A Whole New System to Advance Women Directors
By Maria Giese
In the past 20 years female director employment numbers in Hollywood have been in stasis and decline, even while those of ethnic minority males have moved steadily up.
It is good news that diversity among directors is increasing, but why are women being left behind? As always in the United States, men of every ethnicity come before women of any ethnicity.
According to the current US Census Bureau stats, ethnic minority males make up 17.9% of the US population. They comprise 7% of DGA director members, and they helm 17% of episodic TV shows.
According to “The Guardian” list of top 40 international feature directors, 25% were ethnic minority males. Just 2 were women. It is possible to suggest that in terms of directors, ethnic minority males have arrived. Their numbers, in terms of ratio, are no longer disparate.
Women have been left behind. Women make up 51% of the US population, are not a “minority” and yet comprise just 13.7% of DGA director members, and direct just 14% of TV. And we know they direct less than 5% of studio features.
For this reason, 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. Longtime DGA Executive Director, Jay Roth, led the negotiations last fall, but newly elected DGA president, Paris Barclay (himself an ethnic minority male), was an important voice.