Scarlett Johansson in LUCY
“My research indicates that women in the film industry suffer a lack of access to future career opportunities when they tend to work with people who have collaborated frequently in the past,” said Mark Lutter, lead author of the study…at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Germany.
Titled, “Do Women Suffer from Network Closure? The Moderating Effect of Social Capital on Gender Inequality in a Project-Based Labor Market, 1929 to 2010,” the study will appear in the April print issue of the American Sociological Review…
For the purposes of his study, Lutter analyzed the career data, including more than a million performances in almost 400,000 movies, of about 100,000 actors and actresses in the American film industry. The data originated from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), which contains details on all films produced since the advent of cinematography, as well as information on all of the actors and actresses involved and the networks within which they operated — in other words, with whom they worked.
Lutter found that when actresses work more often with less connected, more diverse groups featuring people from different social and cultural backgrounds, their career prospects become indistinguishable from those of actors.
If the groups they tend to work with also feature a large proportion of men in senior positions — directors and producers, for instance — or if the actresses work in male-dominated film genres, the risk of career decline is even greater. The effect is further amplified for actresses still in the early stages of their careers.
No surprise, I guess. In some crafts and trades, in some communities, there are deliberate [and often secretive] groups used in modern life to get ahead. Origins may have been in religion, ethnicity and of course gender.
I think Lutter’s analysis is of something more subtle, less deliberate; but, just as limiting as conscious inclusion.