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Women employment in TV sector falls in 2013-14: Study

MUMBAI: In 2013–14 women comprised 27 per cent of all individuals working as creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and directors of photography in the television space. This represents a decrease of 1 per cent from 2012–13 and an increase of 6 per cent since 1997–98.

The Center for Study of Women in Television and Film in San Diego has released a report tracking women’s representation and employment in prime-time television.

It revealed that overall women fared best as producers (43 per cent), followed by writers (25 per cent), executive producers (23 per cent), creators (20 per cent), editors (17 per cent), directors (13 per cent) and directors of photography (2 per cent).

The report goes on to mention that women accounting for 25 per cent of writers saw the maximum fall of 9 per cent from 2012–13, and an increase of 5 per cent since 1997–98.

It further states that 42 per cent of all speaking characters and 42 per cent of major characters on TV were female in 2013–14. This represents a decrease of 1 per cent from 2012–13, but an increase of 3 per cent from 1997–98.

Programmes airing on ABC featured the highest percentage of female characters (44 per cent), followed by CBS (42 per cent), Fox (41 per cent), CW (40 per cent) and NBC (39 per cent).

Situation comedies were more likely to feature female characters than programmes in other genres, states the report. Females comprised 46 per cent of characters in situation comedies, 44 per cent in reality programmes and 39 per cent in dramas.

In fact, female characters continue to be portrayed as younger than their male counterparts. The majority of female characters were in their 20s and 30s (59 per cent), whereas the majority of male characters were in their 30s and 40s (58 per cent).

74 per cent of female characters were white, 14 per cent were African-American, 5 per cent were Latina, 6 per cent were Asian and 1 per cent of the women were of some other race or ethnicity.

The report also states that when a programme had at least one woman writer, females accounted for 46 per cent of all characters. When a programme had no women writers, females comprised only 39 per cent of all characters.

In the findings for Broadcast Networks, Cable & Neflix Programmes, the report revealed that women comprised 25 per cent of individuals in key behind-the-scenes roles on programmes airing on the broadcast networks and cable channels and available through Netflix in 2013–2014. This represented a decline of 1 per cent from 2012–13.