Study Shows Women’s Role in TV on Uptick

Expert still unhappy with lacking total

The annual report for the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego University has found some encouraging figures on the state of women on TV.

In the new study, nearly 43% of speaking roles in 2012 and 2013 were for women. That represented a slight rise since the previous year and matched levels that were met in 2007 and 2008.

Women also accounted for 28% of positions involved in direct production. That number encompassed creator, director, writer, producer, editor, DP, and executive producer. Last year the number stood at 26%, and was at 21% when the studies began.

“Women are experiencing incremental but positive growth,” Martha Lauzen, the center’s executive director, told Variety, noting that while there is still a disparity, “we’re moving in the right direction.”

The modest gains were not enough to fully quell the concerns of Lauzen, as there were still areas she felt were not up to the task of equality. Women of color have continued to not have the number of opportunities she would hope for. Jobs for women in the broadcast spectrum are still meager. Cinematography is a position that is almost wholly devoid of women. And when it comes to executive producing and series creation, women are still lagging with only a quarter of the total.

Lauzen stated that TV is still outpacing film when it comes to being given a shot at positions. That said, women are still lagging as compared to their counterparts. According to the study, 62% of women seen on TV are in their 20s and 30s, while 58% of men are in their 30s and 40s.

Women had their largest numbers in “roles” in reality television with 44% of the total. They held fewer in dramas at 44%. The study did not look at employment at executive levels, and instead focused on individual programming.


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