Celluloid Ceiling 2008 Statistics- It Still Sucks for Women

by Melissa Silverstein on March 13, 2009

in News,Statistics

The guru of women’s film stats, Dr. Martha Lauzen, Executive Director of The Center for Study of Women in TV and Film at San Diego State U, has released her annual study on the state of women behind the scenes in the film business.  In the coming days Dr. Lauzen will answer some questions about what is behind the numbers.

Here are the stats:

The following summary provides employment figures for 2008 and compares the most recent statistics with those from the last 10 years.  This study analyzed behind-the-scenes employment of 2,706 individuals working on the top 250 domestic grossing films (foreign films omitted) of 2008 with combined domestic box office grosses of approximately $9.4 billion.

Overall, in 2008, 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 an increase of 1 percentage point from 2007

Findings
•    Twenty two percent (22%) of the films released in 2008 employed no women directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, or editors.  No films failed to employ a man in at least one of these roles.

•    A historical comparison of women’s employment on the top 250 films in 2008 and 1998 reveals that the percentages of women directors and cinematographers have remained stable, whereas the percentages of women writers, executive producers, producers, and editors have declined slightly (see Figure 2).

•    Women comprised 9% of all directors working on the top 250 films of 2008. Ninety percent (90%) of the films had no female directors (see Figure 3).

•    Women accounted for 12% of writers working on the top 250 films of 2008. Eighty two percent (82%) of the films had no female writers.

•    Women comprised 16% of all executive producers working on the top 250 films of 2008 (see Figure 3).   Sixty five percent (65%) of the films had no female executive producers.

•    Women accounted for 23% of all producers working on the top 250 films of 2008.  Forty three percent (43%) of the films had no female producers.

•    Women accounted for 17% of all editors working on the top 250 films of 2008.  Seventy nine percent (79%) of the films had no female editors.

•    Women comprised 4% of all cinematographers working on the top 250 films of 2008. Ninety six percent (96%) of the films had no female cinematographers.

So, it looks like the numbers have increased a little this year but clearly, they are still very low.  Do you have any ideas on ways things can be improved for women behind the scenes on film?

Report compiled by Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, School of Theatre, Television and Film, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, 92182, 619.594.6301

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

UGLY DEAF MUSLIM PUNK GURL! March 13, 2009 at 6:43 AM

depressing. Only 16%? I had no idea it was this low.

Troll-O-Matic March 29, 2009 at 12:28 AM

Maybe if Women Directors stopped doing movies that were terrible and made no money this would change.

Just Sayin….

Ally Acker April 4, 2009 at 11:58 AM

The percentage of women directors before 1920 was actually about 45% greater than today.

See: http://www.reelwomen.com

fotos de chicas en tangas July 18, 2009 at 1:28 PM

I should notify u about this.

Amelia November 16, 2009 at 10:17 PM

Hey, thanks for the work you are doing on figures/statistics about women in the movie industry. Female representation in film, and as directors, is often worse than female representation in Parliament. I live in NZ where we have 34% female representation in Parliament (that beats the 26% odd of female film directors; although I can’t remember the exact percentage). We are bean counters, and proud ;)

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