Entries in Female (2)


Female Film Roles Still Secondary, According to New Study

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- After decades of gender equality efforts in many parts of American life, an analysis of the 100 top-grossing movies of 2008 found that men still have an advantage over women in film: Only 32.8 percent of the speaking parts were given to women.

The study looked beyond just on-camera roles, also finding that only eight percent of directors, 13.6 percent of writers and 19.1 percent of producers were female.

"Most male writers, directors or producers will write story lines, create story lines that feature more male characters," said Stacy Smith, who co-led the study by researchers at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, along with Marc Choueiti.

Not only that, but 13-to-20-year-old girls continue to be "hypersexualized in film," according to the study. A substantially higher percentage of young women are shown wearing revealing attire then are men.

In fact, 39.8 percent of females wore revealing attire in movies, compared to 6.7 percent of males. And females are shown partially naked 30.1 percent of the time, compared to 10.3 percent for males.

One big name behind the camera is Kathryn Bigelow, who won a Best Picture Oscar for The Hurt Locker, which she directed.

"I think, finally, it's about the ideas and it's about the passion," she said. "And that's what ... certainly drives me personally.

"If I can be a role model and give some young, female filmmaker [the idea] that the impossible is possible," she said, "and that if you're tenacious enough and maybe [have] a few moments of good luck, you can go to Jordan and shoot in the punishing heat of the summer."

Even with trailblazers like Bigelow, things are slow to equalize. For every woman that directed, wrote or produced a movie, there were nearly five men.

However, when one or more female screenwriters are involved in penning a script, the percentage of female characters jumps by 14.3 percent.

Things slowly are starting to change. In 2008, three of the biggest-grossing movies were geared towards girls -- Twilight, Mama Mia! and Sex and the City.

"The industry sees there's a market and that people are going to see films like Twilight, Mama Mia!, The Proposal, The Blind Side," Smith said. "These types of movies are making money."

The hope is that if more films geared toward women turn a profit, more of them will be produced, which would change the currently stark outcomes of studies like this one.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Walmart and Women: How Do Other Big Companies Embrace Female Workers?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Carly Huey never thought she'd still be working for Patagonia.

"I started working in the Boston store in 1997 as a sales associate," Huey said.

Huey thought the job would only last a year, but two kids and multiple promotions later, she has now been with the company for more than 10 years.

She climbed the ladder from sales associate to district manager, holding three other positions along the way.

Patagonia offers "no cost" health insurance for its employees, even to those who work just 20 hours a week. Almost everyone at the company, 99 percent of employees, work a flexible schedule: Leaving to attend a child's soccer game is actually encouraged.

The result of this kind of workplace is that women have stayed and excelled at Patagonia. Today, 62 percent of the company's top executives are women, and what is good for women is good for business.

"There's a huge return on investment for companies who invest in their female employees and in their hourly workers, and that investment pays off by having talented people who stay," said Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media.

Marriott International extends its hospitality to all employees. The hotel chain offers perks like flextime and training to everyone, including front desk workers and housekeepers.

Marriott also promotes from within the company, and five of the company's 12 vice presidents are women.

Over at McDonalds, even part-time employees can apply for the 401k program and purchase health insurance.

If an employee wants to go back to school, McDonalds will reimburse them. Sixty-four percent of store managers at the company are women and 70 percent of them started flipping burgers.

This means that the girl taking orders behind the counters has a real shot at eventually being the company's CEO.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio