Why actresses have to be choosy to survive in showbiz

” While the study focuses on the film industry, the findings have implications for people in other industries as well.”
Washington(NERVE) – Actresses need to be pickier than men about with whom they work if they want to survive in the movie industry, a new study suggests.

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 lead author of the study Mark Lutter.

For the purposes of his study, Lutter analysed 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.

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.

The career opportunities for actresses are more likely to dwindle if they work in homogeneous teams, Lutter said.

If the groups they tend to work with also feature a large proportion of men in senior positions, 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 career.

This would mean that they are likely excluded from important sources of information about future projects, Lutter added.

This is particularly problematic in project-based labour markets, such as the film industry in which jobs tend to be obtained through informal channels and personal networks.

So rather than relying on close circles and personal friendships, women should focus on developing diverse networks of relationships outside their own circle, Lutter said.

While the study focuses on the film industry, the findings have implications for people in other industries as well.

The study appeared online in the American Sociological Review.