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Diversity Matters: Why We Need More Women in Film

  • Diversity Matters: Why We Need More Women in Film

The following blog post was written by Carmela Dimaculangan at the School of Global Access.

As part of the annual United Nation’s Do One Thing initiative, the IC viewed a series of Canadian short films, exploring the idea of how media reflects and shapes our culture and identity.
The workshop sparked a conversation on how to tackle an age-old issue: the lack of diversity and representation of women in film. Has anything changed?

I was both surprised and delighted to find out that the top three highest grossing films in North America in 2017 all featured female protagonists: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast, and Wonder Woman. (Box Office Mojo, 2017)

Gross Box Office By The Numbers:
1. Star Wars The Last Jedi ($620 billion)
2. Beauty and the Beast (504 billion)
3. Wonder Woman ($412 Billion)

While we should celebrate the record-breaking success of these films, there’s still more work to be done. 

According to research from the Centre for the Study of Women in Television in Film Television at San Diego State University, out of the 100 highest-grossing films last year, only 24% were female led. The lack of female representation continues behind the scenes, with women only accounting for 8% of directors, 10% of writers, and 24% of producers. (Smith, 2018)

It’s time to stop perpetuating the myth that female led films don’t sell. Over 50% of all movie goers are female (MPAA, 2017), which proves that we shouldn’t underestimate the economic purchasing power of women.

Looking to support some female led films? Here’s what’s happening in 2018.

Be sure to visit our photo gallery, for a look at our previous REEL Canada film festivals, and Do One Thing workshops.

Lauzen, M. (2018). It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: Portrayals of Female Characters in the 100 Top Films of 2017, pp.1. Retrieved from
Smith, S. (2018). Inequality in 1,100 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race/Ethnicity, LGBT & Disability from 2007 to 2017, pp.2. Retrieved from
THEME Report. (2018). Motion Picture Association of America. Retrieved from
Box Office Mojo. (n.d.). Yearly Box Office. Retrieved from