Women are strongly underrepresented in the television and film writing sectors, a report issued in May by the Writers Guild of America, West (WGA) found. Women constitute 27 percent of television writers and only 19 percent of film writers. While the median income of women television writers has increased since the last report was issued in 2005, women film writers have not fared as well. The gender gap in film median earnings doubled from $20,000 to $40,000, according to the report. Minorities have also lost ground to white, male writers.
The report (PDF) notes that “while there have been some noteworthy advances made by women and minority writers on certain measures… there are few signs that the overarching industry dominance of white and male writers is easing to any significant degree.” It calls on the industry to make concrete changes, including establishing timetables, to hire more women and minority writers.
The statistics incorporated in the report exclude areas not covered by the WGA, such as network reality television, nonfiction, and comedy-variety programming. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the writing pool is more diverse in these areas, according to the report, although often these writers receive smaller salaries.