Study: Female Directors, Producers Hire More Female Crew Members

45WIE Kathryn Bigelow P

Gender plays a crucial part in hiring decisions on Hollywood productions, according to a new study by Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

Female directors and producers are more likely to hire female crew members, according to a new study that will be released on Tuesday. 

In the study "Women and the Big Picture," compiled by researchers at the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, it was found that the gender of the people running a production had a significant impact on hiring decisions.

The study looked at 700 films released in 2014, excluding foreign films, and found that on productions where at least one-third of the producers and executive producers were women the number of female directors, writers, editors and cinematographers that were hired more than doubled.

Almost 85 percent of the productions studied had no female directors, 80 percent had no female writers and 92 percent had no female cinematographers. Films with one-third female producers had female directors 20 percent of the time. 

More startlingly, on films with female directors, more than half of the writers were women, which was in contrast to 8 percent of female writers on films with a male director.

The study also showed that behind-the-scenes, women fared best as producers and executive producers, but faced huge barriers on the creative side of the business. 

The San Diego State University study is yet more telling evidence in the debate about the gender bias in Hollywood, both in front and behind the camera. Stars such as Jennifer Lawrence have been vocal about the pay gap between male and female actors, Meryl Streep has slammed the overwhelmingly male makeup of film critics and Geena Davis has called for greater gender equality in family entertainment.