Credit: commons.wikimedia.org
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Fact: Female characters make up just 23% of protagonists in popular films. When powerful people — think CEOs, doctors or lawyers — are portrayed, it’s almost always by a man. Only 7% of directors are women.

Those dismal stats are why The Story Exchange is taking an in-depth look at the lack of opportunities for women in television and firm.

Our initial research has found some surprising similarities between Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Much like women tech entrepreneurs have a difficult time accessing capital, women in TV and films have a hard time getting financial backers to take them seriously. Professional investors and studio executives are largely men, who often don’t like to gamble on “female-centric” shows or women directors, producers or writers.  As a result, the male perspective influences nearly everything we (as consumers) wind up seeing on screen.

To get more diversity on screen, we need more diversity behind the screen. In coming months, we will be exploring Hollywood’s gender gap by interviewing directors, producers, actors, writers and academics who are following the issue and advocating for change.

Check out our articles and interviews on Women in Hollywood:

POSTS:
Why Hollywood’s Gender Gap Exists, and How to Fix It
Women in TV or film are a lot like their counterparts in Silicon Valley: No one wants to take a chance on them.

Investigating Hollywood’s ‘Celluloid Ceiling’
Prominent researcher Martha Lauzen talks about the lack of opportunities for women in film — and explains why change is so slow.

Shining a Spotlight on Female Filmmakers
Paula Elias of Citizen Jane Film Institute is helping women get seats at the proverbial table in the movie-making business.

Documenting the Women Behind the Camera
Filmmaker, author and professor Alexis Krasilovsky says financing is the biggest issue facing female directors and producers.

Who Are You Wearing? (Better Question: Who Cares?)
The #AskHerMore campaign urges reporters to ask female celebrities more interesting questions on the red carpet. We came up with a few helpful suggestions.

Hey Hollywood: Where Are the Women?
Look closely at the lead characters in this year’s Best Picture nominated films. From snipers to physicists, they’re all men.

The Best Accessory at This Year’s Oscars? Feminism
The broadcast may have run long, but the 87th Academy Awards included some empowering and all-around-awesome moments from Hollywood’s female elite.

Making Hollywood Less Sexist, One Crowd Scene at a Time
Madeline Di Nonno of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media talks about pervasive stereotyping — and how to fix it.

Why Diversity on Screen Makes Good Business Sense
Adam Moore, national director of diversity for SAG-AFTRA, says moviegoers and TV watchers increasingly want a glimpse into unfamiliar worlds.

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