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Meet Jessica Gower: Celebrating Women in Screen Business

To commemorate International Women’s Day 2024, we’re putting the spotlight on our incredible Master of Arts Screen: Business (MASB) alumnae, highlighting their achievements, their perspectives on leadership in the screen industry, and the impact of education on their careers as screen business leaders. 

Jessica Gower co-founded Equoia in a mission to re-think screen production practices and reduce CO2 emissions in screen productions and entertainment, she has previously worked as an actor for 20 years in theatre, film and television. 

Tell us a little more about your current role or focus area.

I co-founded Equoia with Puven Pather to reduce the negative ecological impact of screen production. Equoia is a B2B rental company revolutionising mobile power by replacing inefficient, polluting, smelly, noisy diesel generators with a clean, silent mobile battery ecosystem transforming how screen productions are powered reducing cost, time, noise pollution and CO2e while increasing crew morale on set. We have successfully completed four pilot programs. These pilots validated the effectiveness of our technology, but also provided valuable insights into its real-world applications.  

How do you approach leadership in the screen industry, and what perspectives can you share about fostering inclusivity and gender equality within this sector?  

While I do not see myself as a traditional leader, the urgency of climate change has motivated me to step into new roles and spaces. In doing so, I’ve come to recognise the importance of fostering inclusivity and gender equality within the broader context of tackling environmental challenges. I firmly believe that it’s crucial for all of us, regardless of our perceived roles, to embrace leadership and push beyond our comfort zones. This inclusive approach is essential for contributing to the positive changes needed in the world. 

In honour of International Women’s Day, could you elaborate on what tools and mindset you draw on to challenge traditional gender norms and advocate for diverse voices and stories in the screen business?

Fostering an inclusive environment where everyone’s voice is heard is a core company value. To challenge traditional gender norms and promote diverse voices in the screen business, I actively advocate for inclusive decision-making and embrace diverse hiring practices. By prioritising inclusivity, I aim to contribute to building a more equitable and representative industry. 

Is there a female or female-identifying leader in the screen sector whose work you have found particularly inspiring?

Zena Harris of Green Spark Group stands out as an inspirational female leader in the sustainability screen sector. Her leadership has been a source of inspiration for me. Zena’s passion is evident in her efforts to revolutionise global film and television production toward sustainability. Her impactful work not only safeguards the environment and addresses climate change, but also advocates for improved practices that prioritise the health, safety, and well-being of production crews. 

Reflecting on your journey through the Master of Arts Screen: Business, how do see your leadership and the skills you developed advancing the screen industry?

Throughout the journey so far, I’ve seen the impact of ideas in my network, spurring both awareness and action. I’m committed to learning and enhancing my leadership skills, aiming for Equoia to lead positive change toward sustainability in screen production and to create screen entertainment with minimal impact on people and the planet. 

What leadership skills do you see as being essential for the next generation of screen leaders?

Strong values to stand for, a growth mindset, vulnerability, and courage to take responsibility for your actions and a willingness to re-set after failure. 

What advice would you give someone considering studying the Master of Arts Screen: Business?

It’s a high-level look at the screen ecosystem and screen business in Australia so I would encourage anyone thinking of studying the MASB to have a purpose and an outcome in mind at the beginning, so that you can walk away with something tangible at the end. Even if your ideas change and transform as you progress through the course, have your own curiosities to explore within this context.  

Read more interviews here. 


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Mid-Year Applications Now Open for the Master of Arts Screen: Business

Apply now for AFTRS’ Master of Arts Screen: Business, Australia’s foremost screen business program, and succeed as a leader in the screen business and media sector.

Link to
Master of Arts Screen: Business (Mid-Year)

Designed for a new generation of screen leaders, AFTRS’ Master of Arts Screen: Business is Australia’s foremost creative screen business course.

Link to
Mastering Leadership: Celebrating Women in Screen Business

This year International Women’s Day coincides with the launch of our Master of Arts Screen: Business (MASB) mid-year application window – a course that champions innovation and acceleration for current and future screen leaders.