2017 Statistics

Women Behind the Scenes

TV Statistics | 20172016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

Top-grossing 250 films

  • Women comprised 18% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers.
  • Women comprised 11% of all directors. 88% of the films had no female directors.
  • Women accounted for 11% of writers. 83% of the films had no female writers.
  • Women comprised 19% of all executive producers. 45% of the films had no female EPs.
  • Women accounted for 25% of all producers. 28% of the films had no female producers.
  • Women comprised 16% of all editors. 80% of the films had no female editors.
  • Women accounted for 4% of all cinematographers. 96% of the films had no female cinematographers.
  • Women comprised 3% of composers. 98% of films had no female composers.
  • Women accounted for 8% of supervising sound editors. 92% of films had no female supervising sound editors.
  • Women comprised 5% of sound designers. 96% of films had no female sound designers.

Top-grossing 100 films

  • Overall, women accounted for 16% of all directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers.
  • Women comprised 8% percent of directors.
  • Women accounted for 10% of writers.
  • Women comprised 15% of executive producers.
  • Women accounted for 24% of producers.
  • Women comprised 14% of editors.
  • Women accounted for 2% of cinematographers.

Top-grossing 500 films

  • Overall, women accounted for 21% of all directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers.
  • By genre, the largest percentage of women, relative to men, worked in documentaries (30%), followed by comedies (23%), dramas (22%), sci-fi features (20%), animated features (19%), horror features (18%), and action features (13%).
  • Women comprised 18% of directors.
  • Women accounted for 16% of writers.
  • Women comprised 21% of EPs.
  • Women accounted for 28% of producers.
  • Women comprised 18% of editors.
  • Women accounted for 6% of cinematographers.
  • On films with at least one female director, women comprised 68% of writers. On films with exclusively male directors, women accounted for 8% of writers.
  • On films with at least one female director, women comprised 32% of editors. On films with exclusively male directors, women accounted for 14% of editors.
  • On films with at least one female director, women comprised 15% of cinematographers. On films with exclusively male directors, women accounted for 3% of cinematographers.
  • On films with at least one female director, women comprised 12% of composers. On films with exclusively male directors, women accounted for 2% of composers.

Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film

Of the top-grossing 1,100 films from 2007 to 2017:

  • 95.7% of all directors were male and 4.3% were female. This translates to 22 male directors hired to every 1 female director.
  • There were only four Black female directors: Ava DuVernay, Gina Prince‐Bythewood, Sanaa Hamri, and Stella Meghie. Only three Asian female directors worked across the entire 11‐year sample. Only one Latina (Patricia Riggen) was hired to direct.
  • Male directors start their careers earlier (20s) than female directors and some continue working into their 70s and 80s. The latter is not the case for women directors.
  • There was a total of 665 individual or unique directors, with 622 males (93.5%) and 43 females (6.5%).
  • Males directed between one and 15 movies during the 11‐year time frame whereas females directed between one and four movies.
  • 55% of the male directors only helmed one film whereas 84% of the female directors did.  The “one and done” phenomenon is far more likely for females than males. Males were almost twice as likely as females to have directed two films (21.5% vs. 11.6%) and over five times as likely to have helmed three (12.1% vs. 2.3%).
  • 97.6% of female directors had current agency representation. Creative Artists Agency (CAA) represents the highest number and percentage of female directors (41.5%), followed by William Morris Endeavor (WME, 24.4%) and United Talent Agency (UTA, 24.4%).
  • A “fiscal cliff” faces female directors, as they move from helming independent narrative competition movies at Sundance Film Festival (27.5%) and episodic television (17%) to top-grossing films (4.3%).  Flipping the story, the opportunities for male directors only seem to increase from directing independent features (72.5%) to episodic television (83%) to top-grossing motion picture content (95.7%).
  • 31 individual directors were Black (4.7%).
  • 81% of the films with a Black director also had a Black actor attached as one of the two top-billed talent.
  • 90.3% of Black directors had agency representation. CAA represents the most Black directors (42.9%) followed by WME (21.4%) and UTA (21.4%).
  • 20 individual directors were Asian.
  • 13 or 65% of the 20 Asian directors have an agent. Of those with representation, 38.5% are signed with CAA and 38.5% with WME.  Only 15.4% are represented by UTA and 7.7% with Paradigm.
  • 997 (90.6%) of the movies were distributed by 7 major media companies.
  • The company with the highest number of female directed movies was Warner Bros. Pictures (12) and the lowest were Paramount (three) and Lionsgate (three).
  • Films with Black directors were most likely to be distributed by Lionsgate.  Walt Disney Studios has not attached a Black director to any of their top-grossing films in the sample. Universal Pictures was the most likely to distribute a movie with an Asian director (13) and Lionsgate was the least likely (one).

Of the films’ corporate decision makers:

  • 95 individuals comprised the C‐suites across the 7 major media companies.  82.1% of prestigious C‐suite jobs were held by males and only 17.9% by females.  Among these women, only 4 were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.
  • Women comprised 18.8 of Boards of Directors seats. Only three seats were filled by women of color.
  • Among the executive film teams, only 2 of the chairs (25%) across the major media companies evaluated were women.
  • Females filled almost a quarter (23.9%) of the President and Chief positions on executive film teams and roughly 41.2% of all EVPs, SVPs, and VPs.

Of the top 100 films of 2017:

  • There was a total of 109 film directors.  A full 92.7% were male (n=101) and 7.3% were female (n=8).
  • Six or 5.5% of directors were Black. This overall percentage is 7.8% below the U.S. Census (13.3%).  Of the Black directors, 5 were male and 1 female.
  • Five (4.6%) of the directors were Asian.  All of these directors were men.

Inclusion Initiative