Having more female directors and producers work on films has a direct and positive correlation to the number of women hired for behind-the-scenes jobs, according to a new study to be released Tuesday.
Data crunched by researchers at the researchers at the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University found that on films with female directors, women accounted for slightly more than half of the films’ writers. On films with male directors, by contrast, women made up 8 percent of writers. The ripple effect extends to other jobs: across the board, having a female director greatly increased the number of women in editing and cinematographer positions.
The gender of a film’s producers was also found to play a significant role in hiring decisions: when at least one-third of a film’s producers were female, women made up 20 percent of directors; if less than one-third of a film’s producers were women, that figure fell to 7 percent. The study, released by the center’s executive director, Martha M. Lauzen, looked at 700 top theatrical films released in 2014 (excluding foreign pictures), of which 85 percent had no female directors.