The presence of women in European TV/SVoD fiction slowly increases but inequality remains strong, according to the European Audiovisual Observatory
- In 2021, the share of women professionals varied significantly depending on the role, ranging from 8% of composers to 45% of producers and leading actors being women
Last week, the European Audiovisual Observatory has published a new report, titled “Female audiovisual professionals in European TV fiction production” and authored by Gilles Fontaine.
In detail, the study addresses the presence of women among six audiovisual professional categories in TV fiction, according to three different angles and indicators: the share of women among active professionals, the share of female-driven teams and the weighted share of women.
The research’s scope includes the analysis of the gender balance for writers, directors and leading actors in “TV fiction episodes and TV films produced in the EU27 plus UK with a first broadcast or release between 2015 and 2021 on TV or on SVoD services, excluding series with more than 52 episodes per season” as well as that of producers, DoPs and composers in “TV fiction episodes and TV films produced in the EU27 plus UK with a first broadcast or release between 2015 and 2021 on TV or on SVoD services, excluding series with more than 13 episodes per season.” The data on European audiovisual fiction titles were provided by Plurimedia, and the sample includes around 490,000 credits.
In 2021, the share of women among active professionals varied significantly depending on the role – ranging from 8% of composers and 9% of DoPs to 45% of producers and leading roles. Women professionals working as directors and writers accounted for 26% and 39%, respectively.
Zooming in on women directors, the research finds that in 2021 they represented 26% of active directors of audiovisual fiction episodes and TV films in Europe (up from 16% in 2015). “On average, women (co)directed fewer episodes than men and they were less likely to be the sole director of a work. [...]The share of audiovisual fiction episodes directed by female-driven teams was again slightly lower, at 21% (up from 16% in 2015), as women were proportionally more likely to work in male-driven teams,” the report further explains.
Meanwhile, “women accounted for 39% of active writers of audiovisual fiction in Europe (up from 34% in 2015).” The report also indicates that “each female (co)wrote more episodes than males,” although “they were less often the sole writer of an episode.”
The 45% figure of active female actors playing a leading role in audiovisual fiction titles is defined as “quite stable since 2015.” The study notes that “there was at least one woman among the lead roles of 93% of audiovisual fiction episodes and TV films,” and “female and male actors were equally involved in co-playing leading roles in audiovisual fiction titles.” In addition, “mixed teams were mainly gender-balanced or with a male majority.”
The 45% share of female producers, which includes all active producers of European TV films and high-end TV series,” marks a 6% increase on 2015 figures. On average, “women produced a similar number of episodes to men and were the sole producers of TV titles almost as often as their male counterparts.” Moreover, “the share of titles by female-driven production teams was 37% (up from 30% in 2015), as women solely produced fewer titles but, when co-producing, were part of a gender-balanced team of producers.”
Finally, the report shows that the 9% share of female DoPs “were normally the sole cinematographers of the titles on which they worked – as with their male counterparts – but signed fewer titles,” whilst the 8% share of women composers (up from 4% in 2015) “composed on average fewer titles than men” and “they were less likely to be the sole composers of audiovisual titles than their male counterparts.” Furthermore, the study shows that “the share of audiovisual titles by female-driven composer teams was only 5% (up from 4% in 2015), since when women composed music for a TV film or TV episode together with other composers, it was mostly in gender-balanced or in male-majority teams of composers.”
You can access the full document here: https://rm.coe.int/female-audiovisual-professionals-in-european-tv-fiction-production-202/1680aa7261
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