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Facts to Know About Women in Hollywood

1) Women account for 52% of moviegoers. (MPAA 2016)

2) On the top 100 grossing films of 2016, women represented:

  • 4% of directors
  • 11% of writers
  • 3% of cinematographers
  • 19% of producers
  • 14% of editors

(Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film)

3) On the top 250 grossing films of 2016, women comprised 3% of composers. (Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film)

4) Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to ever win the Academy Award for Best Director. Only four women have ever been nominated (Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, and Bigelow).

5) A female cinematographer has never been nominated for an Oscar.

6) In the top 100 films of 2016:

  • Females comprised 29% of protagonists
  • 78% of female characters had an identifiable job or occupation (compared to 86% of male characters)
  • 45% of female characters were seen in their work setting, actually working (versus 61% of males)

(Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film)

7) 76% of all female characters were white in the top 100 films of 2016. 14% were Black, 6% were Asian, and 3% were Latina. (Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film)

8) On the top 500 films of 2016, movies with at least one female director employed greater percentages of women writers, editors, cinematographers, and composers than films with exclusively male directors. (Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film)


  • Films with diverse casts enjoy the highest median global box office and the highest median return on investment
  • Broadcast scripted shows featuring diverse casts net the highest median 18-49 ratings

(Ralph J. Bunche Center)

10) During the 2015-2016 broadcast network TV season:

  • Women accounted for only 27% of all individuals working as creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography
  • 98% of programs had no women directors of photography, 91% had no women directors, 78% had no women editors, 76% had no women creators, 71% had no women writers, 26% had no women producers, 26% had no women executive producers
  • 71% of female characters were white. 17% were Black, 5% were Latina, 5% were Asian, and 2% were of another race or ethnicity.
  • On programs with at least one woman executive producer, females accounted for 41% of major characters
  • On programs with exclusively male executive producers, females comprised 31% of major characters

(Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film)

11) As budgets increase, opportunities for female filmmakers decrease. From 2007-2016, women:

  • Directed 28% of narrative shorts
  • Directed 27% of narrative independent films
  • Accounted for 19% of first-time episodic TV directors
  • Directed 4% of top-grossing films

(Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative)