Today You Can Help End Unconscious Bias in Our Children

When my now 20-year old daughter was a toddler, I decided I wanted the data on one very specific thing: How many female characters were there in movies and television made for kids? As I watched with her, I was floored to observe that there seemed to be far more male characters than female characters in the entertainment aimed at young children. My Institute was created when our first study bore out my observations about gender inequity in what kids see.

I didn’t think I was going to make it my life’s mission or anything – but it looks like I have. I realized we were unwittingly training kids from minute one to have unconscious gender bias, when there were far more male characters, doing most of the interesting and important things!

Since 2004, our Institute has been studying on-screen representation, with an emphasis on children’s content… and something historic happened in the Fall of 2019: for the first time in history, female leads and co-leads in family films reached gender parity. In 2020, the same thing happened in children’s television. And in 2021, gender parity was achieved for minor and secondary female characters in popular television programming for the first time in history.

My theory of change is simple: images on screen can shift the cultural narrative and advance social justice – overnight. There aren’t enough role models in our society to inspire the change we need – so we must create and share a multitude of female and intersectional characters for our children through fiction.

I wasn’t able to change the world before my daughter grew up, although she is amazing and powerful and self-possessed anyway. But my fond hope is that, one day, she will be able to say to her daughter, should she be so blessed,

“You know, once upon a time, women and girls were thought to be less important than men and boys.” And my granddaughter will turn to her with an incredulous look, then laugh and say, “Mom are you making this up?”

Help us make that happen for all children through a donation today. Donate online or mail your donation to 4712 Admiralty Way #455, Marina del Rey, CA 90292.

Donate Today

Together, we can create a more equitable future through the stories we tell on-screen. The next movie or TV show that comes out can reflect the world we want to live in, and it can create endless opportunities for generations to come.

With gratitude,

Geena Davis
Founder and Chair

Share this Page: