Last week, 300 prominent women in Hollywood unveiled a high-powered campaign called Time's Up that is created to demand change and provide a legal defense fund for women who have suffered sexual harassment or assault at work.
According to the report, titled "Celluloid Ceiling", in 2017, women comprised just 18 percent of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. In comparison, none of the films had fewer than 1 man working in the roles counted by the report. It is the most comprehensive, continuous study of women's behind-the-scenes employment in film available.
Women fared best as producers (25%), followed by executive producers (19%) and editors (16%).
The total number of jobs analyzed were 3,011 among the top 250 films.More news: Reuben Foster arrested for marijuana possession in Alabama
Aside from not tackling the underemployment issue head-on, major Hollywood studios were also found guilty of discriminatory hiring practices in early 2017 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in an investigation which claimed every studio systematically discriminated against hiring female directors. On films with female directors, writers were 68% female, compared with 8% for films directed by men.
This despite the fact that female-directed feature films pulled in a huge $1.2 billion globally in 2017, proving that women have what it takes to make films people want to see.
"2016 was actually a very poor year for women's representation as directors", Lauzen said in an interview, "So I'm not surprised to see a bit of a rebound in 2017".
And there's an easy potential fix: Hire more women directors.More news: Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI) Receives Media Impact Score of 0.08
The lack of progress has been "staggering", Lauzen said. "The real question: are they feeling enough pressure to change the structures of the filmmaking business to welcome more diversity?"
During Sunday night's Golden Globes, the most powerful women in Hollywood donned black in support of Time's Up, a new initiative created to address pay disparity, discrimination and harassment in the industry in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Only one woman has ever won an Oscar for Best Director, with only four women nominated for Best Director since the Academy Awards began in 1929.
For women in Hollywood, the path to success has too often been marred by explicit sexual commentary, unwanted groping and other uncomfortable advances from male colleagues and superiors who vastly outnumber them across the entertainment industry.More news: Carillion lines up standby administrator as crunch talks continue