Status of Women in the Industry


Dear Producer has released the results of their first Producers Sustainability Survey. The in-depth report seeks to answer one main question: Is film producing a sustainable career, as it exists today? Dear Producer has attempted to take a snapshot of who makes up the producing community and what life is like for feature-length film producers working in the fiction and/or documentary space in 2020. The goal was to gather benchmark data on the state of independent film producing in the United States. The secondary goal was to use this data to advocate for producers in areas they identified as most important. Read more.




2019 Celluloid Ceiling Report: Study Finds Women Still Largely Underrepresented in Hollywood

A new report from San Diego State University (SDSU) finds that more than 10% of the directors on last year’s top films were women, which was more than twice as many as in 2018 and the highest number in over a decade. Dr. Martha Lauzen and the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film have released The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 100, 250, and 500 Films of 2019, and its findings once again show how progress has been made off-screen in terms of gender equality. Women comprised 20% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 100 (domestic) grossing films of 2019, up from 16% in 2018. Women accounted for 21% of individuals in these roles on the top 250 films, up slightly from 20% in 2018. Women made up 12% of directors working on the top 100 grossing films in 2019, up from 4% in 2018 (and 8% in 2017), and 13% on the top 250 films, up from 8% in 2018 (and 11% in 2017).  These figures represent recent historic highs. However, the percentage of women working as directors on the top 500 films declined slightly from 15% in 2018 to 14% in 2019. Read the full report.



DGA Reports Half of 2018-2019 TV Episodes Helmed by Female & Minority Directors
The DGA has released their new Episodic Television Director Inclusion Report for the 2018-2019 TV Season. This year, for the first time ever, female and minority TV directors have directed half of all episodic TV shows. According to the Directors Guild’s latest diversity report, that’s up from last year’s record high of 42.5%, and up from just 21% five years ago. Further breaking down the data in the table below, the percentage of episodes directed by women grew to a record 31%, more than doubling in the past five years; and the percentage of episodes helmed by directors of color rose to a new high of 27%, increasing more than 40% in the past five years. Read the full report


Boxed In: Women On Screen and Behind the Scenes in Television 2019
The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University has released the 2019 Boxed In: Women On Screen and Behind the Scenes in Television report. The study examines dramas, comedies, and reality programs appearing on the broadcast networks, basic and premium cable channels, and streaming services. In 2018-19, the percentages of female characters on screen and women working in key roles behind the scenes increased on television. Across broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms, female characters comprised 45% of all speaking characters, up from 40% in 2017-18. Behind the scenes, women accounted for 31% of all creators, directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and directors of photography. Read the report.



2019-2020 WGA TV Staffing Inclusion Report Card: Women and PoC continue to make gains
For years, the Writers Guild of America has called attention to discrimination in the entertainment industry. As part of that effort, the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has released this updated Inclusion Report Card with data from the 2019 TV Staffing Season. The report states that women and minorities showed slight gains in the 2019-2020 TV series staffing season compared to a year ago, despite disruptions in the hiring process caused during the 105-day standoff between the guild and Hollywood’s talent agencies. Read the report



Women’s Media Center Releases New Study on Women Representation in Sci-Fi and Superhero Films
A new study by the Women’s Media Center (WMC) in association with BBC America shows that 97 percent of science fiction and superhero films have been directed by men over the last 10 years. Titled SUPERPOWERING WOMEN in Science Fiction and Superhero Film: A 10-Year Investigation, this study is the second in a series of studies from Women’s Media Center in collaboration with BBC America highlighting the importance of representation. The past five years have seen “some improvement,” with females leading or co-leading 53 percent of superhero/sci-fi films, as compared to 2009-2013’s 36 percent. However, overall, 47 percent of the last five years’ films have featured solo male leads. Learn more. 


Thumbs Down Report 2019: Male Critics Still Outnumber Women Two to One
Dr. Martha Lauzen along with the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film have released their annual “Thumbs Down” report. First conducted in 2007, “Thumbs Down” is the longest running study of women’s representation and impact as film reviewers. The study accounts for critics working in all print, broadcast, and online outlets for Spring of 2019. This year’s report concludes that male film reviewers still outnumber women about two to one – as women only represent 34% of film reviewers in the U.S. as compared to last year’s 32%. Read the latest “Thumbs Down” report


Indie Women Report 2019: Behind the Scenes Employment of Women in Independent Film
Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, the executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, released the 2018-2019 Indie Women report in June 2019. Conducted since 2008, Indie Women is the only study that examines women’s behind-the-scenes representation on independently and domestically produced films screening at more than 20 high-profile festivals in the U.S., including SXSW, AFI, Sundance, and Tribeca.The percentages of women working as directors, writers, producers, executive producers, and editors on independent films reached historic highs in the 2018-2019 year. That said, independent films still employ more than twice as many men as women (68% vs. 32%) as directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers. Read the rest of the statistics


USC Annenberg: Increasing Inclusion in Animation Report 2019
The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in partnership with Women in Animation released a new report in June 2019 titled Increasing Inclusion in Animation: Investigating Opportunities, Challenges, and the Classroom to the C-Suite Pipeline. This study examines the state of inclusion for women in the animation business and is the first-ever investigation of its kind. In the past 12 years, only 3% of directors for animated movies were women, and just one, Kung Fu Panda 2’s Jennifer Yuh Nelson, was a woman of color. In addition, only 17% of the 120 top-grossing animated films from 2007 to 2018 had a female lead or co-lead, and just three of those movies boasted a woman of color as its protagonist. Read the full report


UCLA Releases 2019 Hollywood Diversity Report
Earlier this year, the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA released their 2019 Hollywood Diversity Report. Titled, “Old Story, New Beginning,” the report examined 12 different jobs among the creators, directors and top-billed cast of the top movies for 2017 as well as 1,316 broadcast television, cable and digital shows from the 2016 to 2017 programming season. See more.



Study: The Writers Guild of America West’s 2017-2018 Inclusion Report
A recent study conducted by The Writers Guild of America West found that inclusion in TV staffing for the 2017-2018 season displays discrimination in the industry on all levels. The study “WGAW Inclusion Report Card 2017-2018 TV Staffing Season” reports that between 2017-2018 there were 2,985 jobs staffed by writers for TV. And despite the U.S. population being 51% women, only 36% of TV writers jobs are held by women. The gap is even more expansive for people of color, who make up 39% of the U.S. population but only hold 27% of TV writer jobs. And for the 56.7 million Americans who identify as disabled, less than 1% make up all TV writers. Read the WGAW report


TTIE Survey: 64% of Diverse TV Writers Experience Discrimination on the Job

The Think Tank for Inclusion & Equity (TTIE) shared its’ findings from their first official project, “Behind- The-Scenes: The State of Inclusion and Equity in TV.” TTIE conducted a Survey in which 282 Diverse (individuals who identified as women, non-binary, people of color, LGBTQ+, and/or people with disabilities) TV Writers for the project. 64% percent of those surveyed have encountered bias, discrimination, or harassment by members of their writing staff. Fifty-eight percent say their agents emphasize their “otherness” while pitching them for jobs, and 42 % started in entertainment as a “Diversity Slot” hire. 34% of women/non-binary respondents were the only woman or only non-binary person on the writing staff at least once. 38% percent of writers with disabilities, 65% of POC writers, and 68% of LGBTQ+ writers also report being the “only one.” Read the full report.

The Influence of Female Lead Characters Links to Political Engagement

Based on a recent study done by assistant professor Jennifer Hoewe in Purdue University’s Brian Lamb School of Communications and Lindsey Sherrill, a doctoral candidate at the University of Alabama, watching political dramas with a female lead could increase political engagement and boost viewers’ outlooks on women in politics. The study, “The Influence of Female Lead Characters in Political TV Shows Links to Political Engagement”, examined 218 individuals who regularly watch Madam Secretary, The Good Wife, or Scandal. 71% of these individuals indicated that they identify as female and all three of these shows are political dramas that feature a female lead. Learn more.

The Geena Benchmark Report Shows Male Characters in Chidlren’s Media Outnumber Female Characters 2-to-1
The Geena Davis Institute conducted an analysis of the top 100 grossing animated and non-animated family films between 2007-2017, called The Geena Benchmark Report, which studied the gender, racial, sexuality, and disability disparities within protagonists of these films. Within the study as a whole, researchers discovered that male leads outnumber female leads two to one. Half of movie-goers are women and 51% of women populate the U.S., yet male characters in family films constitute 71.3% of leading roles. There has been a slight increase of female protagonists within the ten-year study with 30.1% of leads in 2017 compared to 23.8% from 2007. Learn more.

Number of Films with Women and People of Color in Leading Roles Hits Record High
According to a new study put forth by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, representation for women and people of color in top grossing films is higher than ever. The study examines leading and co-leading roles in the top 100 grossing movies of 2018 (as well as those from the preceding 11 years for comparison), in order to provide a glimpse of the breakdowns of leading characters in terms of gender and race/ethnicity. The study found that a total of 40 films featured a female lead or co-lead out of the top 100 in 2018, which represents an increase in 8 % from 2017 and 20 percent from 2007. Though this is the highest number of female-led films in the 12 years studied, the percentage is still notably lower than that of the female population of the United States (51%) and that of women who buy tickets to see movies in theaters (50%). Films featuring people of color in leading roles also saw gains this year, with a total of 28 films with an underrepresented lead or co-lead (up 7% from 2017 and 15% from 2007). Read the full study.

WMC Investigation 2019: Gender and Non-Acting Oscar Nominations
The Women’s Media Center’s (WMC) Investigation 2019 Report finds- again- that women are missing from among the non-acting Oscar nominations in the following categories: Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Original Score and Visual Effects. Only one woman was nominated in Best Animated Feature Film and the two writing categories. This means 75% of non-acting Oscar Nominees are men. Compared to last years Academy Award nominations, the total number of women nominees in non-acting categories were down for Best Picture, Best Director, Original Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, and Animated Feature. Categories of Adapted Screenplay, Documentary Short, Original Score, and Original Song remain changeless with no women non-acting nominations for the past two years. See the full details.

Sundance Institute’s Artist Demographics Reveal Some Progress, More Work to Be Done
A recent study put forth by Sundance Institute and USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative analyzes demographic data from submissions and acceptances to Sundance Film Festival and Sundance Institute’s Artist Support programs over the last two years. It reveals that while efforts for parity have been made, more work is needed. While the numbers have generally increased since the last study conducted in 2009, submissions by female directors are still under 50% in all festival sections. Read the full report.


“Honey, I Hid the Kids!” Shows the Impact Caregiving Has on Film Careers in Australia
WIFT Australia Raising Films Australia Screen Industry Survey report, “Honey, I Hid the Kids!: Experiences of Parents and Carers in the Australian Screen Industry” was released at the 2018 Adelaide Film Festival. The report reveals significant challenges to being a working parent or carer in the screen industry, with 74% of respondents reporting the impact of caring work on their role in the industry as negative. Experiences reported include people hiding the fact that they have children, people taking on more than a full-time load in order to survive, through to those who have had to leave the industry altogether, resulting in an industry-wide loss of knowledge and expertise. Read more.

DGA Report: Slight Increase in TV Episodes Directed by Women and People of Color
The percentage of TV episodes directed by women and people of color increased oh-so-slightly vs. last year, according to an annual study released in early October 2018 by the Directors Guild of America. As the DGA warned in their report, change is frustratingly slow. Despite efforts at several networks to improve representation among directors, the percentage of African-American directors was unchanged from last year, at 13 percent. Asian-American directors directed 6 percent of episodes, a small tick from 5 percent a year earlier. And Latinos directed just 5 percent of episodes, also a slow climb from 4 percent last year. All told, directors of color helmed 24 percent of all episodes last season, up only 2 percentage points from the previous year. The largest gain came from women, and even that was a relatively small climb. In the 2017-2018 TV season, females directed 25 percent of all episodes — an increase of 4 percentage points from 21 percent last year. Read more.

New BBC America + Women’s Media Center Study Says the World Needs More Female Superheroes
A new study called ‘Superpowering Girls’ conducted by BBC America and Women’s Media Center describes the representation in the sci/fi superhero genre and it’s affects on young girls. It was released Monday on the heels of New York Comic Con and the debut of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. It’s not a secret that this genre is predominantly made up of male characters, even today with Wonder Woman and Doctor Who. The gender gap on screen, according to the study, has a real world affect to even the youngest of audience members. Read more.

Boxed In Report: TV Representation Shows Little to No Improvement in 2018
Television continues to represent mostly men on screen and behind the scenes, an updated study finds. Now in its 21st year, Boxed In study, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University and headed up by executive director Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, provides the most comprehensive historical record of women’s representation and employment in television available. Overall, the numbers are down this year. Females comprised 40% of all speaking characters on dramas, comedies, and reality programs appearing on the broadcast networks, premium and basic cable channels, and on streaming services. This represents a decline of 2 percentage points from 42% in 2016-17. 68% of programs featured casts with more male than female characters in 2017-18. 11% had ensembles with equal numbers of female and male characters, and 21% featured casts with more female than male characters. Read the full report.

Women Shut Out of Major Non-Acting Primetime Emmy Nominations
A new report by the Women’s Media Center examining the 2018 Primetime Emmy nominations states that despite growing efforts working toward parity in the industry, men received 70% of the non-acting nominations, with 14 of the relevant 96 categories including no female nominees at all. Categories like directing, producing, writing, and editing were particularly male-dominated, with WMC reporting that women represented a mere 6% of total directors this year (compared to last year’s 10%), 20% of editors, and 31% of producers.

New DGA Study Shows Improvement
The Directors Guild of America has been known to press studios, networks and producers to be more inclusive in hiring for nearly four decades. These efforts include collective bargaining gains that require studios to run TV director diversity programs, ongoing meeting with studios, networks and individual series regarding their hiring records, and publishing reports that detail employer hiring trends. The DGA recently released a study sharing that the pool of first-time episodic TV directors ‘is more inclusive than ever.’ This pool, which includes women and minorities, shows an encouraging employment gain, setting record highs for the second year in a row. Read more.

Hollywood Has Made Basically No Progress in Onscreen Diversity, Study Finds
Despite recent efforts to change the status quo, Hollywood remains overwhelmingly white and male. In fact, according to a new study from USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, there has been no significant statistical improvement in the representation of women, people of color, LGBT characters, or characters with disability in film over the last decade.The study is a hotbed of disappointing statistics—indicating that the fight to diversify the industry both in front of and behind the camera is an uphill battle. The report, Inequality in 1,100 Popular Films, draws from the top 100 movies each year from 2007–2017. It found that, although women make up roughly half the population, they represented just 31.8% of speaking characters last year. Read more.


Gender Imbalance in Film Criticism Can Hurt Visibility of Female-Driven Films, Study Finds

Film criticism remains dominated by white male critics, yet another new study finds. Now in its second decade, the Thumbs Down: Film Critics and Gender, and Why it Matters study, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University and headed up by executive director Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, is the most comprehensive and longest-running study of women’s representation and impact as film reviewers available. One of their key findings immediately jumps out: male reviewers outnumber female reviewers 2 to 1. Some of the study’s other findings are particularly eye-opening, such as insights into the kind of films that other critics cover and the ways in which they write about them. Female film critics remain the minority in their field, but this latest look at the industry also finds that they are predominantly covering movies for and by women. Read more.


DGA Says, “Number Of Minority Film Directors Hit 5-Year Low Last Year, Down 46% Since 2013; Women Making Gains”
Saying that discrimination is “still rampant” in the film industry, the Directors Guild of America released its second report on Feature Film Diversity on June 21, 2018, which found that only 9.7% of live-action American films with box office takes of at least $250,000 were directed by minorities last year — a five-year low and a precipitous drop of 46% since 2013. Female directors fared considerably better than in recent years — up in numbers by 100% compared with 2013. According to the report, 22 women directed 12.2% of all feature films last year that grossed more than $250,000 — double the number from five years ago. But as a percentage of the population, they’re still more underrepresented than minority directors. Read the full report here.


Film Critics Even Less Diverse Than Films, Study Finds
For the first time, USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has turned its eye to critics, analyzing the gender and race/ethnicity of the authors behind every Rotten Tomatoes review of 2017’s 100 highest-grossing movies. Its new report, “Critic’s Choice?” finds that out of 19,559 reviews, 77.8% were written by men and 82% were written by white critics. White men wrote 63.9% of reviews, compared with 4.1% penned by women of color. More reviews were also written by white women (18.1%) than by men of color (13.8%). Read the report.



Female-dominated Hollywood Crafts Jobs See Gender Bias, According to New Study
A new report commissioned by IATSE, Local 871 shows certain female-dominated craft professions such as script supervisors and art department coordinators typically receive hundreds of dollars per week less than their counterparts in comparable male-dominated crafts. In addition, the report found that sexual harassment and other forms of gender bias are prevalent in these professions. The new report — titled “’Script Girls,’ Secretaries and Stereotypes: Gender Pay Equity on Film and Television Crews” — represents a wide range of below-the-line craftspeople who work on movie and TV sets. Read the report.


Indie Women Study: Behind the Scenes Employment of Women in Independent Film, 2017 – 2018
The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University released the new report, Indie Women: Behind the Scenes Employment of Women in Independent Film. Indie Women is the most comprehensive study of women’s behind-the-scenes employment on independent films available. Read the study.


New York Film Academy’s 2018 Gender Inequality Film Infographic
The New York Film Academy (NYFA) released its original Gender Inequality in Film infographic in 2013. Now, following the TIME’S UP™ movement and actress Frances McDormand’s impassioned call at the 90th Academy Awards for the industry to embrace Inclusion Riders, NYFA’s updated Gender Inequality in Film infographic presents research on gender in film from 2007 to 2017, from more than 40 sources and scholarly studies. “With all that’s happening in the film industry, the New York Film Academy hopes to contribute what we can to the conversation with this infographic. It can be used as a reference and an educational tool to raise further awareness and inspire leaders within the entertainment industry, and beyond,” explains NYFA Chair of Documentary Andrea Swift. “It is an accessible way to interact with key information to support the movement to reach 50/50 by 2020.” See more.


Hollywood Diversity Report Says Minority Groups Still “Woefully Underrepresented”
Despite the emergence of film and television series heralded for their diversity, such as Black Panther, Girls Trip, Atlanta and Black-ish, Darnell Hunt, sociologist and co-author of UCLA’s 2018 Hollywood Diversity Report, maintains little has changed both in front of and behind the camera. Hunt highlighted key trends of the five-year study that took place from 2012 to 2016, specifying how, despite the annual steady increase of the national minority population, representation in Hollywood remains disproportionate. The study, titled “Five Years of Progress and Missed Opportunities,” focused on 11 main arenas and their proportion of people of color and women in various film, broadcast, cable and digital sectors. Read the report.


Women’s Media Center Report Examines Gender and the 2018 Oscars Non-acting Nominations
A new study finds the number of women Oscar nominees grew only slightly in Academy Awards given for non-acting categories this year — despite a concerted push by women and their allies to achieve greater representation for females in all parts of the film industry. Men represent 77 percent of the nominees for behind-the-scenes roles, according to a report by the Women’s Media Center. The percentage of women barely inched up to 23 percent, from 20 percent last year, in the 19 major non-acting categories that feature writing, editing, producing, and directing roles. Read more.


2017 It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World Report Finds a Slight Increase in Representation of Women of Color, but a Decrease in Inclusion of Women Overall
The Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film has released this year’s It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World 2017 report. This study examines the representation and portrayal of female characters in the 100 top grossing films every year. This latest edition considers portrayals in 2017. Last year, females comprised 24% of protagonists in the 100 top grossing films, 37% of major characters, and 34% of all speaking characters (major and minor). This represents a decline of 5 percentage points from 29% in 2016. Read the study.


Celluloid Ceiling 2017 Report Shows Increase in Women Behind-the-Scenes Has Stagnated
The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University released their 2017 Celluloid Ceiling Report, a quantified study on the employment of women behind the scenes on the top 100, 250 and 500 domestic films of the year. The findings were not exactly inspiring: in fact, the study provided evidence that the increase in women working in film as directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers has actually stagnated. In 1998, women accounted for 17% of the above positions in the top 250 films, and in 2017 they still only accounted for 18%. There was an increase this year in the amount of women directing the top 250 films, going from 7% in 2016 up to 11%. But, that increase only puts us back on par with the year 2000, when women also accounted for 11% of top directors. In short, in the span of two decades, there were no significant losses or gains in terms of female employment in key roles on the top 250 films. Read the study.



DGA 2016-17 Episodic TV Director Diversity Report: Increase in Women and Minority Directors
On November 14, 2017, the Directors Guild of America released a report in which television series were analyzed based on the gender and minority status of the directors. The DGA’s annual report on the subject analyzed an all-time high of nearly 4,500 episodes produced in the 2016-2017 television
season, up from 4,061 episodes in the prior season. Summary of Findings: a) Employer Hiring of Women and Minority Directors Up in Record 2016-2017 TV Season and b) Results Mixed By Studio; Netflix Trailed Behind, Twentieth Century Fox Led the Way. Ethnic and gender diversity among episodic television directors continued to increase this past season, the Directors Guild of America reported today, with the percentage of episodes directed by ethnic minorities rising by 3 percentage points to a record 22% of all episodes, while the percentage directed by women went up 4 points to 21% of all episodes, another all-time high. Read the full report.


New Study on Race in the Writers’ Room Finds More Than 90% of TV Showrunners are White Men
A new study commissioned by Color of Change, “the nation’s largest online racial justice organization,” reveals in-depth how the racial dynamics of Hollywood TV writers’ rooms directly affects the portrayals of Black culture on screen. Written by Dr. Darnell Hunt, Dean of Social Sciences at UCLA and author of six iterations of the WGA’s “Hollywood Writers Report,” the study concluded that television networks and streaming companies are systematically “excluding or isolating Black writers in writers’ rooms and in the creative process…The ultimate result of this exclusion is the widespread reliance on Black stereotypes to drive Black character portrayals.” Read the full study.


GLAAD Study Finds Fewer Women & Black Characters on TV
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Entertainment Media Team released its annual “Where We Are on TV” study in October 2017. The Team not only works with entertainment-related media platforms to encourage fair, accurate, and inclusive representation of LGBTQ people, but also to combat problematic content and instances of defamation in these industries. The study concluded that “women and people of color still struggle for representation.” The amount of female series regulars on primetime scripted broadcast series has increased by roughly 1% but one of the largest underrepresented groups is still black women. There 69 female characters versus 111 male characters of color on these series and ultimately, there are still voices that need to be heard. Read more.


Cornell Labor Study Finds Several Issues Hurting New York Artists and Entertainers
The Worker Institute at Cornell University released a study in June 2017 for its New York State Projects division entitled “State of the Artist: Challenges to the New York State Arts & Entertainment Industry and its Workforce.” The NYS Projects division researches labor topics specifically for New York state; this particular study was funded by the state legislature. Written by Lois Spier Gray, Maria Figueroa and Jacob Barnes, the study aimed to identify challenges to the state’s arts and entertainment workforce, particularly when it comes to job security. The study concluded what many women working in film in NYC already know: “workers in the New York State arts & entertainment industry continue to face high rates of contingent and project-based employment, low average income, and inadequate employment protections,” inhibiting individual financial growth and thus the artist’s economic contribution to the state. New York artists and entertainers are three times as likely to be self-employed as the total state workforce. The prevalence of short-term work or self-employment within the New York arts and entertainment community combined with inadequate labor protections also increases the risk for wage theft and abuse of employees. And, the authors noted, the industry unfairly relies on unpaid internships and volunteer work done for experience, as opposed to paid entry-level work. All these factors together create an industry where workers have little to no social safety net. Read more.

DGA Study Shows “Record Gains” for First-Time Female TV Directors
A new Directors Guild of America report found that 32% of all first-time episodic TV directors (73 of 225 people) were women in the 2016-17 season. This is a large jump from last season, when only 38 first-time TV directors (24% of all first-timers) were women. There was also a marked increase in the amount of minority female first-time directors hired this season, rising from 6 in 2015-16 to 18 this season. The DGA reported that along with the increase in the proportion of women in the first-time director pool, the pool itself had expanded to match the explosion of episodic television series, thanks to online streaming. So, even though their proportion went down, the overall number of white men hired as first-time directors actually increased this year. Learn more.


Four Crucial Studies from the Center of Media and Social Impact at American University
In 2017 the Center of Media and Social Impact at American University released four studies: “Journey to the Academy Awards: A Decade of Race & Gender in Oscar-Shortlisted Documentaries (2008-2017),” “Diversity in Independent TV Documentaries: Is Public TV Different?” “The State of the Documentary Field: 2016 Survey of Documentary Industry Members,” and “American Realities on Public Television: Analysis of Independent Television Service’s Independent Documentaries, 2007-2016.” Read more.


2017 Boxed In Report shows “Modest but Pervasive Gains” for Women in Film and Television
For the last 20 years, Dr. Martha M. Lauzen’s Boxed In has tracked women’s representation in prime-time television. The project provides the most comprehensive historical record of women’s on-screen portrayals and behind-the-scenes employment available. The study examines dramas, comedies, and reality programs appearing on the broadcast networks, basic and premium cable channels, and streaming services. In 2016-17, women made modest but pervasive gains on screen and behind the scenes in television. The percentages of female characters increased slightly on broadcast network, cable, and streaming programs, and the percentages of women working in powerful behind-the-scenes roles increased slightly on cable and streaming programs. The findings indicate that streaming programs have now surpassed broadcast programs in terms of gender diversity, on screen and behind the scenes. This is especially interesting in light of Shonda Rhimes’ recent move from ABC to Netflix. See details.


USC Study on the Function of Female Characters in Film
In August 2017, the Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering released preliminary results of a study on the representation of gender, race, and age in a collection of about 1,000 films. Working with Professor Shrikanth Narayanan in the Department of Computer Science, four doctoral students quantified specific tone and sophistication of language with reference to three groups: gender, race, and age. They examined the language of 7,000 characters in over 53,000 dialogues in almost 1,000 scripts by logging the content and sophistication of a character’s language, as well as their interactions with gender, race, and age. One of the major goals of the study was to determine the extent to which female characters were essential to the plot of a given film. Read more.


New USC Anneberg Study: Inequality in 900 Popular Films
Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the Media, Diversity & Social Change (MDSC) Initiative at USC Annenberg announced their newest study, entitled Inequality in 900 Popular Films. The study, released July 31, 2017, reveals how little top-grossing movies have changed when it comes to the on screen prevalence and portrayal of females, underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, the LGBT community, and individuals with disabilities. The study is the largest and most comprehensive intersectional analysis of characters in motion picture content to date. A few key takeaways from the investigation of 900 top films from 2007 to 2016 (excluding 2011) and 39,788 characters: less than one-third of speaking characters on screen from all 9 years were girls/women, including just 31.4% of characters in the 100 top movies of 2016; characters from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups were 29.2% of all characters in the top-grossing films of 2016, which is not different from 2015; LGBT-identified characters represented 1.1% of all speaking characters, a percentage not different from 2015; and characters with disabilities filled only 2.7% of all speaking roles, which is not different from last year. Read the full study.


Women in Independent Film Report on Behind-the-Scenes Employment in 2016-17 Films
Dr. Martha M. Lauren, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, has published the latest Women in Independent Film report. Women in Independent Film is the most comprehensive study of women’s behind-the-scenes employment on independent films available. The study considers 10,943 credits on 1,472 films in 2016-17, and over 59,000 credits on more than 6,000 films over the period of 2008 to 2017. Read the full study.


The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2017 – Women’s Media Center Report
According to a new study released by the Women’s Media Center on March 22nd, 2017, the number of women in behind- the- scenes roles has decreased significantly, matching the levels of female involvement in 1998. The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2017 states that in the 250 top-grossing domestic films of 2015-16, only 17% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers combined were female. That rate was 2 percentage points lower than that of 2014-15 and equal to 1998. The study also takes an in-depth look at related fields including TV network news; traditional print and online-only journalism; sports journalism; radio, television and multi-platform journalism; tech, social media and gaming; and more. Importantly, the WMC also offers a roadmap with guidance for media leaders looking to cultivate parity. Men still dominate media across all platforms—television, newspapers, online and wires—with change coming only incrementally. Women are not equal partners in telling the story, nor are they equal partners in sourcing and interpreting what and who is important in the story. Read the full study.


New Technology Helps to Uncover Gender Disparity in Film
The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has teamed up with Google machine learning engineer Hartwig Adam, USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering’s Dr. Shri Narayanan, the Niki & C. L. Max Nikias Chair in Engineering, and his SAIL Laboratory, to create the Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ), to create a new software that can measure how long we see and hear women on screen. The GD-IQ scans a film in real time, distinguishing the gender of every person on screen and measures to a fraction of a second how long each person spoke and how long they were on screen for, and then separate this information based on gender. Furthermore, the GD-IQ utilizes the emerging form of programing known as “machine learning,” in which the software learns to perform this action with ever increasing precision over time, in order to insure the precision of the research the software produces. See details.


Diversity in Hollywood: A Work in Progress According to New Study
Women and minorities have made modest gains in front of and behind the camera but remain significantly underrepresented as leading actors in films, as TV show creators, as writers and just about every part of the entertainment industry, according to a report that was issued on February 21st by UCLA.The “2017 Hollywood Diversity Report,” released by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, analyzed 168 theatrical films released in 2015 and more than 1,200 television programs released during the 2014-15 season on broadcast, cable, digital and via syndication. Read the full study.


Women and Leadership: A Study of Gender Parity and Diversity in Canada’s Screen Industries
The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) released a study in January 2017, Women and Leadership: A Study of Gender Parity and Diversity in Canada’s Screen Industries, which found that almost 90% of women in screen-based media report gender-based obstacles to advancing their career. In the US, the percentages of women that succeed in various entertainment professions are the same as in Canada and other parts of the world: women have more advancement opportunities when they are working on television dramas; on OTT streaming television media such as Netflix; and when they work as writers (more so than as directors) in all types of media. However, even in the most gender-balanced fields, women never make up more than 30% of the profession. Read the study.


Women’s Media Center Report Shows Only 20% of 2017 Oscar Nominees in Non-Acting Categories are Women
This year only 20 percent of non-acting Oscar nominees are women, according to a recent report by the Women’s Media Center; which is two percentage points below last year. Women were not nominated at all for director, cinematography, or original screenplay. In the last decade women were only recognized in 19 percent of all non-acting Oscar nominations. Nine of the producers nominated for best picture were women – which is the largest number of women represented in any single category. Women also made up almost 75 percent of the costume design nominations. Read the report.



Female Film Protagonists Reach An All Time High in 2016, Up 7% From 2015
A new study released by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University on February 21st has found that last year more female actors took center stage in films. According to the study, called “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World” written by Dr. Martha Lauzen, women comprised 29% of protagonists in the 100 top-grossing films of 2016. This figure represents a recent historical high, and a 7% increase from 2015. Female actors accounted for 37% of major characters, a 3% increase from 2015. The percentage of female characters in speaking roles (both major and minor) stayed basically the same, at 32%, only a 1% decrease from 2015. Read the study.


The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 100, 250, and 500 Films of 2016
In 2016, women comprised 17% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents a decline of 2 percentage points from last year and is even with the percentage achieved in 1998. Women accounted for 7% of directors, down 2 percentage points from 9% in 2015 and 1998. Last year, 92% of films had no female directors. In other roles, women comprised 13% of writers, 17% of executive producers, 24% of producers, 17% of editors, and 5% of cinematographers. The 2016 study also found that only 3% of composers working on the top 250 films were women. Read the report.


Who Talks? Shows Women Analysts Missing from Primetime Convention Cable News Coverage
Gina Glantz, founder of, Rutger’s University Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) and the Women’s Media Center created a project called Who Talks? that monitors gender balance in election coverage. During the conventions, Who Talks? tracked daily coverage and found that when combining both conventions, CNN had the best showing of female analysts (including hosts, guests and substitute hosts) with just 37 percent, followed by MSNBC with 29 percent and FOX with 27 percent. Even as viewers witnessed history with the nomination of the first female presidential nominee, Who Talks? shows women analysts were missing from primetime convention cable news coverage during both the Republican and Democratic conventions. See the full study.

Thumbs Down 2016: Top Film Critics and Gender
Dr. Martha Lauzen, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, published a new study on film critics and gender. This report considers 5,776 reviews written by 247 “top critics” on the popular film review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes, during spring 2016 and examines the representation of women and men as film critics. In spring 2016, Dr. Lauzen’s study found that the majority of film critics were men. Women made up 27% while men made up 73% of Rotten Tomato “top critic” individuals. Men also outnumber women regardless of the job title category considered: men comprised 87% of contributors, 75% of freelancers, 74% of film critics, and 72% of individuals with other professional titles. Individuals writing about film for trade publications were made up of 80% men and 20% women. Similarly, men accounted for 71% while women accounted for 29% of those writing about film for large U.S. newspapers. Whether it’s the job title or the type of publication, the study shows that women are underrepresented as film critics.


Study of Gender & Emmy Nominations
The Women’s Media Center released a 10-year review of gender and Emmy Award nominations. Men continue to dominate in all behind-the-camera categories. See the infographic here.


Gender Inequality in the UK Film Industry
A new study conducted by the Stephen Follows Film Data and Education Blog called Cut out of the Picture: A Study of Gender Equality amongst Film Directors in the UK Film Industry  investigates the extreme disparities in jobs, opportunities, funding for women in the UK film industry. According to the study, from a total 2,591 films released between 2005 and 2014, inclusively made in the UK, just 13.6% of working film directors were women. In 2005, 11.3% of UK films had a female director but by 2014 this had only increased to 11.9%. As seen in the graph below, the article illustrates the lack of women in a number of creative positions- Of the main key head of department roles, only two had greater than 50% female representation with the rest ranging between 6% and 31%. In many film schools, the presence of male and female film studies are equal, but the disparity of roles grew from after graduation and in the following years in the industry.


Where Are The Women Directors? Report on Gender Equality in the European Film Industry

A study conducted by the European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA) titled Where Are The Women Directors? Report on Gender Equality in the European Film Industry discusses the growing concern worldwide about the marginalization of female directors in our film culture and aims to provide evidence to inform policy change at a national and European level. The report calls for affirmative action to change the status quo, and based on the results of national reports covering the period 2006-2013, EWA proposes several policies for change around three key stages in women’s professional development. These three key stages being: preparing the ground in school education, encouraging women directors into the industry, and sustaining women’s careers through targeted strategies.


Women in Independent Film Report Shows Stagnation in Hiring
The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, led by Executive Director Dr. Martha Lauzen, has released a new study title “Women In Independent Film,” which demonstrates that though women directors fared better in the independent realm than with major studios this year, the percentage of women behind the camera is “stagnant.” According to the report, women account for 28% of all directors working in indie film during the past year, a five-point increase over 2014-15 and slightly below the historical high of 29% in 2011-12. Additionally, women make up 35% of documentary directors and 19% of narrative features.


Film Dialogue From 2,000 Screenplays Broken Down By Gender and Age
 A recent article from Polygraph entitled “Film Dialogue From 2,000 Screenplays Broken Down By Gender and Age” uses interactive infographics to confirm that Hollywood films are predominantly about white men using interactive infographics. The creators of this in-depth article wanted to compile more data to back up the rhetoric that most films feature white men and answers to questions like how many movies are actually about men? How do different genres, the film’s era, or box-office revenue influence representation? What circumstances help films achieve more diversity? Polygraph set about compiling the number of lines for male and female characters from approximately 2,000 different films’ screenplays. See the results.


WMC Releases 10-Year Review of Oscar Nominations & Gender
Women’s Media Center has released a 10 year study of gender and Oscar nominations. From 2006-2015, nominations of women accounted for just 19% of all non-acting nominations (327 women compared to 1,387 men). The Oscars, awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the largest and best-known organization of film professionals, offer prestige and high-profile recognition to their winners and their nominees. The lack of representation of women among Oscar nominees over the last decade both demonstrates and contributes to women’s under-representation in behind-the-scenes roles in film—particularly those with the greatest decision-making power.


Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity (CARD)
USC Annenberg’s Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative released the Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity (CARD), a groundbreaking study on inclusivity in entertainment. The study analyzes inclusion in front of and behind the camera at ten major media companies (Sony, CBS, Hulu, Amazon, 21st Century Fox, etc.), focusing on films from major studios released in 2014 and prime-time, first-run, scripted series on broadcast, cable, and premium channels, as well as streaming services, from September 2014-August 2015. In the end, 109 films and 305 broadcast, cable, and digital series were included. The emphasis was on speaking characters (role, demographics, domesticity, and sexuality); gender of directors and writers; race and ethnicity of directors; and gender of high level executives. The goal: to arm media businesses with information they can use to improve their casting and hiring processes. The study was authored by Stacy L. Smith, PhD, Marc Choueiti, and Katherine Pieper, PhD, with assistance from Ariana Case and Artur Tofan.


It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: Portrayals of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2015
It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World, Dr. Martha Lauzen’s latest study, analyzes women in the top 100 domestic grossing films of 2015. For this report, Lauzen focuses on the percentages of female and male characters, characters’ demographic traits, and the relationship between on-screen female representation and the representation of women involved behind the camera. Dr. Lauzen has found that only 22% of protagonists in the top 100 domestic grossing films were women. Only 33% of the speaking roles in the top 100 included women, and only 18% of antagonists were women. Lauzen has also found the ethnic and racial diversity of female characters has remained unchanged with 76% of all female characters being white, 13% black, 4% Latina, 3% Asian, 2% other worldly, and 2% other.


The Hollywood Reporter‘s Film Studio Scorecard: How much diversity is there in the Big Six?
In the middle of ongoing pressure on the film industry to embrace gender and racial inclusion, The Hollywood Reporter has published a diversity scorecard for the decision-makers at the major studios. THR notes that women as a group are better represented than people of color among the listed executives. However, it is important to note that no woman leads a studio at the very top of the pyramid. And only two of the 17 female high profile decision makers who made the cut are women of color. Perhaps most egregiously, in a city where nearly half of the populace is Latino (47.5% according to a 2005-2009 survey), no Hispanics are represented in the scorecard.


Researchers have found a major problem with The Little Mermaid and other Disney movies
Linguists Carmen Fought and Karen Eisenhauer have been working on a project to analyze all the dialogue from the Disney princess franchise. The research, published recently on The Washington Post, demonstrates how films like The Little Mermaid represented a backward step in the princess genre.




The Women of Hollywood Speak Out
The New York Times Magazine recently published “The Women of Hollywood Speak Out,”which addresses the struggle it has been for women to create a name for themselves in the entertainment industry. The article, penned by Maureen Dowd, features interviews from several of the entertainment industry’s top woman directors, show runners and executives. Shonda Rhimes, Lena Dunham, and Kathleen Kennedy were a few of the women interviewed that weighed in on what seems to be the industry’s fear of having more women in charge.


DGA Feature Film Diversity Report: Only 6.4% of Directors Are Women
The Directors Guild of America’s inaugural Feature Film Diversity Report, released December 9th, found that only 6.4% of feature film directors in 2013 and 2014 were women, and 1.3% were minority women. The study also found that the percentage of women directors was significantly lower for films that made over $10 million at the box office: below this marker, 11.6% of directors were women, and above, the percentage dropped to 3.1%.


Women and the Big Picture: Behind-the-Scenes Employment on the Top 700 Films of 2014
Dr. Martha Lauzen’s latest study, Women and the Big Picture, is the first study to track women’s behind-the-scenes employment on the top 700 theatrical released films (foreign films omitted) in a single year. The findings indicate that films with women directors (as well as those with at least one-third female executive producers and producers) employed substantially higher percentages of women in other key behind-the-scenes roles. For example, on films with female directors, women comprised 52% of writers. In contrast, on films with exclusively male directors, women accounted for just 8% of writers.


Sundance Institute & Women In Film LA Launch Female Filmmakers Initiative
This landmark study, authored by Cathy Schulman (President, Women in Film Los Angeles), Kirsten Schaffer (Executive Director, Women in Film Los Angeles), Keri Putnam (Executive Director, Sundance Institute) and Caroline Libresco (Director, Special Project & Senior Programmer, Sundance Institute) analyzes the obstacles facing women in American independent film. The third phase of this project uncovers how female directors fare after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. The study concluded some interesting things: for example, the director gender gap is most noticeable in top-grossing films. Across 1,300 top-grossing films from 2002 to 2014, only 4.1 percent of all directors were female.


Women’s Media Center’s Emmy’s Gender Study Shows Lack in Women Nominees
After concluding a 10-year gender study, the Women’s Media Center has found that women have received only 22% of the nominations for Primetime Emmy’s in writing, directing, producing and editing. At the most recent Emmy Awards, which aired on September 20, 2015, only 25% of nominees were women. WMC found that the problem stems from women not being hired for behind-the-scenes positions in the first place. Women must be present in the industry in order to be influential power players.


Boxed In Study Shows Women Execs are Key to Female Hires
Dr. Martha Lauzen’s latest study of female employment in television reveals that when women are in charge, more women get hired within the industry. Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, found that there is a correlation between shows that had a least one woman creator or exec producer and the level of female representation throughout the production. For example, During the 2014-15 season, 32% of writers were female on shows with a female exec producer, compared to 8% on shows with only male exec producers.


DGA Study Tracks Diversity in Hiring of Episodic Directors

study conducted by the Directors Guild of America analyzing over 3,900 TV shows in the 2014-2015 season shows that women directors represented 16% of all episodic directors for broadcast, cable, and internet-based web series. The numbers show an overall positive trend, citing a 14% increase in women TV directors and a 20% year-over-year growth. This could be due, in part, to the increase of TV episodes aired over the past year; the 3,910 episodes produced yielded an increase in job opportunities for women and minorities alike.


New USC Study Finds Minimal Growth for Women Characters in Feature Films
The University of Southern California at Annenberg’s Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative has published a seven-year analysis of the gender, ethnic and sexual diversity of characters in feature films from 2007 through 2014. The study also examines people behind the camera, including content creators such as directors, producers, and writers, among others. This study is the most comprehensive analysis of diversity in recent popular films ever conducted, bringing together data assessing gender, race/ethnicity, and LGBT status in the top 100 movies of each year. The study reveals a complete picture of Hollywood’s indisputable bias against featuring females, people of color, and LGBT characters on screen.


Sundance Institute and Women in Film LA Unveil Groundbreaking Study on Women Directors
Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles, co-founders of the Female Filmmakers Initiative, unveiled Phase III of their groundbreaking study that reveals the barriers and opportunities in the careers of women narrative film directors after premiering a film at the Sundance Film Festival (SFF). The results from this study, authored by Dr. Stacy L. Smith of USC’s Annenberg School, demonstrate that women directors set out on a course that confirms and triggers a stereotype that may affect the deals they make and the opportunities they are offered.


UCLA 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report: Flipping the Script
recent study by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA finds that while an increasingly diverse TV, film and new media audience prefers diverse programming, women and minorities remain underrepresented both in front of and behind the camera.

2015 WGA Report: Women, Minority and Older TV Writers Lose Traction
This study from the Writers Guild of America shows that employment for women, minority and older (over age 50) writers decreased in 2013-2014. Employment of women writers fell 5%, from 30.5% to 29%. While it is the showrunners and executive producers who do the majority of the hiring, it is the networks who hire the showrunners; minorities held only 5.5% of those jobs last season, down from 7.8% two years earlier. The lack of diversity at the beginning of the hiring process likely ensures the lack of diversity at the end of it.



It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: On-Screen Representations of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2014
By Martha Lauzen
This study examines on-screen representations of female characters in the top 100 grossing films of 2014. The number of female protagonists in 2014 was actually 4 percentage points lower than it was in 2002. However, in films with at least one woman director and/or writer, female representation was slightly better. Still, female characters remained heavily stereotyped throughout.


2014 Celluloid Ceiling Report
By Martha Lauzen
The results of this study drive home the point that men continue to construct the vast majority of the visual and aural worlds featured in U.S. films. Last year, women comprised 17% of individuals working as directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers on the top 250 (domestic) grossing films. In 2014, there were less female-directed films than in 1998.


Gender within Film Crews
By Stephen Follows
A study of the gender split in the 2,000 highest grossing films (1994-2013) found that only 22.6% of all crew members were female. During the last 20 years, Tina Fey’s ‘Mean Girls’ had the highest percentage of women on its crew (42%).


Independent Women: Behind-the-Scenes Employment on Festival Films in 2013-14
By Martha M. Lauzen

A recent study sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, San Diego State University.


French Study Reveals Wide Gender Pay Gap
By Melanie Goodfellow
recent study by the National Cinema Centre looks at various aspects of female leadership and employment in French filmmaking. The study found a “gender pay chasm” with directors, production managers and many other roles.


It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: On-Screen Representations of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2013
By Martha M. Lauzen
Female characters remain dramatically under-represented as protagonists, major characters, and speaking (major and minor) characters in the top grossing films of 2013. The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego University takes a closer look.




Gender Inequality in Film: NYFA Infographic
By Nicholas Zurko for the New York Film Academy
A glimpse into the state of women in film compiled from data regarding the top 500 films from 2007 to 2012. Researchers noted the visibility of some female trailblazers in terms of directing, producing and acting, but found that the gender disparity was still dramatic. Full Story.



Celluloid Ceiling 2013 Report
By Martha M. Lauzen
Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2013: the Celluloid Ceilingis the longest-running and most comprehensive study of women’s behind-the-scenes employment in film. This annual study is sponsored and conducted by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego University.


Gender @ the Movies: On-Line Film Critics and Criticism
By Martha Lauzen
Martha Lauzen has released a new study that examines over 2,000 reviews penned by 145 writers designated as “top critics” on the film review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes over a two-month period in the spring of 2013. Men continue to dominate as film critics accounting for 78% of top critics and writing 82% of reviews. The critics — whether by accident or design — tend to gravitate to films directed and written by individuals of their own sex. Full Story.


Hollywood Pipeline: Still a Pipe Dream for Women?
By Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Martha M. Lauzen, Huffington Post, 2/22/2013
“Have we ever questioned what constitutes the pipeline for women working in film? Where does it begin? Is the launch pad graduation from top film and television schools across the country? Success with independent features? Short films?” Full story.


Sundance, the Oscars and the Decline of Film Criticism—Not Just a Lady Problem
By Roya Rastegar, The Nation, 2/22/2013
“Critics almost exclusively eviscerated the feature films directed by women that premiered at Sundance this year.” Full story.




Why Women ­in Hollywood Can’t Get Film Financing
By Lauren Sandler, Bloomberg, 2/21/2013
“Director Jill Soloway says the system won’t change until complicated “women’s films” are supported by ticket sales, not just festival juries.” Full story.


2013 STUDY: The Status of Women in the U.S. Media
By Diana Mitsu Klos, Women’s Media Center
“With females making up 51 percent of the U.S. population, there are business, societal and cultural imperatives that demand gender equality and equal participation. Diversifying the media landscape is critical to the health of our democracy.” Full study (PDF).


2013 STUDY: Exploring the Barriers and Opportunities for Independent Women Filmmakers
Research by Stacy L. Smith, Ph.D., Katherine Pieper, Ph.D. and Marc Choueiti
The study, commissioned by Sundance Institute and Women In Film Los Angeles, is a first-of-its-kind research study examining gender disparity in American independent film. Full study (PDF).



2012 STUDY: The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2012
By Martha M. Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, SDSU
“In 2012, women comprised 18% of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers. This represents no change from 2011 and an increase of 1 percentage point from 1998.” Full study (PDF).



The Surge of Women at Sundance—And What it Means For Filmmaking
By Sharon Waxman, The Wrap, 1/20/2013
“Sex is always a big topic at Sundance, but this year it come from the women’s perspective. That’s because for the first time Sundance has an equal number of women as men directors in competition—eight—with more than a dozen other women directors in other sections of the festival.” Full story.




2012 STUDY: The Status of Women in the U.S. Media
By Robin H. Pugh Yi, Ph.D and Craig T. Dearfield, M.A., Women’s Media Center
This report provides a broad overview of the status of women in U.S. media at the beginning of 2012. Full study (PDF).



DGA’s Grim Stats on Director Diversity in Television: ‘Our Industry Has to Do Better’
By Sophia Savage,, 9/27/2012
“‘We just don’t know anybody,’ doesn’t cut it anymore—the pool of talented and experienced women and minority directors grows every year, and too many of these qualified, capable directors are still overlooked.” Full story.



2012 STUDY: Boxed-In: Employment of Behind-the-Scenes Women in the 2011-12 Prime-time Television Season
By Martha M. Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, SDSU
Last season, women accounted for 26% of creators and 25% of executive producers, new historical highs. The percentage of women writers rebounded to 30%, up from 15% in 2010-11. However, the percentages of women working as directors, editors, and directors of photography remain low. Full study (PDF).



Study: We Benefit From Seeing Strong Women on TV
By Lindsay Abrams,, 8/31/2012
“It was the depiction of female characters, and not sexual violence per se, that appeared to influence audiences’ emotional reactions and attitudes toward women. Positive female characters were in some ways able to negate the effects of degrading content.” Full story.



2012 STUDY: Independent Women: Behind-the-Scenes Representation on Festival Films
By Martha M. Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, SDSU
“Women are more likely to work as directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers on documentaries than on narrative features screening at high-profile film festivals in the United States…This difference is especially pronounced in the directing role…The percentage of women directing independently produced documentaries (39%) is stunning when compared to the percentage of women directing top grossing films in 2011 (5%).” Full study (PDF).



How Can Women Gain Influence in Hollywood?
The New York Times, 8/14/2012
Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood helped curate this forum that includes filmmakers, academics and executives. Full story.





2011 STUDY: It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: On-Screen Representations of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2011
By Martha M. Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, SDSU
The study reveals that females comprised 33% of all characters in 2011, up from 28% in 2002. However, the percentage of female protagonists decreased from 16% in 2002 to 11% in 2011. Thus, while there are more female characters on screen today, fewer stories are told from a female character’s perspective. Further, female characters remain younger than their male counterparts and are more likely than males to have an identifiable marital status. The study also found that female characters are much less likely than males to be portrayed as leaders of any kind. Full study (PDF).


2011 STUDY: The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2011
By Martha M. Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, SDSU
“Women accounted for 5% of directors, a decrease of 2 percentage points from 2010 and approximately half the percentage of women directors working in 1998.” Full study (PDF).


2011 STUDY: Boxed-In: Employment of Behind-the-Scenes and On-Screen Women in the 2010-11 Prime-time Television Season
By Martha M. Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, SDSU
“Women comprised 25% of all individuals working as creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography on broadcast television programs during the 2010-11 prime-time season. This represents a decrease of 2 percentage points from last season (2009-2010) and an increase of 4 percentage points since 1997-98.” Full study (PDF).



2010 STUDY: The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2010
By Martha M. Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, SDSU
“In 2010, women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents a decline of 1 percentage point from 1998 and is even with 2009 figures.” Full study.


2010 STUDY: Boxed-In: Employment of Behind-the-Scenes Women in the 2009-10 Prime-time Television Season
By Martha M. Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, SDSU
“The percentage of women working in powerful behind-the-scenes roles in prime-time programming airing on the five broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC) increased 2 percent in the 2009-10 season. Overall, women comprised 27% of all creators, executive producers, producers, directors, writers, editors, and directors of photography working on situation comedies, dramas, and reality programs. This represents an increase of two percentage points from 25% in 2008-09 and an increase of six percentage points since 1997-98.  It also represents a recent historical high.” Full study.


In Oscar Directing Category, a Numbers Boost for Women and African Americans
By Rachel Abramowitz,, 2/3/2010
Kathryn Bigelow sounds a wee bit tired of questions about being a “female director,” but given that on Tuesday she became only the fourth woman to be nominated for best director by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, she knows it comes with the territory. “I long personally for the day when the modifier is a moot point,” said a very happy Bigelow, whose film nabbed nine nominations, including one for best picture. “I anticipate that day will come, but if ‘The Hurt Locker’ can make the impossible seem possible to somebody, it’s pretty overwhelming and gratifying. At least we’re heading in the right direction.” Full story.


Worst Network Pilot Season For Women?
By Nikki Finke,, 1/28/2010
“According to one Hollywood agency’s stats so far this year, 33 comedy pilots have been picked up by CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX. Only 3 are written by women. And 36 drama pilots have been picked up by CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox. Only 6 are written by women.” Full story.



2009 STUDY: Independent Women: Behind-the-Scenes Representation on Festival Films
By Martha M. Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, SDSU
“The percentage of women working as directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, and editors on domestically produced feature-length films appearing at top U.S. film festivals is substantially higher than the percentage of women working on the top 250 domestic grossing films.” Full study (PDF).


2009 STUDY: The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2009
By Martha M. Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, SDSU
“In 2009, women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents a decline of 3 percentage points from 2001 and is even with 2008 figures.” Full study (PDF).


Women in the Seats but Not Behind the Camera
By Manohla Dargis, The New York Times, 12/10/2009
In March 1993 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that hands out Oscars, decided it was a good time to celebrate women. It wasn’t an original idea: 1992 had been popularly known as the year of the woman in politics, partly because of the number of new women elected to the Senate that year (4!) and the House (24!). Now the academy was joining the fun with the show “Oscar Celebrates Women and the Movies.” The host, Billy Crystal, rose to the occasion with quintessential Hollywood class. “Some of the most-talked-about women’s parts,” he joked, bada-boom, “are Sharon Stone’s in ‘Basic Instinct.” Full story.


Fuck Them’: Times Critic On Hollywood, Women & Why Romantic Comedies Suck
By Irin Cameron, Jezebel, 12/14/2009
“Two major studios, Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers Pictures, didn’t release a single movie directed by a female, even in a year of renewed prominence for women in film.” Full story.




With Strong Female Characters, Hollywood Suffers From a Fear of Failure
By Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post, 11/25/2009
“Strong women, for now anyway, are out. Two years ago, when the Jodie Foster vigilante thriller The Brave One failed at the box office, industry blogger Nikki Finke reported that a Warner Brothers production executive announced to staffers that the studio would no longer produce movies featuring female leads.” Full story.


Number of Women Working in TV Stays Steady
By Amy Kaufman, The Wrap, 9/24/2009
“The number of women working on broadcast network programs declined to 25 percent during the 2008-09 primetime season, according to a study released today by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.” Full story.




2007 STUDY: Thumbs Down: Representation of Women Film Critics in the Top 100 U.S. Daily Newspapers
By Martha M. Lauzen, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, SDSU
Men write the overwhelming majority of film reviews in the nation’s top newspapers. Men penned 70% and women 30% of all reviews in the newspapers considered. This first-of-its-kind study examines the numbers of women and men reviewing films at the top 100 U.S. daily newspapers during dall 2007. The study found that of the newspapers featuring film reviews, 47% had no reviews written by women critics, writers or freelancers. In contrast, only 12% had no reviews written by men critics, writers or freelancers. Full study.


Hollywood’s Shortage of Female Power
By Sharon Waxman, The New York Times, 4/26/2007
“While the shift in the hierarchy may just be the normal turning of Hollywood’s fickle wheel of fortune, it is still worrisome to women here who are eager for role models and a mentoring system to compete with the well-established boys’ club.” Full story.



The Lady Vanishes Yet Again
By Marjorie Rosen, Los Angeles Times, 2/19/2006
“Buzz-worthy female roles are suddenly in short supply. Chalk it up to a cultural shift, or maybe an unfair fight.” Full story.



2004 STUDY: DGA Report Shows Top 40 Prime Time TV Lacks Diversity in Directing
“The Directors Guild of America recently released a report on the employment of women and minority directors by television networks on the ‘top forty’ prime time drama and comedy series in 2003-2004. The report shows that 86 percent of the episodes were directed by Caucasian males, and that women and minority directors continue to be missing from some of the best-known series line-ups.” Full study.