SWAN members
COVID-19 impact 

In early May 2020, SWAN asked its 183 members to respond to an anonymous survey on how the COVID crisis impacted them.


21% of the active members answered. The sample is not large enough to be representative but we found it pertinent to share it within the SWAN members.The results are below. For a European vision of how COVID-19 impacted women in audiovisual, you can visit EWA, European Women's Audiovisual Network, survey here.

"Cinéma is about sharing emotions together in the same room... what if this room is almost empty because of sanitary new rules???"

Quick overview:

Income has decreased on average by 42% due to COVID-19 

35% of you are caregiving 

and have to devote a third of your time to this task.

60% of you think you will not be able to work in the same conditions are before.

Where do you reside?

Basel: 1

Berlin & Zürich: 1

Bern: 1

Geneva: 5

Kriens: 1

Lausanne: 5

Langenthal: 1

Madrid: 1

Neuchatel: 1

Reute: 1

Zürich: 20

Who answered ?


37 women and 1 man took part in our survey.
2/3rd has been working
more than 10 years in the sector ;
18% have been working for
less than 5 years.

  • 45% work in both public and private sector while 42% work only for the private sector

  • 18% are company owners

  • 34% are freelance

  • 23,7% are independent 

Your main activity is:

"High levels of stress and uncertainty. All sales & marketing activities cancelled. Efficiency dropped as no face to face meetings are possible."

What is the impact ?


The survey revealed that half of respondents are seriously affected, while their current work has often been postponed or cancelled with a steep drop of income and apprehension about the future. 

  • The average loss of income is  42% as a result of COVID-19's deep impact on the industry.

  • 35% are caregivers who have to devote a third of their time to this task.

  • Almost a 1/4 of company owners have employees affected by the situation.

  • 50% of you have seen work decrease.

  • 66% are very much concerned about a decrease of work because of the financial crisis as well as the inability to work due to child care.

Projects have been affected at all levels :


20 % had your projects cancelled, and 54% saw your projects postponed or put on hold.

"The current situation has forced me to reconsider my work entirely. In the future, I'll invest in on-line activities a little more."

Financial compensation & help


  • 23% of you didn't know where to turn for financial help

  • 50% of company owners had to seek unemployment support.

  • some did not yet know if you were going to need compensation. 

HOW TO HELP? You had ideas:

70% agreed that creating a dedicated and facilitated fund dedicated to women and minorities as well as loan with zero interest could be a solution, as well as tax relief for women and parental leave.

"The digital shift will affect us and will change our range of work for good. We are preparing for this."

Your inputs


58% are convinced that the audiovisual industry will be permanently affected.

16% of you think that shifting into streaming and digital distribution will be the most relevant alternative.

while 19% could imagine a positive impact meaning a more local therefore eco-friendly way of working and the opportunity to develop streaming platforms as a new and independent way and of income.

24% would like to see more transparency and data regarding public funding actually dedicated to women and minorities in Switzerland.

  • Following the first gender data collection study in Swiss film funding in 2015, initiated in part by SWAN founders, The Federal Office of Culture has been collecting gender data on national and regional film funds since 2016 and will continue to do so.

  • SWAN was also consulted on the new 2021-2024 Cultural Message which expands gender data collection in all cultural fields with the help of Pro-Helvetia.

  • On the footsteps of French Collectif 5050, SWAN initiated the first transparency and gender data collection in Film Festivals in Switzerland, at different levels (governing body, viewing committees, juries, films considered and final selection), with the SWAN Festival Parity Pledge. Following it, since 2020, Festivals sponsored by the Federal Office of Culture must now collect and report gender data on Films considered/Films selected)

1 person wished the survey would have included scholars and members of the audiovisual journalistic field. We will do so next time!

You also had suggestions on how SWAN could help you better :

More funding dedicated to women, more networking and special topics video-conferences.

Last but not least, most of you expressed a great level of satisfaction with regards to SWAN's efforts and overall work. Thank you!

SWAN's immediate response :
SWAN is putting together networking and special topics video-conferences

get together for members starting this June.

Interested? Register here.


"The government should have a broader support plan for the cultural sector and the cultural actors to make sure there is no talent loss and loss of professionnalisation."

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