Women working behind the camera in film & TV (as well as in front of it)

Now in its 23rd year, Boxed In, a US-based project that appears to be managed by The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film…

“…tracks the representation of females on screen and women’s employment behind the scenes in television.”

The study (most recent edition here) examines dramas, comedies, and reality programs appearing on the broadcast networks, basic and premium cable channels, and streaming services. The project claims to provide the most comprehensive historical record of women’s portrayals and employment available.

From a Bectu perspective, this report is dominated by issues of portrayal, so it focussed firmly on on-screen appearances, but also activity in senior creative roles ‘behind the scenes’ which I’ve looked at most closely. It doesn’t seem to have too much data about general crew though. From the report (p14 carries the summary of all media but there are also breakdowns for different sectors)

  • Overall, women comprised 31% of creators, directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and directors of photography working on broadcast network, cable, and streaming programs in 2019-20. This represents no change from 2018-19.
  • 63% of programs employed 5 or fewer women in the behind-the-scenes roles considered. In contrast, 16% of programs employed 5 or fewer men. 3% of programs employed 14 or more women in the behind-the-scenes roles considered. In contrast, 32% of the programs considered employed 14 or more men.
  • Women fared best as producers (39%), followed by writers (36%), executive producers (32%), directors (30%), creators (28%), editors (17%), and directors of photography (8%) (see Figure 14).
  • Women comprised 28% of creators working on all of the programs considered in 2019-20. This represents an increase of 3 percentage points from 25% in 2018-19, and a recent historic high.
  • Women accounted for 32% of executive producers working on all of the programs considered. This represents an increase of 2 percentage points from 30% in 2018-19, and a recent historic high.
  • Women comprised 39% of producers working on all of the programs considered in 2019-20. This represents a decline of 1 percentage point from 40% in 2018-19.
    Women accounted for 36% of writers working on all of the programs considered. This represents an increase of 1 percentage point from 35% in 2018- 19, and a new historic high.

 

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