22 September 2017

Latest Boxed In Report From US Reveals SVOD Surpasses Broadcast Programmes for Gender Diversity

The latest Boxed In report from the Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University has been released. The study considers the on-screen portrayals and behind-the-scenes employment of women on broadcast, basic and premium cable, and streaming television programmes.

In 2016-17, women made modest but pervasive gains on screen and behind the scenes in television.  The percentages of female characters increased slightly on broadcast network, cable, and streaming programs, and the percentages of women working in powerful behind-the-scenes roles increased slightly on cable and streaming programs.

On screen, females comprised 42% of all speaking characters on television, an increase of 3 percentage points from 2015-16.  Behind the scenes, women accounted for 28% of all creators, directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and directors of photography working on programs delivered via the various platforms.  This represents an increase of 2 percentage points from 2015-16.  Broadcast television is the exception to this trend, as the numbers of women working on network programs have stalled.

The findings indicate that streaming programs have now surpassed broadcast programs in terms of gender diversity, on screen and behind the scenes.  This is especially interesting in light of Shonda Rhimes’ recent move from ABC to Netflix.

Now in its 20th year, Boxed In provides the most current and comprehensive historical record of women’s representation and employment in television available.  Over the last two decades, the study has monitored over 33,900 characters and 45,600 behind-the-scenes credits.
Download and read the full report: 2016-17 Boxed In Report