in other quarters - if their general assertion were correct, that women suffer "systemic oppression
" and "simply can't get in
" (the implication they are being intentionally obstructed in some way), this would be seen across all sectors regardless, which is clearly and demonstrably false.
So are they being disingenuous? Yes, certainly. Are they misrepresenting the facts? Yes. Are they telling lies? No, at least not outright fabrications, as these would be easily falsifiable.
 Creative Skillset Employment Census of the Creative Media Industries 2012: "Overall, women in fi lm make up 46% of the total workforce compared to 36% of the creative media industries. Women in film production represented 64% of business management workforce, 47% of production, 46% of creative development, 41% of strategic management and 27% of art and design." [p.33]
 Women in STEM are subject to their own biases and locked in gendered thinking as they are influenced by external forces (for good or bad). Data across multiple disciplines and employment sectors carried out by various Institutes and policy initiative indicate women's own choices, prejudices and biases have a greater effect on careers choice/employment status, secondary to their perceptions of a given field.
- Why So Few - Woman in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics
- Women in academic STEM careers. A contribution from the Society of Biology to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee [p. 2].
- Institute for Public Policy Research. Women in engineering [p. 14].
- Iowa State University - STEM Development: A Study of 6th-12th Grade Girls' Interest and Confidence in Mathmatics and Science [pg. 32/33].