Just 7 percent of directors behind 2016’s top-grossing films were women, marking a 2 percent decline from last year, according to a new study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film at San Diego State University. The study, which analyzes the year’s 250 top-grossing films (excluding foreign films and reissues), has been released annually since 1998.
In addition to directors, the study includes the breakdown of the 3,212 writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers in total working on these 250 films. In 2016, women held 17 percent of these positions — the same percentage as in 2005 and in 1998.
The study also notes that 35 percent of films employed zero or one woman in all of these positions, while just 2 percent employed 10 or more women; 76 percent of these films employed 10 or more men.
In the study’s 18-year history, things haven’t changed much. From 1998 to 2016, the number of female cinematographers has increased from 4 percent to 5 percent, the number of writers has held steady at 13 percent, and the number of directors has decreased from 9 to 7 percent.
When the study accounts for just 100 top-grossing films, women make up just 4 percent of directors.