When the Bafta Film Awards nominations for 2018 were announced, one of the biggest controversies was the all-male best director shortlist.

Coming just after Natalie Portman had a dig at the Golden Globes for the very same issue, eyebrows were raised when the nominations for the Baftas were revealed just days later.

Now, Bafta Chairman Jane Lush has told Variety that the absence of female director nominees was "a reflection of the industry" and that the problem was "not about blaming people".

"Of course we want to see women in the best director category," Lush said. "It is a reflection of the industry to a certain extent and we should be doing something about it, and that’s why we have Bafta Elevate [a initiative to promote the careers of female directors].

Bafta mask, Getty, SL

"It’s not about blaming people," she continued. "It’s about what can we do to make it different."

Bafta revealed that 16 per cent of the entries in the director category were women.

No woman has received a Bafta Film nomination for director since 2013, and women have only been nominated in the category seven times.

Two of those seven nominations were for Kathryn Bigelow, who is still the only woman ever to win the best director Bafta for 2010's The Hurt Locker.

The Bafta Film Awards 2018 will be broadcast on Sunday 18th February on BBC1 and will be hosted by Joanna Lumley after former host Stephen Fry stepped down.