Lilian Min
September 20, 2015 9:58 am

Though the stats and, perhaps more importantly, the reality of being a working woman are across-the-board better than they were years ago, we still have a long way to go. Whether it’s continued cluelessness in regards to how we talk about women in the public eye or the sheer number of expert panels that only include men, workplace equality in all fields and professions is a WIP. One way to increase the number of women involved and active in projects, though, is this simple: Hire more women in leadership.

In a study conducted by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, researchers found that within the world of television development, shows with at least one female executive consistently had more female characters (42% vs. 35%), as well as women in the writer’s room (a whopping difference between 32% and 8%). While these stats don’t account for other gender disparities within the TV world, like with directing and showrunner gigs, it shows that even having one high-level female influence in a show will directly influence how many other women are working on it from the ground up.

Now, the study has limits — it doesn’t get into the intersections of race and gender and show material, and it’s limited to the relatively inaccessible world of TV production. However, it serves as a microcosm of workplace equality and representation, and goes to show that when it comes to getting more women work, at least for now, we still need women in positions high enough to facilitate that.

As we saw with Vanity Fair‘s profile of late night hosts, people really aren’t interested in only hearing from men anymore — and that’s a good thing. Here’s to all the women opening doors for other women, and to a future where we don’t have to crunch numbers to figure out how to get more women work.

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Image courtesy of NBCUniversal.

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