Oscar Statistics: Women at the Oscars

Edith Head, Costume Designer, with her eight Oscars

Earlier this year, I started a series of articles exploring data from the 89-year history of the Academy Awards. I’ve tackled everything from foreign language statistics to ageism. With this article, I wrap up my 2017 Oscar statistics series looking at Women at the Oscars.

While I hope to come back to the statistics articles next year, I’m currently at a loss for what to tackle. Certain subjects, such as minority representation (race and sexuality), are more difficult as the Academy doesn’t have data readily available for collation. Thus, any future articles will be few and far between. Further, with Oscar season now starting in earnest, I must step back to work on that content, which means it won’t be at least until mid-2018 before I can even consider coming back to this series.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how women are represented at the Oscars. For years, the Academy has been taken to task for its inability to recognize women in various capacities, reflecting a broader inaccessibility for women in the film industry. To explore how those imbalances have improved over the years, this article will look at raw numbers, both the overall outlook of the Academy’s selections and on an individual category basis.

Dorothy Jeakins (right), Costume Designer

Before we get started, there are two sets of data that won’t be included in the overall data sets of this article. The first is because it deals with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself. One thing that might exemplify the challenge of women to earn equal representation in the Academy, is how they often they represent the Academy in a leadership capacity, namely the presidency.

To date, only three women have ever been elected as president of AMPAS. Bette Davis was the first in 1941, but she resigned two months later after reaching an impasse with the Board of Governors who considered her brash and for presenting proposals that were too radical and she felt her position as a figurehead was not appropriate. The second was 38 years later when writer Fay Kanin was elected the 23rd President of the Academy. She served four elected terms, becoming the first to win re-election. The final woman is PR representative Cheryl Boone Isaacs who just completed her fourth full term in the presidency. She was the thirty-fifth to serve in the post, 34 years after Kanin.

The second data set that we won’t discuss in detail is that of the acting categories. Since the beginning, acting has been separated into male and female categories. This did not change with the introduction of the supporting categories in 1936. Therefore, none of these categories would be particularly instructive. Interesting, however, is that while the number of winners and nominees in the supporting categories is exactly identical at 81 wins and 405 nominations, Lead Actor and Lead Actress are slightly different.

Diane Warren, Songwriter

The 9th Academy Awards, the same one where the supporting categories were introduced, were the first where the categories were normalized at 5 nominations each. Prior to that, the number of nominations in each category varied not only by year, but also by gender. Best Actor, for instance, saw a total of 27 nominations (the 2nd Academy Awards had no nominees, so that year is not included) whereas Best Actress had 29 nominations (not including the Bette Davis Of Human Bondage write-in candidacy at the 7th Oscars). Other than that, the number of winners remains identical between the two at 90 each, both having seen ties: Best Actor in 1931/32 between Wallace Beery and Fredric March; and Best Actress in 1968 between Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand.

With that information out of the way, let’s get to the data that matters most. I’ve broken the data down into various parts in order to best explore how women have been represented in various categories at the Oscars. Further down in this article, we’ll go into each category the Academy has ever had, starting with the ones with the least (or no) representation to the ones with the most. I’ll also highlight accomplishments along the way, including the first women to be nominated, the first to win, the firsts to earn solo nominations and wins, and the number of all-women teams that have claimed nominations or victories.

Before we dig into that, let’s take a look at the overall nomination and win count for women at the Oscars.

Overall Representation

Kathleen Kennedy, Producer


When looking at overall representation, it’s important to note that certain categories (Best Picture, Documentaries, Foreign Film, Sound Mixing, and Original Score) had special rules that either resulted in only the studio being nominated or some other entity that isn’t an individual. The numbers I cite here exclude these numbers entirely. In addition to not including non-individuals on the list, I also excluded all acting categories as well as Foreign Language Film nominees except one year when producers were nominated and not just the countries of origin.

I will also break out figures based on total number of nominations as well as total number of individual nominations. For instance, in Best Visual Effects, four individuals are typically nominated for each film. I will look at all four combined as one nomination as well as all four individually.

In Oscar history, there have been 7,177 films nominated with at least one individual cited. There have been, overall, 11,602 total individuals nominated for Academy Awards. On the single film side, 1,163 films (16.20%) have featured a nomination slate that included at least one woman. 989 of those films were comprised of at least half women. More than half of the nominee slate was women in 534 cases and in a situation where all of the nominees were women, there were 497 instances. On the individual side, 1,321 women (11.28%) have ever been nominated.

On the winners side, we have a worse picture. There have been 4,350 individuals who have won Academy Awards over the years. 332 of those have been women (7.63%)

Overall Nomination and Win Records

Thelma Schoonmaker, Film Editor


Before we get to the individual categories, let’s look at a simple set of statistics: most nominated and most awarded women.

Edith Head is the most nominated woman in Oscar history, amassing a sizable 35 nominations in her career. That puts her behind only Walt Disney (59), John Williams (50), Alfred Newman (43), and Cedric Gibbons (38) among individual nominees. MGM holds the record with 62 with Warner Bros. at 42 and France with 37.

In terms of most awards, Edith Head is again at the head of the pack, winning 8 Oscars for Costume Design. Of competitive winners, that puts her behind Disney (22), Cedric Gibbons (11), and Alfred Newman (9). She is currently tied with Alan Menken, Dennis Muren, and Edwin B. Willis. MGM (12), Italy (11), and France (9) are the only non-individuals ahead of her. If you through in non-competitive awards, Disney jumps to 26, Italy to 14, MGM to 13, France to 12, and Dennis Muren to 9. Joining that list ahead of Head is Eastman Kodak (20), Panavision (18), Iain Neil (12), Farciot Edouart (10), Douglas Shearer (9), and Technicolor (9).

Irene Sharaff is one of only a handful of women to win four or more Oscars. She received 5. The rest of these women won four: Colleen Atwood, Milena Canonero, Katharine Hepburn (for acting), and Catherine Martin.

Here is a list of the most nominated women (seven or more nominations) in Oscar history:
1. Edith Head (35), Costume Designer
2. Meryl Streep (20), Actress
3. Marilyn Bergman (16), Songwriter
*. Irene Sharaff (16), Costume Designer
5. Colleen Atwood (12), Costume Designer
*. Katharine Hepburn (12), Actress
*. Dorothy Jeakins (12), Costume Designer
*. Sandy Powell (12), Costume Designer
9. Jenny Beavan (10), Costume Designer
*. Anna Behlmer (10), Sound Mixer
*. Bette Davis (10), Actress
*. Helen Rose (10), Costume Designer
13. Milena Canonero (9), Costume Designer
14. Kathleen Kennedy (8), Producer
**. Francesca Lo Schiavo (8), Set Decorator
**. Ve Neill (8), Makeup Artist
**. Geraldine Page (8), Actress
**. Diane Warren (8), Songwriter
19. Ingrid Bergman (7), Actress
**. Cate Blanchett (7), Actress
**. Judi Dench (7), Actress
**. Jane Fonda (7), Actress
**. Greer Garson (7), Actress
**. Nancy Haigh (7), Set Decorator
**. Barbara McLean (7), Film Editor
**. Thelma Schoonmaker (7), Film Editor
**. Kate Winslet (7), Actress
**. Mary Wills (7), Costume Designer

Here is the list of most honored women (3 or more awards) in Oscar history:
1. Edith Head (8)
2. Irene Sharaff (5)
3. Colleen Atwood (4)
*. Milena Canonero (4)
*. Katharine Hepburn (4)
*. Catherine Martin (4), Production Designer, Costume Designer
*. Irene Sharaff (4)
8. Ingrid Bergman (3)
*. Marilyn Bergman (3)
*. Dorothy Jeakins (3)
*. Francesca Lo Schiavo (3)
*. Ve Neill (3)
*. Sandy Powell (3)
*. Thelma Schoonmaker (3)
*. Meryl Streep (3)
*. Fran Walsh (3), Producer, Writer, Songwriter

Now that we have an overall picture of where women stand at the Oscars, let’s look at the individual categories and find out which were the worst, which were the best, and several other individual facts. Below, split into three sections, are the individual categories at the Oscars. The first section deals with all competitive categories. The second section is individual awards that are not selected from a list of nominees. The third section contains all categories that are no longer given out.

The categories will feature tons of information about the various female nominees in them and will be listed in order from least representative to most representative. Please note that the writing, score, and live-action short film categories have gone through numerous changes throughout the years and will be grouped as much as is possible.

Individual Categories

Colleen Atwood, Costume Designer


Before digging into each category, let’s get some definitions out of the way to make the tables below a bit easier to read.

Each section is separated by a header that says what category it is. This is followed by an introductory paragraph explaining information about the category’s representation of women, followed by information about when the category was first given out and a brief bit of info about its history. This will be followed by a section highlighting the first woman nominated in the category, the first woman to win an award, the first woman to secure a solo nomination, the first solo woman to win, the first all-woman team nominated, and the first all-woman team honored. Some or all of these might be empty depending on the category.

Following this are two tables. The first is filled with nomination information for the overall numbers; numbers in the last 5, 10, or 20 years; and numbers for each decade from the 1920s to the 2010s (so far). This first table is organized such that the first columns of data are called “Group Nominees.” This means that each team nominated for a single film is counted as one entity. If there is any number of women on the team, it’s counted. The second column is the total number of nominee teams in the category, and the third column is a percentage of teams containing at least one woman. The second data set column is titled “Individual Nominees.” This means that each team is broken out into individual nominees and the tallies of women (column one) is then compared to the total number of nominees, male or female (column two), and then given a percentage (column three).

The second table will be for winners only. These are not broken down into teams and individuals, we are looking solely at individuals regardless of team. The first column is the number of individual female winners, the second is the total number of winners, and the third is the percentage of winners that have been female.

There is a third data set that I’m not going to be including in this particular post because of time constraints, but will hopefully get to post at a later date. It will feature a bit more esoteric information. Those tables will look at the representation in each category based on team composition. Such that, we’ll look at what percentage of nominee teams are women. This will be broken down in five columns (also using the Overall, 5 Years, 10 Years, 20 Years, Individual Decades breakdown of the previous two data sets). The first column will be teams that were 100% women; the second will be teams where the team makeup is more than half or less than full, say 51% or 75%, etc.; the third will be teams that are exactly half women; The fourth column will be those that are less than half, but with at least one woman on the team; and the final initial data column will be a count of teams that contain no women. There will then be five additional columns with percentages of the whole that were of each type in the first five columns.

This data is broken down into three sections, which are then organized in order of least representational to most representational.

Active Categories

Best Cinematography

Outside of honorary awards and defunct categories, cinematography remains the one area where women have never been nominated. Will that change this year? Mudbound cinematographer Rachel Morrison has already picked up three critics nominations this year and even won the New York Film Critics Circle award. She just recently finished up Black Panther, which will mark her 14th feature film. She was nominated for an Emmy award last year for her work on What Happened, Miss Simone? If she does, this will end this category and profession’s long history of exclusion.

Award First Given: 1927/28 (1st)

The history of the category stretches back to the first Academy Awards. It has been consistently awarded since with two periods of history where cinematography in black-and-white and color were separately awarded (from 1939 (12th) through 1956 (29th) and again from 1958 (31st) through 1966 (39th)).

First Woman Nominated: No woman has ever been nominated.

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 577

  • 25
  • 50
  • 100

  • 35
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 85
  • 95
  • 119
  • 40
  • 3
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 634

  • 26
  • 52
  • 102

  • 36
  • 51
  • 50
  • 54
  • 55
  • 92
  • 99
  • 149
  • 44
  • 4
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 131

  • 5
  • 10
  • 20

  • 7
  • 10
  • 10
  • 12
  • 11
  • 19
  • 20
  • 26
  • 13
  • 3
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Best Directing

Kathryn Bigelow, Director


For 48 years, this category was a man’s world. In 1976, that changed with Lina Wertmüller became the first woman ever nominated for Best Director. It took another 17 years before a second woman (Jane Campion) would ascend. The third woman (Sofia Coppola) took another decade and the fourth and last to be nominated (also the first winner), Kathryn Bigelow, was a further six years on and was almost a decade ago now. Greta Gerwig and Dee Rees are the year’s only two women even remotely in contention. Rees’ chances are tied to how welcome Mudbound is while Gerwig’s problem is that she directed a small comedy. That didn’t stop Coppola from getting nominated, however.

Award First Given: 1927/28 (1st)

This category has been consistently awarded since the Academy Awards’ inception. The first year, the category was split into dramatic and comedic categories, but was combined the next year and every year since.

Most Nominated Woman: No woman has been nominated more than once.
Most Honored Woman: Kathryn Bigelow (1)

First Woman Nominated: Lina Wertmüller – Seven Beauties – 1976 (49th)

First Woman Honored: Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker – 2009 (82nd)

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 4

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2

  • 0
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 434

  • 25
  • 50
  • 100

  • 35
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 43
  • 6
  • 0.92%

  • 0.00%
  • 2.00%
  • 2.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 4.00%
  • 2.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 2.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 4

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2

  • 0
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 439

  • 25
  • 52
  • 102

  • 36
  • 51
  • 50
  • 50
  • 51
  • 51
  • 50
  • 50
  • 44
  • 6
  • 0.91%

  • 0.00%
  • 1.92%
  • 1.96%

  • 0.00%
  • 3.92%
  • 2.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 1.96%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 1

  • 0
  • 1
  • 1

  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 92

  • 5
  • 11
  • 21

  • 7
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 3
  • 1.09%

  • 0.00%
  • 9.09%
  • 4.76%

  • 0.00%
  • 9.09%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Music Awards

There is undoubtedly a boys club within the music branch. Apart from the Original Song category, the general composition categories have been honoring men for decades with the occasional woman thrown in. While the first woman was nominated at the 18th Academy Awards, she was the only nominee in a primary score category nomianted until 1999 when Rachel Portman, hot off her secondary category win three years earlier became the second. That’s a sixth-four year span. You may be curious by what I mean primary and secondary. I’ll explain more below, but suffice it to say, if you look at only the years where was an Original Score category and there weren’t multiple categories based on genre or other details in a year, Portman was the first and the second (2000), and it would be 16 years before another woman would (Mica Levi). Of course, we’re looking at the history of the category and there have only been eleven women nominated, some of them in the Original Song Score category and some in Comedy/Musical score.

Award First Given: 1934 (7th)

The first award for composition was given in 1934 for “Scoring,” which was given for four years before the category was split into Original Score and Scoring separately. These distinctions were abridged and reformed throughout the years, separating musicals from drama and comedy pictures or comedy/musical pictures from dramas to adaptation or partial adaptations and original song scores. Apart from the first four years, it wasn’t until 1980 (54th) that the category was unified under a single Original Score designation. This was interrupted from 1982 through 1984 with the Original Song Score category sitting next to it, but remained solo until 1995 (68th). That year and for the subsequent four years, the music branch tried to distinguish composition between dramas and comedy/musicals. It was an attempt to root out the Disney juggernauts that had claimed the prizes five of the prior seven years. As Disney went into decline, the need for the category disappeared and they reunified in 1999 (72nd) and have kept it that way since. That doesn’t mean there isn’t the possibility of a resurgence of the Original Song Score category, which has been on the books for years as an optional category that the branch has so far refused to use again with musicals like Dreamgirls, Enchanted, and La La Land featuring enough songs to qualify. Only La La Land was nominated for Original Score, but that proves that they don’t intend to recognize Original Song Score ever again.

Also worth noting that in the original days of the category, it was the music department head of the various studios that earned the nomination and award. Sometimes this was the same person as the composer, but often it was not. This occurred for the first four years when it was just “Scoring” and was swapped to the composer winning the prize starting in 1938 (11th).

Most Nominated Woman: Rachel Portman (3); Angela Morley (2)
Most Honored Woman: Marilyn Bergman (1); Anne Dudley (1); Rachel Portman (1)

First Woman Nominated: Ann Ronell – G.I. Joe – 1945 (18th)
First Woman Honored: Marilyn Bergman – Yentl – 1983 (56th)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Rachel Portman – Emma – 1996 (69th)
First Solo Woman Honored: Rachel Portman – Emma – 1996 (69th)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: No all-female teams hae ever been nominated.

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 11

  • 1
  • 1
  • 5

  • 1
  • 1
  • 4
  • 1
  • 3
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 776

  • 25
  • 50
  • 110

  • 35
  • 50
  • 70
  • 59
  • 84
  • 100
  • 95
  • 211
  • 72
  • 1.42%

  • 4.00%
  • 2.00%
  • 4.55%

  • 2.86%
  • 2.00%
  • 5.71%
  • 1.69%
  • 3.57%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.47%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 11

  • 1
  • 1
  • 5

  • 1
  • 1
  • 4
  • 1
  • 3
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 955

  • 27
  • 54
  • 119

  • 38
  • 51
  • 77
  • 78
  • 116
  • 123
  • 119
  • 256
  • 97
  • 1.15%

  • 3.70%
  • 1.85%
  • 4.20%

  • 2.63%
  • 1.96%
  • 5.19%
  • 1.28%
  • 2.59%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.39%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 3

  • 0
  • 0
  • 1

  • 0
  • 0
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 169

  • 5
  • 11
  • 23

  • 8
  • 10
  • 15
  • 19
  • 23
  • 27
  • 26
  • 27
  • 14
  • 1.78%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 4.35%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 13.33%
  • 5.26%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Best Visual Effects

Suzanne Benson (right), Visual Effects Artist


The strange part of Visual Effects ranking above Original Score in terms of female representation is that only three women have ever been nominated or won. The reason is that Visual Effects prizes weren’t given until 1963 (when the Special Effects category, no defunct, was split into Visual Effects and Sound Effects). Even then, the category resulted in either speial echievement awards or no awards given unti l991 when it became a formal, full-fledged category. While I’m trying to highlight potential Oscar nominees in the upcoming derby that are women, Visual Effects is a category where I am not great at picking out who will be on the eligibility list or be on the formal list of up-to-four nominees. It’s possible that Sara Bennett, who was the most recent nominee (and winner) two years ago for Ex Machina could make another appearance, but Kingsman: The Golden Circle isn’t even on the longlist this year, so that’s not possible.

Award First Given: 1963 (36th)

When the Visual Effects category was split off from the Special Effects category in 1963, it carried that name for a year before becoming “Special Visual Effects,” a name it would carry through 1971 after which it was called Visual Effects alone. 1972 (45th) was also the first year the category was awarded only as a special achievement award with no nominees. This occurred again from 1974 through 1976, in 1980, 1983, and for the last time in 1990. Only one year did they determine now film deserved a special achievement award and that was in 1973. The earlier years saw no more than two nominations, with a surprising five being slotted in 1979, but settled into the standard three nominations in 1982. There were only two nominees again in 1987 and one last time in 1995, but the category was well known as one of three categories where only three nominations were ever cited (Makeup and Sound Effects Editing being the other two). In 2010, the Visual Effects branch finally implemented a standard five nominees making Makeup the only remaining category that nominates no more than three on a consistent basis.

Most Nominated Woman: Sara Bennett (1), Suzanne Benson (1), Pamela Easley (1)
Most Honored Woman: Sara Bennett (1); Suzanne Benson (1)

First Woman Nominated: Suzanne Benson – Aliens – 1986 (59th)
First Woman Honored: Suzanne Benson – Aliens – 1986 (59th)

First Solo Woman Nominated: No woman has ever been nominated solo.
First All-Woman Team Nominated: No all-female team has ever been nominated.

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 3

  • 1
  • 1
  • 1

  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 138

  • 25
  • 44
  • 74

  • 35
  • 30
  • 26
  • 22
  • 11
  • 14
  • 2.17%

  • 4.00%
  • 2.27%
  • 1.35%

  • 2.86%
  • 0.00%
  • 3.85%
  • 4.55%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 3

  • 1
  • 1
  • 1

  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 505

  • 100
  • 176
  • 295

  • 140
  • 120
  • 103
  • 82
  • 41
  • 19
  • 0.59%

  • 1.00%
  • 0.57%
  • 0.34%

  • 0.71%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.97%
  • 1.22%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 2

  • 1
  • 1
  • 1

  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 190

  • 20
  • 40
  • 80

  • 28
  • 40
  • 40
  • 39
  • 34
  • 9
  • 1.05%

  • 5.00%
  • 2.50%
  • 1.25%

  • 3.57%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 2.56%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Best Sound Mixing

Anna Behlmer, Sound Mixer


From the early days of sound on film, the Sound Recording category was part of the Academy Awards. Introduced in the third year, it was a stagginer 65 years before the first woman was nominaed in the category. Anna Behlmer is one of the most nominated women in Oscar history, but like several notable sound mixers, she’s never won an Oscar. Only one woman has even won an Oscar for Sound Mixing and that didn’t occur until 17 years ago. While Behlmer keeps quite active, there are few women in the sound mixing field who could score a nomination, let alone a nomination this year. That sole winner, Lora Hirschberg, probably has the best shot having mixed both Guardians of the Galax Vol. 2 and Thor: Ragnarok, two of the films in competition this year. I doubt either makes it, but she would up her second-place nomination tally from two to three.

Award First Given: 1929/30 (3rd)

The first Best Picture winner (Wings) was silent. The second (The Broadway Melody was all-talking and all-singing. Sound had surged in such a big way from 1927 to 1929 that the Academy introduced one of its earliest technical achievement awards recognizing sound recording. It was known as Best Sound Recording for 1929 years before being renamed Best Sound in 1959 (32nd). That was the name it carried for 44 years when, in 2003, the category was renamed Sound Mixing after its companion category Sound Effects Editing had been renamed three years earlier as simply Sound Editing. There has always been confusion over the purpose of these two separate categories, but the name change may have helped clarify that distincton. In the beginning, the award was presented to the studio sound department responsible for the film, the award going specifically to the director of the department for a portion of that time. Apart from 1930/31 and 1931/32, the sound director received the award through 1966. Then, for two more years, 1967 and 1968, the award went solely to the sound department itself. That all changed in 1969 (42nd) when the actual individuals responsible for the sound mixing were recognized and it has held that tradition ever since.

Most Nominated Woman: Anna Behlmer (10); Lora Hirschberg (2)
Most Honored Woman: Lora Hirschberg (1)

First Woman Nominated: Anna Behlmer – Braveheart – 1995 (68th)
First Woman Honored: Lora Hirschberg – Inception – 2010 (83rd)

First Solo Woman Nominated: No woman has ever been nominated solo.

First All-Woman Team Nominated: No all-female team has ever been nominated.

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 15

  • 1
  • 5
  • 13

  • 3
  • 7
  • 5
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 465

  • 25
  • 50
  • 100

  • 35
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 40
  • 48
  • 81
  • 61
  • 3.23%

  • 4.00%
  • 10.00%
  • 13.00%

  • 8.57%
  • 14.00%
  • 10.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 15

  • 1
  • 5
  • 13

  • 3
  • 7
  • 5
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1050

  • 79
  • 162
  • 334

  • 115
  • 166
  • 184
  • 192
  • 152
  • 49
  • 50
  • 81
  • 61
  • 1.43%

  • 1.27%
  • 3.09%
  • 3.89%

  • 2.61%
  • 4.22%
  • 2.72%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 1

  • 0
  • 1
  • 1

  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 201

  • 17
  • 30
  • 66

  • 22
  • 32
  • 40
  • 38
  • 30
  • 12
  • 9
  • 10
  • 8
  • 0.50%

  • 0.00%
  • 3.33%
  • 1.52%

  • 4.55%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Best Sound Editing

Karen Baker Landers, Sound Editor


The sound field, whether mixing or editing, has always struggled to find female representation. For Sound Editing, the first winner (of a special achievement award) wasn’t until 19 years after the category was first presented. The first female nominee was two years later. Since then a smattering of women have been nominated. The category typically recognizes one or two individuals, but the first all-woman team didn’t earn a nomination until last year. The number of women nominated each decade has been slowly increasing and it’s possible that one or more women will be nominated this year since six of the last ten years have seen at least one woman nominated. Who it will be this year, I couldn’t say for sure.

Award First Given: 1963 (36th)

The Special Effects category was given out until 1962 and honored both visual effects and sound effects. The category was split into separate categories starting in 1963 and have remained separate ever since. Like Visual Effects, the early years were peppered with special achievement awards rather than a nomination slate. This occurred for the first time in 1975 (48th) and then again in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1984, and 1987. Also unlike Best Visual Effects, the category saw far more years where no award was given at all. Those years were from 1968 (41st) to 1974 (47th), 1976, 1978, and 1980. Called simply Sound Effects while it was a regular category, when the special achievement awards were given out, the title changed to either Sound Effects Editing or Sound Editing before settling on Sound Effects Editing when it became a semi-regular category again in 1982. As with Sound Mixing, the category’s title was changed to just Sound Editing in 2000 and remains under that title today.

Most Nominated Woman: Gloria S. Borders (2), Karen Baker Landers (2), Ai-Ling Lee (2), Gwendolyn Yates Whittle (2)
Most Honored Woman: Karen Baker Landers (2)

First Woman Nominated: Cecelia Hall – Back to the Future – 1986 (59th)
First Woman Honored: Kay Rose – The River – 1984 (57th)

First Solo Woman Nominated: No woman has ever been nominated solo.
First Solo Woman Honored: Kay Rose – The River – 1984 (57th)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Ai-Ling Lee & Mildred Iatrou Morgan – La La Land – 2016 (89th)
First All-Woman Team Honored: No all-female team has ever won.

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 11

  • 4
  • 7
  • 7

  • 5
  • 2
  • 3
  • 1
  • 0
  • 128

  • 25
  • 50
  • 80

  • 35
  • 36
  • 30
  • 17
  • 10
  • 8.59%

  • 16.00%
  • 14.00%
  • 8.75%

  • 14.29%
  • 5.56%
  • 10.00%
  • 5.88%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 12

  • 5
  • 8
  • 8

  • 6
  • 2
  • 3
  • 1
  • 0
  • 206

  • 40
  • 82
  • 131

  • 57
  • 60
  • 51
  • 28
  • 10
  • 5.83%

  • 12.50%
  • 9.76%
  • 6.11%

  • 10.53%
  • 3.33%
  • 5.88%
  • 3.57%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 5

  • 1
  • 2
  • 2

  • 1
  • 1
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 68

  • 9
  • 16
  • 33

  • 12
  • 16
  • 17
  • 15
  • 3
  • 5
  • 7.35%

  • 11.11%
  • 12.50%
  • 6.06%

  • 8.33%
  • 6.25%
  • 11.76%
  • 6.67%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Best Animated Short Film

Faith Hubley (left), Animator


There have been a fair number of women nominated for this award over the years, though it took 30 years before the first managed to get into the race. The animation field has been a male-dominated field for some time. Things have improved, but not enough. This year, I was only able to identify one woman among the shortlisted short films, so things may not be improving this year.

Award First Given: 1931/32 (5th)

Since its inception in 1931/32, the category has been consistently awarded with few name changes (cartoon to animated and short subject to short film only). The most interesting aspect of the category is that it once recognized the myriad short films shown before a movie, but nowadays, only animated films seem to have them and even then not every one does.

Most Nominated Woman: Faith Hubley (6); Torill Kove (3), Wendy Tilby (3)
Most Honored Woman: Faith Hubley (2)

First Woman Nominated: Faith Hubley – The Hole – 1962 (35th)
First Woman Honored: Faith Hubley – The Hole – 1962 (35th)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Suzanne Baker – Leisure – 1976 (49th)
First Solo Woman Honored: Suzanne Baker – Leisure – 1976 (49th)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby – When the Day Breaks – 1999 (72nd)
First All-Woman Team Honored: No all-female team has ever won

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 39

  • 8
  • 11
  • 19

  • 10
  • 6
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 340

  • 25
  • 50
  • 98

  • 35
  • 48
  • 45
  • 30
  • 34
  • 36
  • 40
  • 49
  • 23
  • 11.47%

  • 32.00%
  • 22.00%
  • 19.39%

  • 28.57%
  • 12.50%
  • 17.78%
  • 20.00%
  • 14.71%
  • 11.11%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 42

  • 9
  • 13
  • 22

  • 12
  • 6
  • 9
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 429

  • 39
  • 75
  • 142

  • 54
  • 68
  • 57
  • 37
  • 51
  • 47
  • 43
  • 49
  • 23
  • 9.79%

  • 23.08%
  • 17.33%
  • 15.49%

  • 22.22%
  • 8.82%
  • 15.79%
  • 16.22%
  • 9.80%
  • 8.51%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 13

  • 1
  • 2
  • 4

  • 1
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 3
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 103

  • 9
  • 17
  • 28

  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 13
  • 12
  • 14
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 12.62%

  • 11.11%
  • 11.76%
  • 14.29%

  • 7.69%
  • 25.00%
  • 16.67%
  • 15.38%
  • 16.67%
  • 21.43%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Writing Awards (OVERALL)

Ruth Prawer Jhabala, Writer


While the writing categories have been male dominated for some time, women have been nominated since the 3rd Academy Awards, just not in the numbers they should have been. This is reflected in the nomination and award tallies. There are women in competition every year, this year alone has three that are either guaranteed a nomination or are on the cusp. Greta Gerwig will certainly be nominated for Lady Bird and Vaness Taylor is likely in for co-writing The Shape of Water. The only woman not certain of a nomination is Liz Hannah who co-wrote The Post. These three are all in Original Screenplay, which also features co-screenwriter Emily V. Gordon on The Big Sick. On the adpated side, Sofia Coppola’s Beguiled script isn’t really in competition, so that category will likely be all-male again this year.

Award First Given: 1927/28 (1st)

Originally conceived with three categories, all three were eliminated for the subsequent two years with only Title Writing never coming back. Over the years, the category has been split into two or three categories, most often along the adapted and original binary, but for a few years, this distinction wasn’t as readily reocgnizable. The current dichotomy began in 1957 (30th) and has continued with only vague title changes over the years. While this section is concerned with all writing categories combined, I have broken out two more sets of data after this to detail Original Screenplay and Adapted Screenplay.

Most Nominated Woman: Nora Ephron (3), Frances Goodrich (3), Ruth Gordon (3), Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (3), Frances Marion (3), Claudine West (3)
Most Honored Woman: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (2), Frances Marion (2)

First Woman Nominated: Frances Marion – The Champ and Adela Rogers St. John & Jane Murfin – What Price Hollywood? – 1931/32 (5th)
First Woman Honored: Frances Marion – The Big House – 1929/30 (3rd)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Frances Marion – The Champ – 1931/32 (5th)
First Solo Woman Honored: Frances Marion – The Big House – 1929/30 (3rd)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Adela Rogers St. John & Jane Murfin – What Price Hollywood? – 1931/32 (5th)
First All-Woman Team Honored: Nora Ephron & Alice Arlen – Silkwood – 1983 (56th)

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 125

  • 8
  • 19
  • 32

  • 12
  • 18
  • 13
  • 17
  • 13
  • 8
  • 8
  • 19
  • 17
  • 0
  • 897

  • 50
  • 100
  • 200

  • 70
  • 100
  • 100
  • 100
  • 95
  • 100
  • 104
  • 140
  • 79
  • 9
  • 13.94%

  • 16.00%
  • 19.00%
  • 16.00%

  • 17.14%
  • 18.00%
  • 13.00%
  • 17.00%
  • 13.68%
  • 8.00%
  • 7.69%
  • 13.57%
  • 21.52%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 133

  • 8
  • 21
  • 38

  • 14
  • 22
  • 14
  • 18
  • 14
  • 8
  • 8
  • 19
  • 17
  • 0
  • 1,409

  • 75
  • 158
  • 317

  • 113
  • 165
  • 139
  • 149
  • 152
  • 173
  • 166
  • 215
  • 128
  • 9
  • 9.44%

  • 10.67%
  • 13.29%
  • 11.99%

  • 12.39%
  • 13.33%
  • 10.07%
  • 11.41%
  • 9.21%
  • 4.62%
  • 4.82%
  • 8.84%
  • 13.28%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 20

  • 0
  • 1
  • 5

  • 0
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 0
  • 274

  • 16
  • 29
  • 59

  • 22
  • 28
  • 25
  • 25
  • 27
  • 26
  • 45
  • 42
  • 30
  • 4
  • 7.30%

  • 0.00%
  • 3.45%
  • 8.47%

  • 0.00%
  • 17.86%
  • 12.00%
  • 8.00%
  • 3.70%
  • 0.00%
  • 4.44%
  • 7.14%
  • 13.33%
  • 0.00%

Writing Awards (Adapted Screenplay)

The Adapted Screenplay category has existed in varying forms since the first Academy Awards. There was a lengthy period when adaptations were not given their own separate categories, so the data below looks at only the years where one of the categories specifically referenced Adaptation.

Award First Given: 1927/28 (1st)

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 44

  • 5
  • 10
  • 18

  • 7
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 0
  • 3
  • 0
  • 317

  • 25
  • 50
  • 100

  • 35
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 45
  • 50
  • 20
  • 14
  • 3
  • 13.88%

  • 20.00%
  • 20.00%
  • 18.00%

  • 20.00%
  • 18.00%
  • 16.00%
  • 14.00%
  • 11.11%
  • 10.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 21.43%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 49

  • 5
  • 11
  • 22

  • 8
  • 12
  • 9
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 0
  • 3
  • 0
  • 480

  • 32
  • 77
  • 162

  • 55
  • 88
  • 66
  • 73
  • 74
  • 70
  • 30
  • 21
  • 3
  • 10.21%

  • 15.63%
  • 14.29%
  • 13.58%

  • 14.55%
  • 13.64%
  • 13.64%
  • 9.59%
  • 6.76%
  • 7.14%
  • 0.00%
  • 14.29%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 6

  • 0
  • 0
  • 3

  • 0
  • 3
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 86

  • 7
  • 15
  • 30

  • 11
  • 15
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 10
  • 8
  • 5
  • 1
  • 6.98%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 10.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 20.00%
  • 9.09%
  • 8.33%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 20.00%
  • 0.00%

Writing Awards (Original Screenplay)

On the other side of the coin is the Original Screenplay category, which has also been around in multiple forms since the beginning. While there are several categories that could fall into this umbrella, I restricted them only to those to categories that were called Original Screenplay (or as “Written Directly for the Screen”), Original Story & Screenplay, and Original Story. Everything else was left out of this particular data set.

Award First Given: 1927/28 (1st)

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 53

  • 3
  • 9
  • 14

  • 5
  • 9
  • 5
  • 10
  • 8
  • 3
  • 1
  • 5
  • 7
  • 0
  • 387

  • 25
  • 50
  • 100

  • 35
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 20
  • 40
  • 40
  • 2
  • 13.70%

  • 12.00%
  • 18.00%
  • 14.00%

  • 14.29%
  • 18.00%
  • 10.00%
  • 20.00%
  • 16.00%
  • 6.00%
  • 5.00%
  • 12.50%
  • 17.50%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 56

  • 3
  • 10
  • 16

  • 6
  • 10
  • 5
  • 11
  • 9
  • 3
  • 1
  • 5
  • 7
  • 0
  • 617

  • 43
  • 81
  • 155

  • 58
  • 77
  • 73
  • 76
  • 78
  • 103
  • 39
  • 57
  • 54
  • 2
  • 9.08%

  • 6.98%
  • 12.35%
  • 10.32%

  • 10.34%
  • 12.99%
  • 6.85%
  • 13.16%
  • 11.54%
  • 2.91%
  • 2.56%
  • 8.77%
  • 12.96%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 10

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2

  • 0
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
  • 1
  • 2
  • 0
  • 126

  • 9
  • 14
  • 29

  • 11
  • 13
  • 14
  • 13
  • 14
  • 16
  • 19
  • 12
  • 13
  • 1
  • 7.94%

  • 0.00%
  • 7.14%
  • 6.90%

  • 0.00%
  • 15.38%
  • 14.29%
  • 7.69%
  • 7.14%
  • 0.00%
  • 5.26%
  • 8.33%
  • 15.38%
  • 0.00%

Best Animated Feature

Brenda Chapman (right), Animator


Women have been involved in animation for decades, but many of the great animated films feature prominent male artists and so there’s been a fair bit of under-representation in the animation field. This category only came into existence at the 74th Academy Awards. As such, it hasn’t had much data to compare. Yet, in spite of animation’s preponderence of men, several have been nominated over the years, even if never on multiple occasions.

Award First Given: 2001 (74th)

The category has been given for 16 years now and has never gone through a title change, though it has shifted in the number of nominees over time, but these days, there always sufficient number of submissions for a full five-nominee slate.

Most Nominated Woman: Bonnie Arnold (1), Kristine Belson (1), Brenda Chapman (1), Jennifer Lee (1), Jennifer Yuh Nelson (1), Marjane Satrapi (1), Osnat Shurer (1), Arianne Sutner (1), Rosa Tran (1)
Most Honored Woman: Brenda Chapman (1); Jennifer Lee (1)

First Woman Nominated: Marjane Satrapi – Persepolis – 2007 (80th)
First Woman Honored: Brenda Chapman – Brave – 2012 (85th)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Jennifer Yuh Nelson – Kung Fu Panda 2 – 2011 (84th)
First Solo Woman Honored: No woman has ever won solo.

First All-Woman Team Nominated: No all-female team has ever been nominated.

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 9

  • 7
  • 9
  • 9

  • 8
  • 1
  • 65

  • 25
  • 45
  • 65

  • 33
  • 32
  • 13.85%

  • 28.00%
  • 20.00%
  • 13.85%

  • 24.24%
  • 3.13%
 
  • 9

  • 7
  • 9
  • 9

  • 8
  • 1
  • 105

  • 54
  • 80
  • 105

  • 65
  • 40
  • 8.57%

  • 12.96%
  • 11.25%
  • 8.57%

  • 12.31%
  • 2.50%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 2

  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

  • 2
  • 0
  • 25

  • 13
  • 18
  • 25

  • 15
  • 10
  • 8.00%

  • 15.38%
  • 11.11%
  • 8.00%

  • 13.33%
  • 0.00%

Best Original Song

Marilyn Bergman (left), Songwriter


Three of the most significant songwriters in Academy history have been women. Marilyn Bergman was nominated fifteen times along with her husband Alan. Diane Warren and Carole Bayer Sager have also been fairly prolific. This is one of the few categories where female representation has been relatively solid since its inception.

Award First Given: 1934 (7th)

The category has been given for over 80 years now. It featured only three nominees in its first two years and then expanded a little for the next two years ad finally exploded numerous nominees over the next eight years with a brief shortened slate in 1939. Starting at the 19th Academy Awards (1946), the category was reduced to five nominees and stayed that way consistently over the next few decades. There are currently rules written in that suggest that fewer than five may be nominated. This has happened five times since 1946 with the first three-nominee set coming out in 1988 (61st) and then again in 2005 (78th) and 2008 (81st). They selected four in 2010, dropped to two in 2011 and then returned to five for the last 5 years. 2013 was a special case. Five nominees were announced, but one was declared ineligible due to a violation of campaigning rules. It was not replaced.

Most Nominated Woman: Marilyn Bergman (15); Diane Warren (8); Carole Bayer Sager (6)
Most Honored Woman: Marilyn Bergman (2)

First Woman Nominated: Dorothy Fields – “Lovely to Look At” from Roberta – 1935 (8th)
First Woman Honored: Dorothy Fields – “The Way You Look Tonight” from Swing Time – 1936 (9th)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Ann Ronell – “Linda” from G.I. Joe – 1945 (18th)
First Solo Woman Honored: Carly Simon – “Let the River Run” from Working Girl – 1988 (61st)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Diane Warren & Lady Gaga – “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground – 2015 (88th)
First All-Woman Team Honored: No all-female team has ever won.

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 76

  • 7
  • 12
  • 30

  • 10
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 14
  • 5
  • 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • 438

  • 24
  • 43
  • 91

  • 30
  • 46
  • 50
  • 48
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 83
  • 31
  • 17.35%

  • 29.17%
  • 27.91%
  • 32.97%

  • 33.33%
  • 28.26%
  • 28.00%
  • 31.25%
  • 28.00%
  • 10.00%
  • 4.00%
  • 1.20%
  • 6.45%
 
  • 83

  • 8
  • 13
  • 33

  • 11
  • 15
  • 15
  • 16
  • 16
  • 5
  • 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • 864

  • 50
  • 87
  • 178

  • 63
  • 92
  • 93
  • 98
  • 102
  • 100
  • 98
  • 161
  • 57
  • 9.61%

  • 16.00%
  • 14.94%
  • 18.54%

  • 17.46%
  • 16.30%
  • 16.13%
  • 16.33%
  • 15.69%
  • 5.00%
  • 2.04%
  • 0.62%
  • 3.51%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 14

  • 2
  • 3
  • 6

  • 2
  • 4
  • 0
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 156

  • 11
  • 19
  • 36

  • 13
  • 19
  • 16
  • 22
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 18
  • 11
  • 8.97%

  • 18.18%
  • 15.79%
  • 16.67%

  • 15.38%
  • 21.05%
  • 0.00%
  • 18.18%
  • 11.11%
  • 5.26%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 9.09%

Short Film Awards

Jana Sue Memel, Short Filmmaker


For more than eighty years, short films have been recognized by the Academy even though time has resulted in them not preceding features like they once did. Still, they continue the tradition. The live-action side hasn’t been the greatest at recognizing the contribution of women, as reflected by the very limited set of nominations and winners they’ve recognized. This year might not be much better. Of the ten short films on the shortlist, only three women are listed. Any of the three could be nominated, but none of them could as well.

Award First Given: 1931/32 (5th); Live-Action: 1957 (30th) – Present

When the first award for short films was given out at the 5th Academy Awards, the category featured two types of short films: comedy and novelty. This held for four years before they were re-divided. This time, they were separated into one-reel, two-reel, and color shor subjects. Color was dropped two years later and the one-reel and two-reel designations continued for almost two decades before being combined in 1957 (30th) into a single Live-Action designation. They continued calling them short subjects until 1974 when the title was formally changed to short film. The category itself has been peppered with individual nominees as well as studios and production houses, so some years will have fewer individual nominees than others, reflecting a different believe in ownerhip of the work. Nowadays and for several years prior, the award goes to the makers of the short film and not any specific amorphous entity.

Most Nominated Woman: Jana Sue Memel (4); Claude Chagrin (2), Anja Daelemans (2), Christine Oestreicher (2), Janice L. Platt (2)
Most Honored Woman: Jana Sue Memel (2)

First Woman Nominated: Shirley Clarke – Skyscraper – 1959 (32nd)
First Woman Honored: Joan Keller Stern – The Magic Machines – 1969 (42nd)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Joan Keller Stern – The Magic Machines – 1969 (42nd)
First Solo Woman Honored: Joan Keller Stern – The Magic Machines – 1969 (42nd)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Beverly Shaffer & Yuki Yoshida – I’ll Find a Way – 1977 (50th)
First All-Woman Team Honored: Beverly Shaffer & Yuki Yoshida – I’ll Find a Way – 1977 (50th)

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 69

  • 6
  • 16
  • 32

  • 10
  • 20
  • 15
  • 12
  • 9
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 395

  • 24
  • 48
  • 98

  • 33
  • 50
  • 48
  • 32
  • 41
  • 37
  • 64
  • 69
  • 21
  • 17.47%

  • 25.00%
  • 33.33%
  • 32.65%

  • 30.30%
  • 40.00%
  • 31.25%
  • 37.50%
  • 21.95%
  • 5.41%
  • 1.56%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 77

  • 7
  • 18
  • 36

  • 11
  • 22
  • 19
  • 13
  • 10
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 531

  • 40
  • 79
  • 161

  • 54
  • 79
  • 85
  • 43
  • 62
  • 45
  • 67
  • 75
  • 21
  • 14.50%

  • 17.50%
  • 22.78%
  • 22.36%

  • 20.37%
  • 27.85%
  • 22.35%
  • 27.91%
  • 16.13%
  • 4.44%
  • 1.49%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 20

  • 2
  • 3
  • 8

  • 3
  • 3
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 131

  • 9
  • 16
  • 31

  • 12
  • 13
  • 19
  • 14
  • 16
  • 11
  • 18
  • 18
  • 10
  • 15.27%

  • 22.22%
  • 18.75%
  • 25.81%

  • 25.00%
  • 23.08%
  • 31.58%
  • 28.57%
  • 18.75%
  • 9.09%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Best Film Editing

Barbara McLean, Film Editor


A crucial addition to the Academy Awards, Film editing was established at the seventh Academy Awards. The surprising thing is that it was one of the few categories where a woman was nominated in the first year it existed. This shouldn’t be very surprising as editing was one of the few jobs on a film set that often went to women. While that isn’t very well reflected in the overall number of nominations over the years, it was clear from an early point that they would be consistently represented. While Thelma Schoonmaker won’t be breaking the record of most nominations this year (her film The Snowman was a bomb), there are plenty of other women who could be nominated.

Award First Given: 1934 (7th)

The category has gone through almost no changes over time. No category splits, no delineation of achievements, just a solid, dependable category recognizing film editors.

Most Nominated Woman: Barbara McLean (7), Thelma Schoonmaker (7); Anne V. Coates (5); Anne Bauchens (4), Dorothy Spencer (4)
Most Honored Woman: Thelma Schoonmaker (3)

First Woman Nominated: Anne Bauchens – Cleopatra – 1934 (7th)
First Woman Honored: Anne Bauchens – North West Mounted Police – 1940 (13th)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Anne Bauchens – Cleopatra – 1934 (7th)
First Solo Woman Honored: Anne Bauchens – North West Mounted Police – 1940 (13th)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Verna Fields & Marcia Lucas – American Graffiti – 1973 (46th)
First All-Woman Team Honored: No all-female team has ever won.

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 75

  • 4
  • 10
  • 22

  • 7
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7
  • 8
  • 4
  • 7
  • 415

  • 25
  • 50
  • 100

  • 35
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 30
  • 18.07%

  • 16.00%
  • 20.00%
  • 22.00%

  • 20.00%
  • 22.00%
  • 22.00%
  • 22.00%
  • 18.00%
  • 14.00%
  • 16.00%
  • 8.00%
  • 23.33%
 
  • 77

  • 5
  • 11
  • 23

  • 8
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 7
  • 8
  • 4
  • 7
  • 539

  • 34
  • 67
  • 132

  • 47
  • 63
  • 72
  • 69
  • 75
  • 62
  • 63
  • 54
  • 34
  • 14.29%

  • 14.71%
  • 16.42%
  • 17.42%

  • 17.02%
  • 17.46%
  • 15.28%
  • 15.94%
  • 13.33%
  • 11.29%
  • 12.70%
  • 7.41%
  • 20.59%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 15

  • 1
  • 2
  • 4

  • 1
  • 3
  • 0
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • 0
  • 111

  • 6
  • 14
  • 26

  • 10
  • 11
  • 14
  • 15
  • 14
  • 13
  • 15
  • 11
  • 8
  • 13.51%

  • 16.67%
  • 14.29%
  • 15.38%

  • 10.00%
  • 27.27%
  • 0.00%
  • 26.67%
  • 14.29%
  • 15.38%
  • 6.67%
  • 18.18%
  • 0.00%

Best Picture

Dede Gardner (center right), Producer


The pinnacle of categories was also one of the few that dragged its feet early on in recognizing women, but has really ramped up in recent years. With myriad women as part of producer teams, it’s becoming far more common for multiple women to earn nominations each year. While some improvement needs to be made, what’s happened so far has been quite positive. This year alone, I expect there to be at least half a dozen women nominated and, if not, I will be sorely disappointed.

Award First Given: 1927/28 (1st)

A crucial part of the Academy Awards, Best Picture has been given out since the beginning. In the beginning, there were two awards for Best Picture. The one that became the traditional category, Outstanding Picture, and the now-defunct Unique and Artistic Picture category. For the first 23 years of the Academy Awards, the Oscar statuette went to the studio that produced the film, not any particular individual. However, starting in 1951, the film’s producers were honored for the achievement. While the first year saw only three films nominated, subsequent years saw a slate of five. This was increased in 1931/32 (5th) in order to allow for each studio to get some kind of recognition. This continued through 1943 and switched back to five the following year. That tradition held firm until 2009 when the Academy decided to expand the slate to ten nominations to enable more blockbusters to get nominated. The end result was more blockbusters, but also more indie films. The Academy then altered the rules two years later to generate between six and ten nominees each year based on a complex and irritating formula that has denied several films that should have been nominated from getting the nomination.

Most Nominated Woman: Kathleen Kennedy (8); Dede Gardner (5); Donna Gigliotti (4)
Most Honored Woman: Dede Gardner (2)

First Woman Nominated: Julia Phillips – The Sting – 1973 (46th)
First Woman Honored: Julia Phillips – The Sting – 1973 (46th)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Arlene Donovan – Places in the Heart – 1984 (57th)
First Solo Woman Honored: No woman has ever won solo.

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Tamara Asseyev & Alex Rose – Norma Rae – 1979 (52nd)
First All-Woman Team Honored: No all-female team has ever won.

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 80

  • 27
  • 45
  • 65

  • 36
  • 24
  • 11
  • 6
  • 3
  • 0
  • 0
  • 362

  • 43
  • 82
  • 132

  • 62
  • 55
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 45
  • 22.10%

  • 62.79%
  • 54.88%
  • 49.24%

  • 58.06%
  • 43.64%
  • 22.00%
  • 12.00%
  • 6.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 96

  • 36
  • 58
  • 81

  • 47
  • 28
  • 12
  • 6
  • 4
  • 0
  • 0
  • 679

  • 138
  • 237
  • 363

  • 186
  • 140
  • 100
  • 77
  • 73
  • 53
  • 50
  • 14.14%

  • 26.09%
  • 24.47%
  • 22.31%

  • 25.27%
  • 20.00%
  • 12.00%
  • 7.79%
  • 4.11%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 13

  • 5
  • 6
  • 10

  • 5
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 119

  • 18
  • 30
  • 54

  • 22
  • 23
  • 25
  • 11
  • 19
  • 10
  • 9
  • 10.92%

  • 27.78%
  • 20.00%
  • 18.52%

  • 22.73%
  • 17.39%
  • 8.00%
  • 9.09%
  • 5.26%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Best Production Design

Francesca Lo Schiavo (left), Set Decorator


As stereotypical as it might sound, production design and set decoration have a large complement of women earning nominations. However, it wasn’t always that way. In the early days, men were more consistently recognized and rewarded. The category started at the first Academy Awards and it wasn’t until the 14th that the first woman was nominated. The number of women recognized has increased dramatically since those early days and having half the nominees in the category as women is not only common, but expected.

Award First Given: 1927/28 (1st); Art Directors Only: 1927/28 (1st) – 1940 (13th); Art Directors & Set Decorators: 1941 (14th) – Present

Originally called Interior Decoration, a title the Academy no longer seems to recognize as being accurate, the Art Direction award as it was prominently known, only recognized the film’s art director and/or production designer. Set decorators, when they were first added to the nomination slate for Best Art Direction in 1941, were recognized with certificates, but were not awarded a statuette. When that practice changed over, I cannot recall, nor am I able to find when the switch occurred, but today, both are recognized.

Most Nominated Woman: Francesca Lo Schiavo (8); Nancy Haigh (7); Anna Pinnock (6)
Most Honored Woman: Francesca Lo Schiavo (3); Catherine Martin (2)

First Woman Nominated: Julia Heron – That Hamilton Woman – 1941 (14th)
First Woman Honored: Carmen Dillon – Hamlet – 1948 (21st)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Anna Asp – Fanny & Alexander – 1983 (56th)
First Solo Woman Honored: Anna Asp – Fanny & Alexander – 1983 (56th)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Ida Random & Linda DeScenna – Rain Man – 1988 (61st)
First All-Woman Team Honored: Catherine Martin & Brigitte Broch – Moulin Rouge – 2001 (74th)

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 132

  • 18
  • 33
  • 71

  • 25
  • 35
  • 32
  • 19
  • 4
  • 5
  • 4
  • 8
  • 0
  • 0
  • 572

  • 25
  • 50
  • 100

  • 35
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 85
  • 86
  • 102
  • 60
  • 4
  • 23.08%

  • 72.00%
  • 66.00%
  • 71.00%

  • 71.43%
  • 70.00%
  • 64.00%
  • 38.00%
  • 8.00%
  • 5.88%
  • 4.65%
  • 7.84%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 152

  • 25
  • 46
  • 87

  • 33
  • 43
  • 35
  • 20
  • 4
  • 6
  • 4
  • 8
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1,481

  • 53
  • 106
  • 208

  • 74
  • 104
  • 97
  • 132
  • 153
  • 274
  • 291
  • 270
  • 82
  • 4
  • 10.26%

  • 47.17%
  • 43.40%
  • 41.83%

  • 44.59%
  • 41.35%
  • 36.08%
  • 15.15%
  • 2.61%
  • 1.82%
  • 1.37%
  • 2.96%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 24

  • 5
  • 8
  • 14

  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 3
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 292

  • 10
  • 21
  • 41

  • 14
  • 21
  • 19
  • 24
  • 33
  • 55
  • 59
  • 54
  • 11
  • 2
  • 8.22%

  • 50.00%
  • 38.10%
  • 34.15%

  • 50.00%
  • 28.57%
  • 31.58%
  • 12.50%
  • 0.00%
  • 1.82%
  • 0.00%
  • 1.85%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Best Documentary Feature

Barbara Kopple, Documentarian


There are few artforms more necessary than the documentary and it’s one of the strongest mediums for female voices to be heard. The first woman nominated was a mere five years into the category’s existence. The first woman won seven yeras later. It must also be said that in the documentary category at the Oscars, few individuals, male or female, are nominated more than a couple of times. Thus the list below is bountiful, but limited. We won’t know until nomination day how many women will be nominated because the released shortlist for Documentary Feature finalists lists only production company names, not individuals.

Award First Given: 1943 (16th)

In the early days of the category, production companies or government entities were more often listed as the nominee than the producers. Over time, this changed and eventually, it was only producers listed. Otherwise, the category has stayed largely unchanged over the years.

Most Nominated Woman: Deborah Dickson (2), Liz Garbus (2), Deborah Hoffmann (2), Barbara Kopple (2), Audrey Marrs (2), Laura Poitras (2), Susan Raymond (2), Julia Reichert (2), Signe Byrge Sørensen (2)
Most Honored Woman: Barbara Kopple (2)

First Woman Nominated: Janice Loeb – The Quiet One – 1948 (21st)
First Woman Honored: Nancy Hamilton – Hellen Keller in Her Story – 1955 (28th)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Janice Loeb – The Quiet One – 1948 (21st)
First Solo Woman Honored: Nancy Hamilton – Hellen Keller in Her Story – 1955 (28th)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Judy Collins & Jill Godmilow – Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman – 1974 (47th)
First All-Woman Team Honored: Maria Florio & Victoria Mudd – Broken Rainbow – 1985 (58th)

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 100

  • 15
  • 28
  • 46

  • 18
  • 23
  • 27
  • 22
  • 8
  • 0
  • 1
  • 1
  • 301

  • 25
  • 50
  • 100

  • 35
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 36
  • 25
  • 5
  • 33.22%

  • 60.00%
  • 56.00%
  • 46.00%

  • 51.43%
  • 46.00%
  • 54.00%
  • 44.00%
  • 16.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 4.00%
  • 20.00%
 
  • 122

  • 18
  • 31
  • 57

  • 21
  • 28
  • 33
  • 27
  • 11
  • 0
  • 1
  • 1
  • 490

  • 57
  • 105
  • 195

  • 78
  • 89
  • 87
  • 83
  • 80
  • 38
  • 28
  • 7
  • 24.90%

  • 31.58%
  • 29.52%
  • 29.23%

  • 26.92%
  • 31.46%
  • 37.93%
  • 32.53%
  • 13.75%
  • 0.00%
  • 3.57%
  • 14.29%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 20

  • 4
  • 6
  • 8

  • 5
  • 3
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 112

  • 12
  • 23
  • 42

  • 17
  • 19
  • 19
  • 16
  • 16
  • 11
  • 10
  • 4
  • 17.86%

  • 33.33%
  • 26.09%
  • 19.05%

  • 29.41%
  • 15.79%
  • 26.32%
  • 25.00%
  • 12.50%
  • 0.00%
  • 10.00%
  • 0.00%

Best Documentary Short Subject

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Documentarian


Like it’s feature-length counterpart, the Documentary Short Subject category has long been a fertile ground for female voices. It did take longer for women to earn their first nominations and awards (19 years for the first nominee and 12 years beyond that for the first winner), but in recent history, the number of women nominated has dramatically increased. While there are certain to be female nominees this year, like the feature category, we don’t have the actual individual names that are on the shortlist.

Award First Given: 1941 (14th)

Everything that was said for Documentary Feature applies here as the two categories have been connected for the length of their respective existences.

Most Nominated Woman: Karen Goodman (4), Freida Lee Mock (4)
Most Honored Woman: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (2)

First Woman Nominated: Altina Carey – George Grosz’ Interregnum – 1960 (33rd)
First Woman Honored: Martina Huguenot van der Linden – This Tiny World – 1972 (45th)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Joan Horvath – Jenny Is a Good Thing and Joan Keller Stern – The Magic Machines – 1969 (42nd)
First Solo Woman Honored: Lynne Littman – Number Our Days – 1976 (49th)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Linda Chapman, Pam LeBlanc & Freddi Stevens – See What I Say – 1981 (54th)
First All-Woman Team Honored: Sue Marx & Pamela Conn – Young at Heart – 1987 (60th)

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 100

  • 13
  • 29
  • 51

  • 21
  • 25
  • 20
  • 21
  • 9
  • 4
  • 0
  • 0
  • 298

  • 23
  • 46
  • 85

  • 33
  • 41
  • 44
  • 48
  • 50
  • 44
  • 30
  • 8
  • 33.56%

  • 56.52%
  • 63.04%
  • 60.00%

  • 63.64%
  • 60.98%
  • 45.45%
  • 43.75%
  • 18.00%
  • 9.09%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 120

  • 16
  • 37
  • 64

  • 27
  • 31
  • 22
  • 27
  • 9
  • 4
  • 0
  • 0
  • 429

  • 36
  • 77
  • 142

  • 54
  • 70
  • 68
  • 71
  • 72
  • 55
  • 31
  • 8
  • 27.97%

  • 44.44%
  • 48.05%
  • 45.07%

  • 50.00%
  • 44.29%
  • 32.35%
  • 38.03%
  • 12.50%
  • 7.27%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 34

  • 4
  • 10
  • 20

  • 6
  • 10
  • 8
  • 6
  • 4
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 99

  • 9
  • 18
  • 35

  • 13
  • 17
  • 14
  • 16
  • 16
  • 12
  • 8
  • 3
  • 34.34%

  • 44.44%
  • 55.56%
  • 57.14%

  • 46.15%
  • 58.82%
  • 57.14%
  • 37.50%
  • 25.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Ve Neill (left), Makeup Artist


Created in the 1980’s, Makeup & Hairstyling is the second-newest category at the Oscars. Yet, it’s one of the few categories where women have been an integral part since the beginning. The first nominated women were in the second year the category was given, and those women won. There are few more celebrated makeup artists than Ve Neill, who can conceivably only be topped by the legendary Stan Winston. This is one of only two categories where more than half of the total nominees have been women. While the current average of winners overall is under 50%, the last five years have seen that percentage top half. This year, there are sure to be female nominees, but how many is anyone’s guess. The shortlist hasn’t been revealed yet and, even whe it is, it won’t list the names of the contenders, thus we’ll have to wait until Oscar morning just to see how many get through.

Award First Given: 1981 (54th); No Award Given: 1983 (56th)

This is the only category left on the books where three nominees are the limit. Over the years, there have been situations where only two were cited, but three has been the general rule. 1983 was the only year no award has been given, the only time in its 25-year history.

Most Nominated Woman: Ve Neill (8); Michèle Burke (6); Yolanda Toussieng (4)
Most Honored Woman: Ve Neill (3); Michèle Burke (2), Yolanda Toussieng (2)

First Woman Nominated: Sarah Monzani & Michèle Burke – Quest for Fire – 1982 (55th)
First Woman Honored: Sarah Monzani & Michèle Burke – Quest for Fire – 1982 (55th)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Jenny Shircore – Elizabeth – 1998 (71st)
First Solo Woman Honored: Jenny Shircore – Elizabeth – 1998 (71st)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Sarah Monzani & Michèle Burke – Quest for Fire – 1982 (55th)
First All-Woman Team Honored: Sarah Monzani & Michèle Burke – Quest for Fire – 1982 (55th)

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 56

  • 10
  • 17
  • 36

  • 13
  • 17
  • 20
  • 6
  • 102

  • 15
  • 30
  • 60

  • 21
  • 29
  • 31
  • 21
  • 54.90%

  • 66.67%
  • 56.67%
  • 60.00%

  • 61.90%
  • 58.62%
  • 64.52%
  • 28.57%
 
  • 69

  • 13
  • 21
  • 43

  • 17
  • 18
  • 27
  • 7
  • 217

  • 34
  • 66
  • 126

  • 48
  • 58
  • 75
  • 36
  • 31.80%

  • 38.24%
  • 31.82%
  • 34.13%

  • 35.42%
  • 31.03%
  • 36.00%
  • 19.44%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 26

  • 7
  • 9
  • 16

  • 7
  • 7
  • 8
  • 4
  • 75

  • 12
  • 22
  • 41

  • 16
  • 20
  • 23
  • 16
  • 34.67%

  • 58.33%
  • 40.91%
  • 39.02%

  • 43.75%
  • 35.00%
  • 34.78%
  • 25.00%

Best Costume Design

Irene Sharaff, Costume Designer


The last of the modern competitive categories. Costume Design is the only category that has both recognized women from the beginning and has been majority women for almost its entire history. I say almost because in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the number of individual women nominated fell to around 45%. However, among film nominations during that period, every single one of those decade saw more than 50% of the nominated films feature at least one woman among the nominees. Further, with the exception of the 1970s, women have won more than 50% of the prizes from the Costume Design branch. The most staggering fact is that for the last five years, no man has won. There will almost certainly be women nominated in this category this year. And, like last year, it could be an all-female nomination slate. That would make it the eighth instance of an all-female nomination slate in the category’s history.

Award First Given: 1948 (21st)

When Best Costume Design was introduced, Cinematography and Art Direction categories were already in the midst of their black-and-whtie/color delineation period, so Costume Design came in with that breakdown. Like Art Direction, this distinction continued from its inception in 1948 through 1956 with a two-year break before returning to the distinction from 1959 through its final demise in 1966.

Most Nominated Woman: Edith Head (35); Irene Sharaff (15); Colleen Atwood (12), Dorothy Jeakins (12), Sandy Powell (12)
Most Honored Woman: Edith Head (8); Irene Sharaff (5); Colleen Atwood (4), Milena Canonero (4)

First Woman Nominated: Edith Head – The Emperor Waltz – 1948 (21st) and Dorothy Jeakins & Karinska – Joan of Arc – 1948 (21st)
First Woman Honored: Dorothy Jeakins & Karinska – Joan of Arc – 1948 (21st)

First Solo Woman Nominated: Edith Head – The Emperor Waltz – 1948 (21st)
First Solo Woman Honored: Edith Head – A Place in the Sun – 1951 (24th)

First All-Woman Team Nominated: Dorothy Jeakins & Karinska – Joan of Arc – 1948 (21st)
First All-Woman Team Honored: Dorothy Jeakins & Karinska – Joan of Arc – 1948 (21st)

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 266

  • 19
  • 38
  • 83

  • 27
  • 42
  • 38
  • 30
  • 26
  • 46
  • 51
  • 6
  • 414

  • 25
  • 50
  • 100

  • 35
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 50
  • 85
  • 86
  • 8
  • 64.25%

  • 76.00%
  • 76.00%
  • 83.00%

  • 77.14%
  • 84.00%
  • 76.00%
  • 60.00%
  • 52.00%
  • 54.12%
  • 59.30%
  • 75.00%
 
  • 286

  • 22
  • 43
  • 90

  • 32
  • 43
  • 39
  • 31
  • 28
  • 47
  • 58
  • 8
  • 496

  • 25
  • 50
  • 104

  • 35
  • 53
  • 55
  • 56
  • 61
  • 96
  • 127
  • 13
  • 57.66%

  • 88.00%
  • 86.00%
  • 86.54%

  • 91.43%
  • 81.13%
  • 70.91%
  • 55.36%
  • 45.90%
  • 48.96%
  • 45.67%
  • 61.54%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 71

  • 5
  • 8
  • 18

  • 6
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 13
  • 19
  • 5
  • 0
  • 0
  • 118

  • 5
  • 10
  • 22

  • 7
  • 12
  • 11
  • 12
  • 12
  • 22
  • 34
  • 8
  • 0
  • 0
  • 60.17%

  • 100.00%
  • 80.00%
  • 81.82%

  • 85.71%
  • 75.00%
  • 72.73%
  • 50.00%
  • 41.67%
  • 59.09%
  • 55.88%
  • 62.50%

Special Achievement Awards

John A. Bonner Award

There isn’t a lot to say about this honorary award named for John A. Bonner, just that it has never recognized a woman.

Award First Given: 1977 (50th)

First Woman Honored: No woman has ever won this award.

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 34

  • 2
  • 6
  • 15

  • 4
  • 7
  • 13
  • 2
  • 8
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Gordon E. Sawyer Award

This technical achievement honorary award has been given for 35 years and has not yet recognized a woman.

Award First Given: 1981 (54th)

First Woman Honored: No woman has ever won this award.

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 25

  • 1
  • 5
  • 13

  • 3
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Irving G. Thalberg Award

This honorary award is given only to produers. Since it was first handed out in 1937, no woman has ever won the award. I suspect that, within the next few years, someone like Kathleen Kennedy or Lili Fini Zanuck will claim this prize and break the logjam.

Award First Given: 1937 (10th)

First Woman Honored: No woman has ever won this award.

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 38

  • 2
  • 5

  • 1
  • 2
  • 7
  • 3
  • 6
  • 5
  • 6
  • 6
  • 2
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Scientific & Technical Awards: Class I

One of three scientific and technical achievement awards given out by the Academy. Class I awards are actual statuettes while Class II is a plaque and Class III is a certificate.

Award First Given: 1930/31 (4th)

First Woman Honored: No woman has ever won this award.

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 52

  • 1
  • 4
  • 14

  • 4
  • 9
  • 5
  • 11
  • 3
  • 6
  • 9
  • 4
  • 1
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Scientific & Technical Awards: Class II

One of three scientific and technical achievement awards given out by the Academy. Class I awards are actual statuettes while Class II is a plaque and Class III is a certificate. This category has minimal female representation over the years.

Award First Given: 1930/31 (4th)

Most Honored Woman: Diane E. Kestner (2)

First Woman Honored: Laurie Atkin

First Solo Woman Honored: No woman has ever won solo.

First All-Woman Team Honored: No all-female team has ever won.

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 7

  • 0
  • 0
  • 3

  • 0
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 643

  • 54
  • 133
  • 297

  • 85
  • 136
  • 197
  • 98
  • 41
  • 34
  • 36
  • 13
  • 3
  • 1.09%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 1.01%

  • 0.00%
  • 1.47%
  • 1.02%
  • 2.04%
  • 0.00%
  • 2.94%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Scientific & Technical Awards: Class III

One of three scientific and technical achievement awards given out by the Academy. Class I awards are actual statuettes while Class II is a plaque and Class III is a certificate. This category has minimal female representation over the years.

Award First Given: 1930/31 (4th)

Most Honored Woman: Hildegard Ebbesmeier (2)

First Woman Honored: Elizabeth D. De La Mare

First Solo Woman Honored: Elizabeth D. De La Mare

First All-Woman Team Honored: No all-female team has ever won.

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 13

  • 2
  • 3
  • 9

  • 2
  • 4
  • 5
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 856

  • 144
  • 192
  • 415

  • 159
  • 174
  • 188
  • 91
  • 58
  • 32
  • 59
  • 66
  • 29
  • 1.52%

  • 1.39%
  • 1.56%
  • 2.17%

  • 1.26%
  • 2.30%
  • 2.66%
  • 2.20%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Award of Commendation

Award of Commendations are a technical achievement award which has had minimal female representation since it was first given out.

Award First Given: 1985 (58th)

Most Honored Woman: Shawn Jones (1)

First Woman Honored: Shawn Jones

First Solo Woman Honored: No woman has ever won solo.

First All-Woman Team Honored: No all-female team has ever won.

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 1

  • 0
  • 0
  • 1

  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 24

  • 3
  • 4
  • 20

  • 3
  • 17
  • 3
  • 1
  • 4.17%

  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 5.00%

  • 0.00%
  • 5.88%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

Honorary Awards

Honorary Oscars have always been given out with regularity, but in 2009, the Academy established the Governors Awards at which it would recognize several more candidates, usually anywhere from three to four. As a result of this, every year has seen at least one woman recognized even if the overall number of women honored is still relatively low.

Award First Given: 1927/28 (1st)

Most Honored Woman: No woman has ever won more than once.

First Woman Honored: Shirley Temple

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 19

  • 4
  • 5
  • 5

  • 4
  • 1
  • 3
  • 1
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • 2
  • 0
  • 158

  • 15
  • 24
  • 36

  • 20
  • 13
  • 13
  • 10
  • 17
  • 14
  • 22
  • 29
  • 18
  • 2
  • 12.03%

  • 26.67%
  • 20.83%
  • 13.89%

  • 20.00%
  • 7.69%
  • 23.08%
  • 10.00%
  • 17.65%
  • 14.29%
  • 4.55%
  • 6.90%
  • 11.11%
  • 0.00%

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

Sometimes given out in place of a career achievement honor, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is given out for humanitarian deeds. Women have been far better represented with this award, which could explain why fewer than should be recognized are given honorary Oscars.

Award First Given: 1956 (29th)

Most Honored Woman: No woman has ever won more than once.

First Woman Honored: Martha Raye

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 8

  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

  • 3
  • 1
  • 2
  • 0
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
  • 38

  • 4
  • 6
  • 9

  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 6
  • 8
  • 8
  • 3
  • 21.05%

  • 75.00%
  • 50.00%
  • 44.44%

  • 60.00%
  • 25.00%
  • 50.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 12.50%
  • 12.50%
  • 0.00%

Obsolete Categories

Best Foreign Language Film

For decades, this award has been given to the country of origin, even though the film’s director claims the prize at the ceremony. They are not individually recognized as Oscar winners, however. The only anomaly to this was the first year the category existed. At that time, the producers were also recognized. That’s why this category falls into the obsolete section. While the category still exists, the situation where it would be examined for recognizing individuals is long gone. The most interesting thing is that during that one year, one woman was nominated and is now the only woman who can claim to be an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.

Award First Given: 1956 (29th)

Most Nominated Woman: Annie Dorfmann (1)
Most Honored Woman: No woman has ever won this award.

First Woman Nominated: Annie Dorfmann (1)

First Solo Woman Nominated: No woman has ever been nominated solo.

First All-Woman Team Nominated: No all-female team has ever won.

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 1


  • 1
  • 5


  • 5
  • 20.00%


  • 20.00%
 
  • 1


  • 1
  • 7


  • 7
  • 14.29%


  • 14.29%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 2


  • 2
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%

Best Assistant Director

In the early days of the Academy Awards, assistant directors were actually recognized. For five years they had their own award. They stopped giving it out after the 10th Academy Awards. No woman was ever nominated.

Award First Given: 1932/33 (6th) – 1937 (10th)

First Woman Nominated: None

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 34


  • 34
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 35


  • 35
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 12


  • 12
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%

Best Dance Direction

This is another one of those early categories that have since become defunct. At the time, musicals were all the rage and separate individuals directed the dance numbers, hence this category. No woman was ever nominated.

Award First Given: 1935 (8th) – 1937 (10th)

First Woman Nominated: None

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 22


  • 22
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 22


  • 22
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 3


  • 3
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%

Best Documentary

This amorphous category existed before the delineation between feature and short subject documentaries, thus it’s considered obsolete as it potentially combined both. Most of the nominees were entities, not individuals, but no women were among the individuals.

Award First Given: 1942 (15th)

First Woman Nominated: None

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 6


  • 6
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 7


  • 7
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 






Best Engineering Effects

Introduced at the first Academy Awards, Best Engineering Effects is the most short-lived category in history because it wasn’t immediately replaced. There were only three nominees and none of them were women.

Award First Given: 1927/28 (1st)

First Woman Nominated: None

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 3


  • 3
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 3


  • 3
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 1


  • 1
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%

Best Special Effects

Before there was Visual Effects and Sound Effects, there was Special Effects. This category honored both sets of achievements for its 23-year history from the early 12th Academy Awards through the 1962 Oscars, after which it was permanently split into separate categories. During that span, however, no woman was ever nominated.

Award First Given: 1939 (12th) – 1962 (35th)

First Woman Nominated: None

 
 
Group Nominees
 
Individual Nominees

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 77


  • 6
  • 8
  • 56
  • 7
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 193


  • 11
  • 15
  • 152
  • 15
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

 
 
Individual Winners

Time Period
 
Female
Total
% Female

  • Overall

  • Last 5 Years
  • Last 10 Years
  • Last 20 Years

  • 2010s
  • 2000s
  • 1990s
  • 1980s
  • 1970s
  • 1960s
  • 1950s
  • 1940s
  • 1930s
  • 1920s
 
  • 0


  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 42


  • 6
  • 6
  • 28
  • 2
  • 0.00%


  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%
  • 0.00%

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