Academy reaches goal of doubling number of women voting for Oscars

The motion picture academy extended invitations to 819 film professionals this year, including 367 women. This allowed the academy to reach to its five-year goal of doubling the number of female members by 2020. But with women representing only 45% of this year’s invitees, the academy fell short of the gender parity of last year’s roster of invitations when.421 women and 421 men were asked to join the organization that bestows the Oscars.

The class of 2019 was the second biggest in the 93-year history of thee academy. It was eclipsed only by the 928 creative types who were asked to join in 2018. While it had been thought that the academy would be hard-pressed to match that year’s record roster of invites, it needed to come close in order to have a realistic chance of reaching its target for female members.

The huge intake in 2018 helped the academy reach its other five-year goal of doubling the number of members who were people of color. The 2018 group was 49% female. In 2017, the motion picture academy extended invitations of membership to 774 people, of whom 39% were women.

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However, even with the addition of these record number of women to the ranks, they still only represent 35% of the overall membership (up from 25% in 2015) who vote for the Academy Awards. Likewise for people of color, as those new members move minority representation only from 8% to 18%.

Before the #OscarSoWhite controversy erupted in 2017, the academy already had been making a concerted effort to expand its ranks to include more minority and female members, albeit at a much slower pace than now. Indeed, while women accounted for about 30% of the invitees from 2011 to 2013, in both 2014 and 2015 that slipped back to about 25% where it had been in the first decade of this century.

In 2014, the academy invited 271 people to join, a slight drop from the 276 asked to the party in 2013. In turn, that had been a 57% bump from the 176 additions in 2012. This larger number of invitations follows the elimination of a quota system that had restricted the number of new members in years past.

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