In today's depressing news that surprises absolutely no one, a recent study called "Gender Within Film Crews" reports that women in Hollywood are still being shut out of key positions.
The study by Stephen Follows, a producer and writer from the UK, discovered that opportunities for women to work behind the camera are actually decreasing in certain fields. Indiewire's Women and Hollywood broke it all down.
This data wonk took the 100 top-grossing films at the US box office over the last 20 years — 2,000 films in all — broke down all the crew positions, and discovered that women make up a paltry 22.6% of people behind the camera. And sadly, the number in 2013, at 21.8%, is lower than the average of the past twenty years. What this clearly shows is that opportunities for women working behind the scenes in film has not increased over two decades and, in many places, the number has gone down.
According to his data, departments with the highest number of female crew members are usually costuming, casting and makeup, which, *heavy sigh*. This is not to say that those fields are in any way less serious or legitimate than the more technical fields, but of course women are just expected to be better at makeup and costume design. In fields like cinematography and editing women are barely present—the worst being camera crews where they made up just 5.1%.
Over the past twenty years, Tina Fey's Mean Girls had the highest percentage of female crew members with 42%. Other films with non-embarassing numbers of female crew members include Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Honey, Miss Congeniality and Best in Show.
As you can probably tell, genres that are overwhelmingly preferred by women, like musicals and romantic comedies, also have the highest percentage of female crew members. Basically, women are trusted to make films for other women but not the other way around.
This certainly gives weight to the argument that if studios want to attract more women to the box office, a good way to do so is to get more women actually making the films.