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Employment Of Women In Film Production Dips Below 1998 Levels

'Gender inertia' seen in annual 'Celluloid Ceiling' study of top 250 domestic pics

The ranks of women working in film production have barely budged and even declined in some key areas over the past 16 years, according to a study released today.

The annual “Celluloid Ceiling” survey of employment in the top-grossing 250 domestic pics found that overall employment for women in 2013 came in at 16%, down 2% from the previous year and down 1% from 1998 levels.

The report was released Tuesday by Martha Lauzen, exec director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State U. This year’s edition also tracked stats for women in below-the-line and vfx jobs, where the picture is similarly stagnant.

“The film industry is in a state of gender inertia.  There is no evidence to suggest that women’s employment has improved in key behind-the-scenes roles over the last 16 years,” Lauzen said.

SEE ALSO: Hollywood Sexist? Female Directors Still Missing in Action

In total, women accounted for 16% of the 2,938 people employed on the pics surveyed. The largest share of female employment came as producers, editors and production designers. Women were most likely to work in drama, comedy, and documentary films, and least likely to work in  animation, sci-fi and horror titles.

SEE ALSO: Female TV Directors: Numbers Low But Clout is Growing

Breaking down the percentages of women working on 2013 films by job category:

** Directors: 6%, down 3% from 2012 and 1998

** Writers: 10%, down 5% from 2012 and 3% from 1998

** Producers: 25%, even with 2012 and up 1% from 1998

** Exec producers: 15%, down 2% from 2012 and 3% from 1998

** Editors: 17%: down 3% from 2012 and 1998

** Cinematographers: 3%, up 1% from 2012 and down 1% from 1998

In the below-the-line categories, the survey examined the gender breakdown for 1,026 jobs. (Comparative data is not available for all categories.)

** Production designers: 23%, up 3% from 2008 (when the stats were last compiled)

** Sound designers: 4%, down 1% from 2008

** Supervising sound editors: 9%, up 4% from 2008

** vfx supervisors: 5%

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