Do films directed by women have more women in the cast?

Posted Tuesday 17 Jan 2023

Do films directed by women have more women in the cast?

Film data sleuth Stephen Follows crunched the numbers to discover whether the above is true.

Follows looked at 440,956 cast credits across 8,415 movies released between 2000 and 2021, and at everyone who received an acting credit, no matter their importance to the plot, fame, salary or screen time.

First up, he calculated what percentage of acting roles in that time period were given to women:

Across the almost half million acting roles studied, 26.8% were performed by women.

The year with the highest representation was 2005 (in which 28.3% of acting credits went to women).

Then he calculated which genres featured the most women:

The films with the fewest women on screen were Westerns (16.7% of roles were performed by women), War (17.0%) and Historical films (18.3%).

At the other end of the spectrum, Romance films featured 33.7% women, followed by Musicals (31.1%) and Music-based films (30.0%).

Click here to find out whether a woman at the helm meant more acting roles for women.

Image Credit: Ilze Kitshoff/Sony Pictures

Viola Davis (left) and director Gina Prince-Bythewood on the set of The Woman King