How Many Women Are on Hollywood's Boards?

Wesley Mann
Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments

Female directors comprise 17.6 percent of the media conglomerate seats, with Disney and Viacom ranking highest and Comcast, Fox and Sony lagging woefully behind.

A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

There are a total of 68 directors across the media conglomerates behind the six major film studios, making them 68 of the most powerful people in Hollywood. Unsurprisingly, the gender composition of these six boards (17.6 percent female) mirrors that of Fortune 1,000 companies as a whole (17.7 percent). Some corporations (Disney, Viacom) have better female representation than others (Comcast, 21st Century Fox and Sony each have just one woman on their boards). Here are the dozen women who sit on the boards of the world's biggest media companies.

Comcast
Owns: Universal Pictures
Women on Board: 1 of 11

Rodin

Dr. Judith Rodin was the Ivy League's first noninterim female president (University of Pennsylvania, 1994-2004) when she joined the Comcast board in 2002. Now president of the Rockefeller Foundation, she also is a director at Citigroup.

The Walt Disney Co.
Owns: Walt Disney Studios
Women on Board: 3 of 10

Sandberg

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was Disney's youngest director, at 40, when she was elected in 2010, joining Carlyle Group operating executive Susan Arnold , who was appointed in 2007,  and U.S. Hispanic Media board chair Monica C. Lozano, whose 15-year tenure is the Disney board's longest.

21st Century Fox
Owns: 20th Century Fox
Women on Board: 1 of 12 

Arnault

Louis Vuitton executive vp Delphine Arnault, who joined Fox's board in June 2013, also serves as a director for her own company as well as Christian Dior, French TV network M6 and French global communications group Havas.

Sony Corp. 
Owns: Sony Pictures 
Women on Board: 1 of 12

Sakurai

Eriko Sakurai, chairman and CEO of the joint venture between Dow Corning and Japan's Toray Industries, was appointed to Sony's board in June 2014, as its previous lone woman, Yukako Uchinaga, retired. Ten of Sony's directors are Japanese.

Viacom
Owns: Paramount Pictures
Women on Board: 4 of 11

Norville

Nonexecutive vice chair Shari Redstone was elected to her father Sumner's board in 2006, and former Harvard Business School lecturer Blythe McGarvie  joined in a year later. In 2013, the board expanded by two seats to include World Economic Forum senior adviser Cristiana Falcone-Sorrell and Inside Edition anchor Deborah Norville.

Time Warner
Owns: Warner Bros.
Women on Board: 2 of 12 

Wright

Both of Time Warner's current female directors were elected in May 2005: former Johns Hopkins international studies school dean Jessica Einhorn and Deborah Wright, nonexecutive chairman of Carver Bancorp, the U.S.' largest African-American-run bank.

comments powered by Disqus