2023 Celluloid Ceiling Report Reveals Persistent Gender Disparities in Hollywood

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie reigned supreme as the number one box office film in 2023.


In Hollywood’s 2023 box office triumphs, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie took center stage. Yet, amidst the celebration, the 26th annual Celluloid Ceiling Report by Dr. Martha M. Lauzen reveals a stark disparity: women directors accounted for a mere 16% on the 250 top-grossing films, down from 18% in 2022, and 14% on the 100 top films, up from 11% in 2022.

The Celluloid Ceiling Report unveils a disconcerting trend – 75% of top-grossing films featured 10 or more men in pivotal roles, while only 4% extended the same opportunities to women. Overall, women represented 22% of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers on the 250 top-grossing films, marking a 2 percentage point dip from 2022 and an overall increase of just 5 percentage points since 1998.


Breaking down the numbers by role, the study reveals that women fared best as producers (26%), followed by executive producers (24%), editors (21%), writers (17%), directors (16%), and cinematographers (7%).  A staggering 94% of top 250 films had no women cinematographers, while 86% lacked women composers, and 72% had no women editors.


In a positive note, films with at least one woman director exhibited more inclusive hiring practices, offering significantly more opportunities for women in key roles compared to films with exclusively male directors. For example, on films with at least one woman director, women comprised 35% of editors versus 18% on films with male directors.


26 years on, the majority of top-grossing films still fall short in gender representation behind the scenes. Lauzen’s comprehensive historical record emphasizes the need for increased gender diversity and equality within the film industry. 


Read the full Celluloid Ceiling Report here.