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Percentage of women directors in Hollywood declining

Women account for just 5% of directors working in Hollywood, according to a new report conducted by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.

Kathryn Bigelow may have become the first female director to win an Oscar in 2010, but it seems that women’s presence as directors in Hollywood is getting significantly worse, not better.

Women account for just 5% of directors working in Hollywood, representing a 2% decrease from 2010, according to a new report, which also reveals that the percentage of women directors in Hollywood has almost halved since 1998.

The Celluloid Ceiling report - which was carried out by Dr Martha Lauzen, executive director of The Center for the Study of Women in Television And Film in San Diego – anaylsed gender statistics of women working behind the scenes on the top 250 domestic grossing films in the US.

According to the report, women were most likely to work in the documentary, drama, and comedy genres. They were least likely to work in the horror, action, and animated genres.

In other roles, the report shows that women comprised 14% of writers, 18% of executive producers, 25% of producers, 20% of editors, and 4% of cinematographers.

Kate Kinninmont, chief executive of Women in Film & TV (UK) said it was “shocking to find that gender equality in Hollywood is now actually running backwards.”

“These statistics are appalling, but understanding how bad they are is the first step to making things better. WFTV invites academics working on gender issues in film and television in the UK to contact us. We can publicise their work widely within the industry,” added Kinninmont.

Dr Lauzen added: “Women’s under-representation is the result of many factors operating at multiple levels.  As filmmaking has become more of a business, the studios have become more interested in minimizing their risk.  If women are viewed as “riskier hires,” they are less likely to be considered for employment, and certainly not for big-budget, high-profile films.

However a previous report carried out by Dr Lauzen – entitled Women @The Box Office – concluded that movies made by women perform just as well at the box office as movies made by men.

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