Today I am releasing the results of a long-term project. For a while, I’ve been looking at the gender of film crew members over the past 20 years.
The results are pretty shocking, and should hopefully serve as a wake up call to parts of the industry. I don’t believe that the majority of the industry is fundamentally sexist or anti-women but when you look at these results, especially over time, it’s plain to see that something is wrong and it isn’t fixing itself.
Download the full report now, for free. This project was far too large to fit into a single blog post, so I’ve written it up as a PDF report. It spans 16 pages and breaks down the results in much more detail. The report is free and all you need to do to get it is sign up to my e-mail list.
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The results in summary
I studied the 100 highest grossing films at the US Box Office for each year between 1994 and 2013 (a total of 2,000 films). Additionally, in order to see how a film’s genre affects gender employment, I also looked at the 100 highest grossing films for each genre.
- Women make up only 23% of crew members on the 2,000 highest grossing films of the past 20 years.
- Only one of the top 100 films in 2013 has a female Composer.
- In 2013, under 2% of Directors were female.
- The only departments to have a majority of women are Make-up, Casting and Costume
- Visual Effects is the largest department on most major movies and yet only has 17.5% women
- Of all the departments, the Camera and Electrical department is the most male, with only 5% women
- Musicals and Music-based films have the highest proportion of women in their crews (27%).
- Sci-Fi and Action films have the smallest proportion of women (20% and 21% respectively).
- The films with the highest percentage were “Mean Girls” and “The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants” (42%).
- The most male crews were “On Deadly Ground” and “Robots” (10% female).
- There has been no improvement in the last 20 years. The percentage of female crew members has decreased between 1994 (22.7%) and 2013 (21.8%).
- The three most significant creative roles (Writer, Producer and Director) have all seen the percentage of women fall.
- The jobs performed by women have become more polarised. In jobs which are traditionally seen as more female (art, costume and make-up) the percentage of women has increased, whereas in the more technical fields (editing and visual effects) the percentage of women has fallen.
On average, women make up 22.6% of a film crew
On average, over the last 20 years, women have made up 22.6% of film crew members. The average for 2013 was actually lower, at 21.8%.