More women are directing TV shows than ever before – but there’s still a long way to go

A new study has shown that 21% of TV is now headed by female directors, like The Night Manager's Susanne Bier

(Getty, TL)

More women are directing TV programmes than ever before, according to the latest hiring data compiled by the Directors Guild of America.


It’s still hardly equal to men though: although the percentage of US shows directed by women increased by 4% in the past year, women still only direct 21% of all programmes in the study of 4,500 TV episodes.

The data also pointed to an improving ethical diversity among directors: the percentage of episodes directed by ethnic minorities rose to a record 22%.

The study also investigated which producing companies employed the most diverse directors, with 20th Century Fox leading the way – 45% of its shows were headed by either women or minorities. This is in contrast to HBO (33%) and Netflix (20.5%).

Looking at just the proportion of female directors – like The Night Manager’s Susanne Bier (pictured above) – Amazon came out top, with 33.6% of its shows headed by women. However, the company was second to last in terms of ethnic minorities with only 10% of its directing jobs going to such groups. Only Netflix’s 4.5% score was lower.

Netflix was found to employ the highest percentage Caucasian male directors (77.3%).


“While this report reflects some progress overall, there are stark disparities among the major studios that raise questions about how committed to inclusion some employers really are,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme.