There are probably a lot of reasons people can point to as to why there aren’t as many female directors working in Hollywood as there are men (rampant and ignored sexism seems like a big one), but a new study has determined that it’s not just that there are fewer female directors, but also that female directors get fewer opportunities to make movies. This comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which says the study was conducted as part of USC Annenberg’s “Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative” by looking at 1,000 of the top-grossing films from the past 10 years.
The researchers discovered that 80 percent of the female directors on the list only made one movie from 2007 to 2016, while only 54.8 of the men directed just one film. Also, while the average age of male and female directors were pretty similar, all of the women included in the list were in the 30-60-years-old range. That’s in contrast to eight men in their 20s and 27 men in their 70s and 80s. In other words, the average female director only gets to make one movie every 10 years, and that’s only if they’re older than 29 and younger than 69.
Naturally, this discrepancy becomes even more pronounced on both sides when you take race into account. The study says “more inquiry needs to be conducted” in order to see why this is happening and how it could be fixed, but for now it suggests that production companies actively try to consider more women and minorities for jobs or that “A-list talent” add “equity riders” to their contracts to force the studios to be more inclusive.