The Infographic About Female Directors You NEED To See


It’s no secret that Hollywood is a boy’s club, both on screen and behind the scenes. Many women in various roles throughout the film industry have been speaking out about the greater need for female representation and better opportunities for women in tinseltown.

In 2013 Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody said there’s no reason why women shouldn’t be getting equal opportunities as men in the industry because in her opinion we tell better stories!

More recently, award-winning female director Jane Campion called out the blatant sexism in a press conference at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

So how does the industry change? Is speaking about it enough? Surely not, but having the statistics out there for all to see could be the catalyst for something to shift. People who are in positions of power in the big studios in Hollywood need to be aware of the gender imbalance and recognize they play a key role in determining the opportunities women get.

One of our favorite blogs, Indiewire’s ‘Women and Hollywood‘ put together this fantastic infographic so we can all see just what the statistics are for female directors in Hollywood.


Now don’t let this dissuade or depress you. Let it be fuel for the fire, and a motivating factor not to give up if you are an aspiring filmmaker.

It has never been a more crucial time for women to step up. There are organizations and committees working to change the types of opportunities we have, but then we must fill those roles and show the industry and audiences there ARE enough of us out there wanting to work.

In 2013 the DGA Women’s Proposals Committee drew up a detailed proposal to include women’s issues in the 2014 Guild-studio Collective Bargaining negotiations. The committee’s angle was that in order for female directors to move forward, they needed a special initiative dedicated to them.

The problem is, at the moment there are strict rules in place in regards to diversity, and the inclusion of minorities, and that includes men. However, women as a whole are not a minority, and to be buried within that category is a shame and doesn’t do our fight justice.


The committee is calling for the DGA (Directors Guild of America) to create a separate program for only women of all ethnicities. You can read more about what they are proposing on the Women Directors in Hollywood website.

“If the DGA and the studios agree to create a distinct program for women, the studios will then have a legal obligation to hire more female directors.  Today their only mandate is to increase diversity hires (usually meaning men), but under the two-pie system, studios would have to BOTH increase ethnic minority hires and female hires,” they write.

“Today, only 13.6% of the DGA director category is comprised of women, but the pool of eligible women from which show-runners and executives hire directors, is actually much larger.”

And speaking of statistics, although we know the representation of women in US Politics is dismal (women make up only 18% of women in US federal government, and less in the Senate) the number is greater than that of female directors in Hollywood. Shame…


Further afield in Europe, the fight is the same. Given Jane Campion’s bold comments at Cannes, the Federation of European Film Directors is calling for action to create equal opportunities for women in the film industry there.

FERA is the only recognized organization which represents directors in Europe, unlike Hollywood which has its unions. They commissioned a research study from the European Audiovisual Observatory and found that the work of women directors amounted to only 16% of European films released from 2003 to 2011. Sure it is more than the US, but do we have much to celebrate yet?

In a press release they outlined some actions they recommend could increase the visibility of female directors, and cited Sweden as an example where ” thanks  to  advanced  equality  policies,  female  directors  have  rose  from  30  to  38%  over  the  past  five  years,  the  highest  in Europe.”

“As a first step, FERA calls on the implementation of targets for women directors, based on the percentage of female directors in the workforce. The lack of data is progressively being tackled through studies both at national and EU level.”

“Creative freedom should operate with no boundaries or gender. FERA considers it necessary to cinema’s welfare to allow the diversity of talent to fully express themselves, and will continue fighting for an advancing European cinema industry.”

Bravo Europe! Good to know there are organizations across the world who are doing the same as the ones closer to Hollywood. FERA is urging studios to be willing to take risks on female directors, which unfortunately is what hiring a female director is seen as. But hey if they are at least willing to do this, then women have the opportunity to prove that they not only belong, but are needed.

We hope there will come a day when future generations of women directors across the world don’t need special initiatives or categories to get them ahead, but for now it is imperative that committees work to create the spaces needed for women to cement themselves as mainstays in an industry that is crying out for more female stories and talent.