The DGA crunched the numbers for the 376 features released in 2013 and 2014 — excluding foreign films, documentaries, animated films and re-releases — and found that women helmed just 6.4% of those works. A further breakdown reveals that that 6.4% total is made up of 5.1% white women filmmakers and 1.3% women filmmakers of color. (For frame of reference, male filmmakers of color directed 11.2% of features in the same period.)
Unsurprisingly, many of those female-directed were lower-budget works (identified by the DGA researchers as grossing $10 million or less at the box office.) Among the lower-budget features, women made up 11.6% of directors, while among higher-budget features (i.e., the movies that tend to get seen the most and generally require more studio support), women made up an even scanter 3.1% of directors.
The DGA concluded that its findings “suggest that women face significant barriers to employment as directors of high-budget, wide-release projects.”
Among major studios, Disney and Warner Bros. were the least likely to hire women directors (and indeed hired none for films distributed in 2013 and 2014). Fox and Universal — which both boast female chairmen in Stacey Snider and Donna Langley, respectively — topped out at hiring 6% women in the years studied.
“What this report does not reflect is what people who love film — even our culture as a whole — are missing when such a disproportionate percentage of films are directed by one gender or one ethnicity. Unfortunately, we don’t have a metric for that,” said DGA President Paris Barclay. “What you will see is what happens when industry employers — studios and production companies — do little to address this issue head on. The DGA, by detailing the state of director hiring with the precision of our data, hopes to draw further attention to this serious matter so that industry employers can develop concrete director diversity plans.”