Young Headliners reporter Adam MacDonald examines the fight for gender equality in Hollywood and how the British Film Institute is trying to inspire young film audiences in the UK by identifying diverse role models in the film industry.

In today’s world, there have been improvements in strengthening gender equality however it isn’t quite there yet. In film and Hollywood women are being accepted a lot more on and off the camera than they used to be a decade ago. But is there equality yet? The answer is no, in 2016, females comprised 29% of on-screen roles. This represents an increase of 7% from 2015 and a recent historical high. Improvements are being made very slowly but it is reaching a mile stone every time. Because of this we can see that women are not giving up in the fight with gender equality.

Women made up only 7% of directors, but films with a woman director were more likely to also have a female editor, cinematographer or composer

Corinna Downing is an educator for the BFI (British Film Institute), who works specifically in film education for children and young people. Downing told Headliners that their role at the BFI is to find “diverse examples and representatives from the film industry to inspire our equally diverse audience of young people and their educators.”

Downing also said that “this is not always possible, for reasons relating to the historic and self-serving structure of the film industry which does not lend itself to women managing unbroken upward career trajectories (as identified by the British film industry support organisation Raising Films) and relies heavily on personal connection rather than more transparent recruitment policies. In the US, the latest edition of the annual ‘Celluloid Ceiling’ report (Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film, San Diego State University) which has tracked women’s employment on top grossing films for the last 19 years, revealed that that women comprised just 17% of the key lead roles working on the top 250 grossing films in the US in 2016, the same percentage as in 1998. Women made up only 7% of directors, but films with a woman director were more likely to also have a female editor, cinematographer or composer.”

diverse examples and representatives from the film industry to inspire our equally diverse audience of young people and their educators

It is a fact that there isn’t equality between men and women in film, arguably because of the way history has shaped itself in today’s world.

In a 21st century world which has grown to be diverse, this shouldn’t be happening.

There has been change and it is increasingly positive for women. The most significant matter is that women aren’t giving up.

Story written by Adam MacDonald, Age 18 from Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.

Created as part of the Pop Up Newsroom event for International Women's Day 2017 #popupiwd #IWD2017