What are the consequences of the lack of women in creative roles in the film industry?
A form of media, the film industry is a window into our society, reflecting the common values and perspectives shared among individuals. Despite this, more often than not, the practices of the film industry and the content shared with audiences has reflected a patriarchal bias.
The lack of equal representation in the film industry is a systematic issue starting from the top of the chain. In Hollywood, film studio executives are 94% white and 100% male (Ralph J. Bunche Centre For African American Studies at UCLA 2015). This biased leadership results in a culture of hiring creatives that look the same and have similar values, creating content that doesn’t reflect the diversity of society.
Women represent 50% of the population, however their inclusion in the film industry is slim and is often limited to producing roles. In 2015, women made up only 23% of directors working in Hollywood, and 23% of writers, with only 12% working as cinematographers (Lauzen 2015).
Locally, Australian women only make up 16% of directors in the film industry compared to 18% working in 1990 (Screen Australia 2013). This decline is representative of affirmative action in the Australian film industry stopping in the 1990s and for the last twenty five years there has been little or no industrial push to remedy the inequality present (Screen Australia 2013).
The stereotyped and negative on screen representation of women demonstrate the need for the systematic inclusion of women in creative roles in the film industry.