Skip to content

Women in film: what does the data say?

We've published two new articles, with a series of data visualisations, which analyse the gender imbalance in UK film casts and film crews using a new Filmography from the British Film Institute (BFI).  


 

 

 

 

 

We have undertaken a gender-focused analysis of this Filmography, which contains records on over 10,000 UK films, stretching back to 1911, and over 250,000 unique cast and crew members.

Key findings include:

  • The gender mix in UK film casts has not improved since the end of the Second World War.
  • In crews the gender mix has improved, but in some departments women still make up less than 10 per cent of senior roles. 
  • Female actors have tended to make fewer films and have had shorter careers than male actors.
  • Unnamed characters who work in high-skilled occupations (e.g. doctor) are much more likely to be portrayed by men than women. 
  • Films that have one woman in a senior writing or directing role contain relatively more women in their casts.  

Find out more by exploring the data visualisations of the role women have played both on screen and off screen in the UK film industry in the last 100 years.

Author

Cath Sleeman

Cath Sleeman

Cath Sleeman

Quantitative Research Fellow

Cath is the Quantitative Research Fellow at Nesta, working in the Policy and Research team. She is interested in scraping, analysing and visualising complex data.

View profile