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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 2017, women represented:

  • 8% of directors
  • 10% of writers
  • 2% of cinematographers
  • 24% of producers
  • 14% of editors

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

3) On the top 250 grossing films of 2017, women comprised 3% of composers. This represents no change since 2016. (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 five women have ever been nominated (Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Bigelow, and Greta Gerwig).

5) In 2018 “Mudbound’s” Rachel Morrison became the first woman ever nominated for the Academy Award for Cinematography.

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 2017, 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 2016-2017 broadcast network TV season:

  • Women accounted for only 28% of all creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography working on broadcast network, cable, and streaming programs
  • 97% of programs had no women directors of photography, 85% had no women directors, 75% had no women editors, 74% had no women creators, 67% had no women writers, 23% had no women producers, 20% had no women executive producers
  • 66% of female characters were white. 19% were Black, 5% were Latina, 6% were Asian, and 1% were of another race or ethnicity.
  • On programs with at least one woman creator, females accounted for 51% of major characters
  • On programs with exclusively male creators, females comprised 38% of major characters

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

11) A “fiscal cliff” faces female directors. Women:

  • Directed 27.5% of independent narrative competition movies at Sundance from 2007 to 2017
  • Accounted for 22.2% of first-time episodic TV directors from the 2009-10 season to the 2016-17 season
  • Accounted for 17% of episodic TV directors from the 2012-13 season to 2016-17 season
  • Represented 4% of the top-grossing films directors from 2007-2017

(Inclusion Initiative)