Women directors and producers hire more female crew members

Alexia Muiños Ruiz
Alexia Muiños Ruiz

It's a fact. According to the recent study "Women and the Big Picture" compiled by Dr. Martha Lauthen at the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, the gender of the decision-makers in a production has a meaningful impact on hiring.

The study looked at 700 US films released in 2014 and concluded that on productions where 33% of the producers and executive producers were women the number of female directors, writers, editors and cinematographers hired was higher.

Only 15% of the productions studied had female directors, 20% had female writers and only 8% had female cinematographers.

However, on films where the producers were one-third female, the number of female directors rose to 20% and, remarkably, on films directed by women more than half of the writers were women, contrasting with the poor score (8%) of women writers on films with a male director.

The study also showed that behind-the-scenes, women fared best as producers and executive producers, but faced huge barriers on the creative side of the business.

More and more evidence about the gender bias in Hollywood is coming to light. Stars such as Patricia Arquette and others have spoken up about the pay gap between men and women, Meryl Streep has slammed the overwhelming imbalance among film critics and Geena Davis has called for greater gender equality. 


For TV shows the numbers show a clear correlation between having at least one female creator (director or producer) and the number of women cast and recruited throughout the production.

Women accounted for 18% of the directing positions on shows with one female exec producer compared to 10% on shows with no female exec producers.

42% of characters were female on shows with one female exec producer compared to 35% of characters on shows with no female exec producers.

32% of writers were female on shows with a female exec producer, compared to 8% on shows with only male exec producers.

For editors, the comparison was 37% vs. 13%.


To quote Rooney Mara: "Gender Gap is a reality of the time we live in".