Women in Entertainment: Women Hire Women (No Shit)

'Pitch Perfect 3,' 2018 (Indiewire)

‘Pitch Perfect 3,’ 2018 (Indiewire)

Does it surprise anyone that women are more likely to hire women than men are likely to hire women? No? Great, than this next piece of information will totally make sense: The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film put out a recent study that examined women’s employment in the entertainment industry in certain high-level behind-the-scenes capacities (director, writer, composer, etc.) for the top 250 films of 2017 and the top 100 and top 500 films of 2015.

What this study, aptly titled “The Celluloid Ceiling,” found was that on films with more than one female director, more women were hired for other top roles. The study looked at the incidence of women being hired as writers, editors, cinematographers and composers, and that incidence went up dramatically (ha) when women were also directors, or at least one director.

How dramatically? Women directors employed women writers at a 60% increase than male directors, and employed women composers at a 10% increase than male directors.

For those who require their data in visual form, here’s a graph of said increases:

Graph examining incidence of women hired for top-level behind-the-scenes work with at least one female director vs. exclusively male directors ('The Celluloid Ceiling' Report 2018)

Graph examining incidence of women hired for top-level behind-the-scenes work with at least one female director vs. exclusively male directors (‘The Celluloid Ceiling’ Report 2018)

I have to level with everyone here: I definitely assumed I’d see a sizable uptick in women being hired if there was already a women in the top spot (i.e. director). But I had no idea it’s be this large of a difference.

This also begs the question: Which movies are more likely to have women as directors? Though the “The Celluloid Ceiling” report doesn’t answer that directly, it does shed some light on certain genres which may favor women directors a bit more:

By genre, the largest percentage of women, relative to men, worked in documentaries (30%), followed by comedies (23%), dramas (22%), sci-fi features (20%), animated features (19%), horror features (18%), and action features (13%).

Personally, I’d like to see more women in dramas, sci-fi, and horror, but any gain works! Now let’s make more of them!!


By The Numbers: The Gender Pay Gap

Equal Pay March (The Atlantic)

Equal Pay March (The Atlantic)

Everyone knows that women get paid less than men. (If you don’t know that by now, you’re welcome.) You may have heard that stat that women make 75 cents to every dollar a man makes.

This got me curious to see what the pay gap has been throughout recent history. I found long-range pay gap data from Pay Equity Information. I then made a data table to cherry-pick my desired years:

Gender Pay Gap Data, 1960-2015 (Pay Equity Information)

Gender Pay Gap Data, 1960-2015 (Pay Equity Information)

Then I created a line graph to see the difference visually:

Gender Pay Gap: 1960-2015 chart (Pay Equity Information)

Gender Pay Gap: 1960-2015 chart (Pay Equity Information)

As you can see, the pay gap was worst in 1960-1980. Only after 1980 does the ratio start to approach 70 cents to a dollar. And there’s still so far to go.

The U.S. Abortion Rate is at its Lowest Numbers Since 1973

Abortion protestors (FIUsm)

WASHINGTON – JANUARY 22: Pro-choice advocates participate in protest in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building January 22, 2010 in Washington, DC. Activists from across the nation gathered to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which decriminalized abortion in all fifty states. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)Abortion protestors (FIUsm)

A recent study released by the Guttmacher Institute found that the U.S. abortion rate has fallen to its lowest rate since 1973.

The study claims that in 2014, the abortion rate is 14.6 abortions per ever 1K women of childbearing age (defined as ages 15-44). The rate peaked at 29.3 abortions per 1K women in 1980-1981. In 2013, the abortion rate “fell below 1M for the first time since the 1970s.”

Number of abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44 (The Guttmacher Institute/NPR)

Number of abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44 (The Guttmacher Institute/NPR)

The study also found that 12% of clinics had at least one patient who tried to self-induce her abortion. There was no correlation between the closing of abortion clinics and more restrictive abortion laws by state. In areas where more abortion clinics opened, there was not a higher abortion rate.

There appears to be a substitution effect at work, with other birth control methods taking the place of abortion. Most notable is that of the intrauterine device (IUD), which has gained in usage over the past several years.

But why 1973? 1973 was the seminal year where the U.S. Supreme Court handed down their decision on Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion. It’s a good sign that women are using more birth control methods and not having to rely on abortion to get rid of unintended pregnancies.

How Many Active Female Users did Ashley Madison Have?

Ashley Madison homepage (Ashley Madison)

Ashley Madison homepage (Ashley Madison)

I’m loving this Ashley Madison hack for the sheer volume of data it’s bringing to light! It makes a numbers nerd like me very happy.

This may not come as a shock (well, hopefully it doesn’t), but Ashley Madison didn’t have a whole lot of active female users. The site claimed to have around 31M+ male users and 5M+ female users. So already, the women on the site are outnumbered by the men at a 6:1 ratio. This wouldn’t be a promising sign for any man who was a registered user. (Side note: Do you think any of the men knew to what degree they were competing with the other men? I’m really curious about this.)

But wait, there’s more: Annalee Newitz at “Gizmodo” crunched some numbers on on-site interaction between members (and made some fun bar graphs), and the results trumpeted the sex ratios loud and clear. Some examples: For every woman that checked her messages, 20 men did. For every two women that used the online chat system, 11 men did.

With those numbers in mind, how many of these men interacted with a bot? My guess is quite a few.