Women continue to fight for equality in communications field, film criticism

A new study by The Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication at Florida International University found that men continue to dominate top management positions while women remain in the middle, likely to have less longevity in the field. Interruption in their full-time work, too, is increased for women as they experience “men only” culture in their companies.

In 2016, a survey by the Kopenhaver Center compared the communications field for women to 2018, showing little progress in all areas except salaries, with an average increase of $25,000.

According to Executive Director of the Kopenhaver Center for Advancement of Women in Communications, the survey gave “critical results to help us understand the current role and status of women working in those industries. Interestingly, workplace culture came to the forefront as inhibiting advancement for women, a factor that companies need to have more awareness of in providing equity for all employees … Women have made few advancements in the workplace in moving ahead in their professions. Since half the population of this country is female, the communications industries need to have that percentage of women represented in those who are providing information to the public. It guarantees a balanced point of view and a fair and accurate representation of our society.”

Part of the communications industry is a lack of female film critics, an issue that has plagued the entertainment industry since its inception but just now coming to light. Activists like Brie Larson have recently condemned the mostly-male, mostly-white men in communications (as Frances McDormand, who held up a red bum sticker with the phrase “Inclusion Rider” written in black capital letters). When accepting the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film at the 2018 Crystal + Lucy Awards, Larson said she didn’t need “a white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about A Wrinkle in Time.” Her statement supports a recent study concluded that reviewers of the 100 top-grossing films on Rotten Tomatoes in 2017 are overwhelmingly white and male. According to the report, 83 percent of the critics are white males. In turn, FF2 Media continues to dedicate its mission to reviewing every theatrical film released by a women writer and/or director each week.

“I want to know what that film meant to women of color, to biracial women, to teen women of color, to teens that are biracial,” Larson reiterated in her speech. “And for the third time, I don’t hate white dudes. These are just facts, these are not my feelings.”

Thanks to the Kopenhaver Center, the facts are clear and so is the unshattered glass ceiling.

© Brigid K. Presecky (6/26/18) FF2 Media

Featured photo: Brie Larson accepts the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film onstage during Women In Film’s Crystal + Lucy Awards on June 13. Photo credit: Emma McIntyre / Getty Images for Women In Film

Bottom photo: Members of The Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication

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Brigid Presecky began her career in journalism at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. In 2008, she joined FF2 Media as a part-time film critic and multimedia editor. Receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Bradley University, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked in development, production and publicity for Berlanti Productions, Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros. Studios, respectively. Returning to her journalistic roots in Chicago, she is now a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and certified Rotten Tomatoes Film Critic.
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