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Gender Inertia in Television and Film

The Annual Celluloid Ceiling report shows that women’s roles in television and film have not improved in the last 16 years.
The Celluloid Ceiling provides the most complete historical record available of women’s behind-the-scenes employment in film.
The Celluloid Ceiling provides the most complete historical record available of women’s behind-the-scenes employment in film.

The employment of women working in key behind-the-scenes roles in film continues to stagnate, according to the 16th annual Celluloid Ceiling report released today by Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.  

Women accounted for 16 percent of directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2013.  This figure is slightly smaller than the percentage of women working on top grossing films in 1998.

“The film industry is in a state of gender inertia.  There is no evidence to suggest that women’s employment has improved in key behind-the-scenes roles over the last 16 years,” Lauzen said.

Work to do

Women accounted for a 6 percent of all directors working on the top grossing films of 2013. This represents a decrease of 3 percentage points from 2012.  In addition, women comprised 10 percent of writers, 15 percent of executive producers, 25 percent of producers, 17 percent of editors, and 3 percent of cinematographers.   
    
In an effort to provide a more comprehensive picture of women’s employment in film, this year’s study also reports figures for women working as composers, production designers, sound designers, special effects supervisors, supervising sound editors, and visual effects supervisors. 

About the Celluloid Ceiling

The Celluloid Ceiling provides the most complete historical record (1998 – 2013) available of women’s behind-the-scenes employment in film. The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at SDSU conducts an extensive agenda of original research on women working on screen and behind the scenes.  

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