Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

About Us

What is the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media?

Founded by Academy-Award® winning actor and advocate Geena Davis, The Institute is the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence content creators and audiences about the importance of eliminating unconditional bias, highlighting gender balance, challenging stereotypes, creating role models and scripting a wide variety of strong female characters in entertainment and media that targets and influences children ages 11 and under.

What is the issue?
Women and girls are 51% of the population, but female characters presence is severely underrepresented in family films, Primetime TV and Kid’s television.  With a male/female ratio of approximately 3:1, the message is that women and girls are not valued in our society commensurate with their true population.

Why does it matter?
Children are engaging with media up to 7-10 hours/day.  Media greatly influences children’s social and cultural behaviors. Omission or negative gender stereotypes in media can generate life-long imprints that can shape feelings of self-worth and behavior. 

What is our solution?
We are the only research-driven organization collaborating within the media and entertainment industry to expose gender imbalance, identify unconscious bias and creatively remodel characters to achieve equity.

Our research has benefited from a partnership with Google to establish the GD-IQ (the Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient) metric to inform decision makers in real time of the impact of their choices. For example, only 17% of the top 100 feature films of 2015 featured solo female roles. "GD-IQ: The new software that breaks down representation in TV and films" is an example of the press attention this new research tool new research tool generated. For more information, please see our Research section.

Key Accomplishments

  • RESEARCH: Pioneered and amassed the largest body of research on gender prevalence in family entertainment spanning over 25 years.
  • RESULTS: 68% of entertainment industry executives familiar with the Institute’s research changed 2 or more projects, 41% changed 4 or more projects. Changes included aspirations/occupations of female characters, their dialogue, story development or an increase in female characters.
  • IMPACT: Outreach to thousands of global entertainment content creators, studios, networks, agencies, guilds and production companies.  Influenced significant gender portrayal changes in leading content such as Family Films Inside Out, Hotel Transylvania, The Little Prince, Equity and TV Shows Empire and DocMcStuffins.

Read about our documented impact in the community.

Our Multi-tiered, Go-to Market Strategy

Our four-pronged strategy to drive awareness and change in the marketplace is comprised of research, education, thought leadership and advocacy. Our constituents and members include leading media and entertainment companies, organizations, educational institutions and multinational companies such as Google, Allient, Bloomberg, General Mills, Microsoft, Citibank and Estee Lauder.  See more of our Friends & Partners.

The Institute’s research findings are frequently referenced in major media outlets including The Jimmy Kimmel Show, CNN, Good Morning America, The View, ET, The New York Times, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Wall Street Journal.

Across the globe, our findings are cited in print, digital and television outlets including the New Zealand Herald, the Korean Broadcasting System and Brazil Business Today. Social and emerging media has also picked up on our movement with regular posts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube reaching almost 200 million people during a three-week period in September 2016 alone!

Our Global Gender in Media Symposiums convene hundreds of decision makers from corporations, media, entertainment and technology verticals and NGOs to share best practices and formulate a blueprint based on data towards establishing a gender-balanced media landscape. Review information on our past and upcoming symposiums

We also collaborate with decision makers and content creators through our workshops, training sessions and research-backed content evaluation and recommendations such as with our See Jane Salons, Symposiums and Institute Influencer programs. The Institute’s community educational outreach aims to inspire and sensitize the next generation of content creators to focus on gender equality, eliminating unconditional bias and reducing stereotyping in children’s media. Our new thought leadership forum provides a platform for high-level round table discussions.

What People Are Saying About Us

“They have made great strides to change the landscape of media and programming to reflect a more accurate, gender balanced, diverse portrayal of society.”

– Nina Tassler, Chairman, CBS Entertainment

"No one has done more to bring strong, complex and truly inspirational female characters to both large and small screens."

– Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation

We’re proud to partner with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media as we work to empower girls. It’s so important that young girls have examples of women on-screen that are smart, resilient, and inspiring, so they can grow up to reach their full potential.

– Paula Kerger, President and CEO of PBS

Mount Saint Mary’s University – Our Fiscal Sponsor

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is fiscally sponsored by Mount Saint Mary’s University. They provide the administrative and financial support that allow us to focus on fulfilling our organizational mission. Please contact Elizabeth Kilpatrick via email for a copy of Mount Saint Mary’s 501(c)3 or other financial information.

You have the power to change the
face of children's programming.

With your help, if she can see it, she can be it.

Your donation will further our research efforts and
fund continuing curriculum development for young children.

How would you like to support the Institute?

Starts at $250 for Individuals
and $5,000 for Corporations

Do you have questions about donating to the institute?
Please contact Elizabeth Kilpatrick via email or call 714-475-3885.