BOARDSMAG.COM recently enquired whey there are so few female directors. And it got me thinking.

Creative advertising is dominated by guys. Most film directors are male. Most editors, but not all by any means, are male. If you look at advertising, for example, women are prominent in planning/account service/ and of course production. Roles in which, intentionally or not, they are “helping out the guys” and making sure they don’t have ketchup stains on their one tie as they go into the big meeting.

Now it would be very easy to dismiss this as nature playing itself out. Men were the hunters. Women did the rest.

But you would think that in the modern enlightened age of two-thousand-and-fucking-ten that there would be more women film directors, for example. That is a field where gender matters zero. Or should. I had the very great privilege to have several conversations with the legendary Japanese director Nagi Noda (RIP) a few years ago. She was amazing. Because she had a unique flavor. But there are precious few Nagi Nodas. And that’s what makes a director great. Imagination. And that’s not governed by body chemistry. That’s pure imagination.

Full disclosure: I have four very Irish sisters in Ireland, my mom was an angel, I am married to a fiercely intelligent irish-american summa cum laude Wellesley College graduate. I have two amazing daughters. I know from strong women.

Personally I think it’s a very superficial problem. Women look at the industries, and as Cindy Gallop pointed out, don’t’ see themselves. They see guys. Quite often of the white variety. And the white guys look at them and see something strange: women! Eeeek!!!

And to be honest, guys can have that reaction. We really are that stupid! Guys are more comfortable with guys is the basic reason. It’s all very juvenile, but there you are. It’s the case.

But it’s no excuse. And if my daughters are anything to go by, it’s coming to an end. But women do need to try a bit harder to break through. Even today. Sad but true.


  1. Very fair comment; I’ve posted your blog on Adcrowd Daily. Thank you.

  2. This is changing slowly. Women are getting 3 of every 5 college degrees in the US now. And the glass ceiling is cracking just not fast enough. I noticed that aggressive men are rewarded in the business world. Aggressive women are called B*tch. Which is ridiculous but it is because the weak minded men in power band together because they know they are threatened with the competition. Remember for many years plenty of men got promoted because they couldn’t find anyone better and women weren’t part of the equation. I think less than 10 Fortune 500 companies have female CEO’s.

    I agree with your points 100% since I tend to support Feminist/Equality Causes. When I came into the industry I felt it refreshing to see so many women in Advertising/Marketing. But never knew so few were high up on the creative side.

    BTW It was nice to see James Cameron be very delighted and supportive of his Ex winning the Oscar for Directing.

  3. Who wants to a Bored Director anyway?

  4. theescapepod

    howie, i think women are really only getting equality with the current and coming generations. these girls are fully equal in every way. the past is history.

  5. Thank God it is past history, Vinnie.

    I remember my Gran telling me that when she was young she was docked ten points in a test so that a man got the highest score. The administrators even brought her into their office to tell her they were going to do that.

    It just makes me more grateful that my Mother wasn’t surrounded by those kind of men as much as my Gran was, as I’m not sure she would’ve been able/allowed to achieve what she did.

    But then she is related to Emily Davidson, so maybe it’s in her blood to be like that.

  6. yes guy. thank god those days are gone. my sisters are the first women in my family to truly live in a time when gender bias is accepted to be utterly stupid.

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