It's no secret that women filmmakers are underrepresented in Hollywood. According to a USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative report published in 2020, only 4.8% of the top 1,300 grossing films from 2007-2019 were directed by women. That's bad enough without getting into the fact that, of the 57 women directors of those 1,3000 movies, only 11 were not white. In front of the camera, roles for women are on the upswing. A separate study from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative looking at the top 100 grossing films in 2019 found that 43 had women leads — with 17 of those being not white. Perhaps more troubling, however, was the absence of women of women of color on screen. In that same year, 71 films had no Latina women in speaking roles, 33 of them had no Black women in speaking roles, and 55 had no Asian women in speaking roles.
Bottom line: this can make seeking out women-driven films slightly more difficult. But, despite the numbers, there are films that we can look back on that helped move the needle when it comes to women on screen and behind the scenes, including these 16 films currently available to stream on Disney+.