A new report says women accounted for a record 28% of creators, exec producers, producers, directors, writers, editors, and directors of photography working on primetime programs during the broadcast season ended in May. Continuing an uptrend, that’s an increase of 2 percentage points from the 2011-12 season, according to San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, which has been publishing its “Boxed In” report for 16 years. Females also made up 43% of all speaking characters, tying a record set in 2007-08. The report monitors onscreen representation of women every few years, and this time it expanded its sample to include basic and premium cable channels and Netflix programs. The study examined one randomly selected episode of every series, and programs airing on the CW featured the highest percentage of female characters (51%), followed by Fox and ABC (44%), NBC (41%), and CBS (39%). The report also said reality programs were more likely to feature female characters and that they tend to be younger than their male counterparts across all genres.
The report, which provides the most complete historical record of women’s employment in TV, said more women in broadcast served as producers (38%, even with 2011-12) than any other job. That was followed by writers (34%, +4 percentage points), executive producers (27%, +2), creators (24%, -2), editors (16%, +3), directors (12%, +1), and DPs (3%, -1). The numbers were comparable when including cable and Netflix shows. “While our annual ‘Celluloid Ceiling’ study indicates that women continue to languish on screen and behind the scenes in top-grossing films, the latest ‘Boxed In’ report suggests that the percentages of women are slowly but steadily increasing in television,” Martha Lauzen, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Women in TV and Film, tells Deadline. “We are seeing a long-term trend of incremental growth for women in primetime.”