Have women earned more Emmy nominations over the last decade?

For non-acting categories, women have shown little progress in garnering more Emmy nominations over the past 10 years, a women's media nonprofit has found. 

Beth Dubber/AP/Amazon
Amy Landecker, left, as Sarah Pfefferman, and Jeffrey Tambor as Maura Pfefferman, appear in a scene from "Transparent," an Amazon series.

Though more women like Amy Schumer, Mindy Kaling, and Jenji Kohan are responsible for creating today’s most popular television programs, less than a quarter of women receive Emmy recognition for the work to determine the theme, tone and style of television shows.

According to an analysis by the Women’s Media Center of a decade’s worth of Emmy Awards data, only 22 percent of nominations for writing, directing, producing, and editing have gone to women in the past decade. This year, 25 percent of nominations recognized women.

Out of the nine people nominated for outstanding writing for a comedy series this year, for instance, only Jill Soloway, the writer, director and producer of Amazon’s original series “Transparent,” snagged a nomination.

"Clearly there is a connection between the broadcast, network, cable, and Netflix programs that hire exclusively male creators and the industry-wide gender divide," said Julie Burton, president of the nonprofit organization, in an online announcement.

The news of perpetual disparity comes in time for Sunday’s 67th Emmy Awards. The Women’s Media Center is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit founded in 2005 to promote women in media. Its founders are actress Jane Fonda, poet Robin Morgan, and journalist Gloria Steinem.

As Burton points out, the low numbers of Emmy nominations reflect the numbers of women hired to work in non-acting jobs. Prime-time television shows in the past year hired women as 26 percent of executive producers, 38 percent of producers, 26 percent of writers, 14 percent of directors, and 21 percent of editors, reports the Women’s Media Center.

“These are key behind-the-scenes roles, and the men and women in these 
roles have the power to decide and mold what the story is, who is in the story, and how the story is told,” explained Burton in the report announcement.

Research has found that more women in leadership positions begets more jobs for women in television. The Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film in San Diego recently reported that women make up 50 percent of writers on network shows created by women, and 15 percent of writers on shows created by men. This was true of all jobs on television programs.

There are positive signs for women in television, though. In at least one category – exceptional merit in documentary film – women nominees have consistently outnumbered men 54 to 46 percent.

Comedian Amy Schumer, the creator and writer of "Inside Amy Schumer," was nominated four times this year, including for best directing in a variety series, though the directing nomination marks only the second time in 10 years that a woman has been included in that category, reports Reuters.

Female writers of  "Mad Men" represent 10 out of 15 nominations for the show in best drama series writing since 2006.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Have women earned more Emmy nominations over the last decade?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today