Hollywood's 'startling' behind-the-scenes gender gap: By the numbers

The Week's Editorial Staff

Only 5 percent of movie directors in 2011 were women — a steep decline from 1998's already-paltry 9 percent figure

When the breakout success last year of Bridesmaids proved once and for all that women are commercially viable stars, movie industry insiders began heralding a new era for Hollywood actresses. But behind the scenes, the Hollywood gender gap is as prevalent as ever. According to a new report by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, of all the directors, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 highest-grossing movies last year, a scant 18 percent were women. Here, a numerical look at how Hollywood's "startling" women problem breaks down:

18
Percent of behind-the-scenes Hollywood jobs held by women last year. Considering that women make up 51 percent of the American population, this gap "impoverishes our culture," Martha M. Lauzen, the study's author, tells The Wrap.

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17
Percent of behind-the-scenes Hollywood jobs held by women in 1998, the first year the center began compiling data

5
Percent of last year's films directed by women

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9
Percent of films directed by women in 1998

13.4
Percent of the Directors Guild of America comprised of women

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38
Percent of films last year that either employed no women, or only one, in the roles of director, producer, writer, cinematographer, or editor. "Women were most likely to work in the documentary, drama, and comedy genres," says Rebecca Ford at The Hollywood Reporter. The least likely genres: Horror, action, and animated.

4
Percent of last year's cinematographers who were women

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14
Percent of writers who were women

18
Percent of executive producers who were women

2:1
Ratio of men to women on screen in the top 100 box office films of 2009, according to a 2011 study from the USC Annenberg School of Communication

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48
Percent of characters in last year's female-directed films who were women

33
Percent of characters in last year's male-directed films who were women. "The mirror that Hollywood holds up to culture reflects back a distorted image," says Carrie Rickey at Truthdig.

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4
Women who have ever received Academy Award nominations for Best Director

1
Woman who has ever won that Oscar: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010

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413
Best Director nominees in Oscar history

$665.7 million
Worldwide box office haul for Kung Fu Panda 2, the highest-grossing film directed by a woman (Jennifer Yuh Nelson), eclipsing Phyllida Lloyd's $609.8 million tally for 2008's Mamma Mia!

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Sources: Box Office Mojo, Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, LA Times, SDSU, TIME, Truthdig, Wikipedia, Wrap

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