Why does the DGA believe that hiring of
more women and minority Directors is critical?
the DGA, we believe storytelling should be as diverse as the world around us,
and that a
critical mass of different perspectives on screen is vital for the wellbeing
and development of society. We’re committed to realizing the vision of a
diverse and inclusive industry, and have worked toward this goal for decades.
origins of the DGA’s diversity efforts date back to the late 1970s, when a
group of women Directors mobilized to address the troubling hiring practices of
entertainment industry employers through the formation of the Women’s Steering Committee.
many years after the formation of the Women’s Steering Committee (1979), and
the Ethnic Minority Committee, (founded in 1980, and re-titled the African
American Steering Committee in 1994), employers made improvements in their
hiring practices – but that improvement has stagnated. In fact, the data on
working Directors across film and television today reveals the contrast between
current industry hiring practices and prior progress. In an industry driven by
relationships, word-of-mouth hiring practices, and an established way of doing
business, there’s a long way to go before a truly diverse, inclusive workforce
For an in-depth look at the DGA’s diversity history, visit here.
What is the DGA’s role in the hiring of
DGA does not hire Directors – those decisions are made by employers: studios,
networks and producers. Since its inception, the DGA’s mission has been to protect
the creative and economic rights of our members, and maintain the standards of the
What is the demographic breakdown of the
DGA’s membership? Why doesn’t the Guild admit more women and minorities?
any labor organization, we are a reflection of the employers’ hiring practices.
The DGA represents Directors and members of the directorial team (Unit
Production Managers, Assistant Directors, Associate Directors, Stage Managers
and Production Associates). Eligibility for membership is generally based on
who employers hire. The more women and ethnic
minorities are hired to work in DGA-covered capacities, the more women and ethnic
minorities will become new DGA members.
Percentage of All DGA Members
(including directorial team)
Percentage of Director Members
* Data current as of August 2016
What is the DGA doing to increase the
hiring of women and ethnic minority members?
seek to wield our influence and utilize our collective bargaining power,
relationships and resources to try to change industry practices. Currently, we
employ a four-pronged approach to advance the issue: (1) engage with industry
decision-makers; (2) negotiate with employers; (3) develop networking, career
enhancement and training opportunities; and (4) report back to the industry.
1. Engage with Industry Decision-Makers
DGA holds meetings with studios, production companies, and individual shows
specifically to address diversity in hiring. At these meetings, the DGA
presents employment statistics that bring non-diverse hiring practices into
stark relief. Additionally, to further dispel the myth that there aren’t any
women or minority Directors available for hire, the DGA provides customized
member contact reports to employers at their request, and defined by their
specific criteria. A searchable member database with filter options to search
for women and ethnic minority members is also available online. While not every
meeting has resulted in improved diversity, we’re pleased to see that many
shows have made measurable progress.
2. Negotiate with Employers
DGA’s collective bargaining agreements include the most robust, comprehensive
and enforceable diversity provisions of all the entertainment industry guilds
1981, we’ve pushed for diversity-related provisions during collective
bargaining with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP)
– and gains were hard fought. That year, we secured agreement from employers
that they would make efforts to improve diverse hiring practices. In 2002, we
secured commitment to annual diversity meetings with signatory companies. In
2008, employers agreed to commit substantial resources to increase the
employment of both experienced and emerging women and minority Directors in
television. In 2011, we established the right to meet with executives
responsible for hiring episodic Directors at the individual series level.
2014, we achieved an industry first: agreement from each of the major
television studios to maintain or establish a Television Director Development
program focused on diversity – complete with enforceable provisions. Additionally,
we secured the establishment of an industry-wide Joint Diversity Action
Committee to meet every four months to address industry-wide diversity issues.
should be noted that the DGA does not negotiate with itself. We bargain with
all the major studios, networks and the industry, and many of our proposals are
not met with agreement.
also monitoring the studios and networks to ensure that they comply with these
new and existing contractual obligations.
3. Develop Networking, Career Enhancement and Training Opportunities
DGA’s Women’s, Latino, Asian American, African American and Eastern Diversity Committees,
and Eastern Focus on Women Sub-Committee: hold networking events with
producers, networks, and studio representatives to introduce Directors to key
decision-makers; program educational seminars; and organize tribute events to
highlight the excellent work being done by women and ethnically diverse Directors.
For more information on the events held
by each committee, please visit their individual
4. Report Back to the Industry
also put pressure on the industry and have brought attention to the issue through
the publication of highly publicized data reports rich with statistics
reflecting current industry hiring trends. In these reports, we call public
attention to the worst of the worst shows when it comes to diverse hiring
practices, as well as the best of the best. Our most recent reports have garnered
significant media attention, they include:
Is it true that you share “hiring lists”
of women and diverse Directors with employers?
DGA never makes hiring recommendations.
a resource for employers, and in an effort to broaden the hiring pool, we
provide a searchable online member database with filter options to search for
women and ethnic minority members. Additionally, at an employer’s request, the
DGA’s current practice is to provide customized member reports defined by the
employer’s specific criteria.
DGA’s practice outlined above has evolved to this custom process. Formerly, the
DGA provided contact information of all the Guild’s women and ethnic minority
members – a list of thousands of members. In response to feedback from
employers that these broad reports were not helpful for their needs, the DGA began
creating the custom reports. To increase employer awareness of the service, the
DGA in the past provided sample reports of all women and ethnic minority Directors
who directed at least one television episode in the last five years. Those
five-year contact reports included more than 300 members, approximately 60% of
whom were women Directors.
What are the DGA’s contract requirements
DGA’s collective bargaining agreement with the AMPTP requires that:
companies work diligently and make good faith efforts to increase the number of
working racial and ethnic minority and women Directors and members of the
DGA conducts annual diversity meetings with signatory companies. Additionally,
the DGA is the only entertainment Guild or union that has the right to hold episodic
series-level diversity meetings with hiring managers;
companies provide reports of employee gender and ethnicity;
DGA’s television studio signatory companies develop and maintain Television
Director Development programs focused on diversity.
Do the DGA’s diversity efforts apply
equally to women and minority members?
and ethnic minorities are not an “either/or” proposition – not in our
contracts, not in our data reporting and not in our meetings with employers.
is a misperception that DGA contracts allow studios to fulfill all their
“diversity obligations” by hiring minority males. This is not true. Our
contracts call on employers to “increase the number of working racial and
ethnic minority and women Directors.” The same requirement applies to
members of the directorial team. There
is nothing “either/or” in our contract, and no implication that hiring minority
men releases employers from their responsibility to hire more women.
the DGA releases annual episodic television Director diversity reports that
break down the data for both women and minorities. We also have
Women’s Committees – on both the west and east coasts – that focus specifically
on issues related to women Directors and members of the directorial team.
Is the DGA frustrated that diverse
hiring continues to be flat across the industry?
it’s an issue the Guild has been fighting for since the Women’s Steering
Committee got the ball rolling in 1979. In 1983, the DGA sued Warner Bros. and
Columbia Pictures on behalf of women and minority members. Although the suit was dismissed in 1985, there was improvement for some time thereafter – but that has stagnated.
Ever since, the DGA has continued to devote significant time and resources to
the issue. The fact that the many industry programs to encourage a more diverse
workforce have not achieved their desired goals speaks volumes about how deeply
entrenched gender and racial bias are across an industry driven by fragmented, relationship-driven
and word-of-mouth hiring practices. We continue to approach this matter from a
number of angles to convince employers to take ownership of the issue. Until
that happens, there may never be substantive change.