Study Finds Virtually No Increase in Women’s Representation in STEM Characters in Television and Film Over the Past Five Years

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and the Lyda Hill Foundation have released an updated report on the portrayals of women in STEM fields in television and film from 2007 to 2022. This study builds on a previous report the partners conducted in 2018 by providing a look into what has changed in this area since 2017.

From 2007 to 2017, approximately 37 percent of STEM characters in film and television were women. There has been very little change since 2017, with women portraying only 38 percent of STEM characters from 2018 to 2022. A notable change over the past five years was that women characters are shown in a more diverse range of STEM fields. From 2007 to 2017, almost 66 percent of women STEM characters were in the life sciences and medical fields. From 2018 to 2022, the rate of women STEM characters in those fields dropped to 56 percent compared to an increase from 2 percent to 13 percent for engineers, and an increase from 7 percent to 15 percent for computer scientists and programmers.

Additionally, the study surveyed a group of girls and young women in 2023 and found that 71 percent of respondents believe women representation in STEM is important, a significant increase from 51 percent in 2018. The respondents also showed a strong desire to see more women STEM characters on screen, with 62 percent reporting they enjoy watching entertainment about STEM topics and 72 percent reporting they wish there were more women STEM characters in television and film.

The full report, “Portray Her 2.0: An Analysis of 15 Years of Women in STEM On-Screen, 2007 – 2022,” can be viewed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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