Based on current statistics, male writers are hired in significantly higher numbers over female writers. The recent WGA Inclusion and Equity report notes that while women make up 50.8% of the U.S. population, they accounted for only 29.6% of the film screenwriting jobs in 2020.
Similar to our recommendations for hiring feature directors, the search for screenwriters must start with a diverse list of talent for decision makers to consider.
From the top down, require that all writers lists for open assignments include 50 percent women and at least 50 percent people of color.
Considering the needs of each production, and the opportunities for supporting talent of intersectional identities and experiences, you may want to set additional benchmarks for your lists. Push back if you’re not getting inclusive lists.
Require that at least three new samples from women the company has never hired before are read and considered for every open assignment.
Ensure that decision-making executives meet not only with the “proven” candidates, but also with “alternative” candidates. There is a widespread pattern by which only junior project executives actually meet newcomers and thus newcomers never get face time with the executives who can actually hire them.