Why are so few women making blockbuster films?

Jan 31, 2014

Director Kathryn Bigelow accepts the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing at the 2013 BAFTA LA Jaguar Britannia Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 9, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. ; Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Women are becoming more visible than ever at the top rungs of Hollywood.

Awards season this year will feature a number of nominated female producers and directors including Jennifer Lee for Frozen and Megan Ellison, a producer behind both Her and American Hustle. But despite several high profile examples – women still make up a paltry number of the creatives behind Hollywood.

According to a new report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film, women made up just 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 (domestic) grossing films last year.

That’s a slight drop of two points from 2012. The largest percentage of women – 25 percent – were producers with women making up just 6 percent of all US directors.

Kathryn Bigelow broke down barriers by being the only woman to win an Oscar for best director for 2010’s Hurt Locker.

It’s been proven that women can reach the upper echelons of Hollywood so why aren’t there more women leading film productions? Does the problem extend beyond Hollywood blockbusters to smaller independent films? Is gender bias genuine problem in Hollywood?


Cathy Schulman, President of Women In Film, a professional organization founded with the commitment to promote the unique visions of women in the global communications industry. Schulman is Oscar-winning producer for the 2004 film, “Crash,” which won Best Picture among other honors. She just completed the film HORNS, starring Daniel Radcliffe

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