While the Hollywood scene continually releases blockbuster hits with strong female characters in the lead role, the reality of female empowerment in the film and television industry has yet to follow the lead of iconic superstars like Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and shall we say, Black Widow. These on-screen powerhouses shed light on a movement for female equality that many in Hollywood have resisted. As director and producer Heather Parry knows, there is no easy path to success in the big leagues. In fact, the road for many females is more like a scene from the movie Hidden Figures.
Proof of Disparity
As of the latest diversity report, women have yet to lay hold on as many employment positions as males throughout the entire industry, when looking at creators, directors and cast members from both blockbuster hits and cable network television shows. In fact, in a survey taken with 282 diverse individuals-with many of those responding identifying as females- 64% responded that they had felt bias and discrimination in regards to their employment environment. The situation is not different in the professional sports world either, where, for example, professional female footballers are paid much less than males.
Working towards female equality in the workforce has a history as old as the suffrage movement. While traditional gender roles are being redefined by groundbreaking court decisions, medical advancements, and educational opportunities, there is still a need for greater emphasis and articulation concerning female empowerment and leadership. In a manner of speaking, television and film storylines have placed a spotlight on these areas, with politically-oriented sitcoms and series headlining females as high ranking government officials.
Moving Past Pandering
Recent politics have shown an increased attention to female leaders, yet sadly, the social culture of the United States has yet to fully tap the potential of female politicians. Instead, they turn toward Hollywood releases to satisfy a subtle nod towards female equality, while the very directors, writers, actresses, and other administrative personnel feel a frustrating disparity in their own salaries, promotions, and opportunities. With a more open-minded approach and a culture that appreciates diversity, perhaps we shall soon see more real-life female superheroes come to the forefront.