Women, Leadership and Film

In 2014, our doyenne Monica completed her Masters in Screen Business at the Australian Film Television and Radio school. Her thesis Climbing the Celluloid Ladder looked at the issue of inequity for female creatives in the film industry, and ultimately contributed to sweeping change to gender policy.


Men dominate creative filmmaking in Australia, and always have. Male writers and directors are responsible for more than 80% of the feature films made since the 1970s, and until recently this disproportionate power had not been strenuously questioned. However, after new research has emerged the time has come to dig deeper and ask the tough questions about our ostensibly unbiased, meritocratic system. – Monica Davidson, 2014

Monica’s thesis explores the issue of gender inequity for women working in the Australian film industry, and examines mentoring and sponsorship as possible solutions to the problem. Monica was asked to contribute a keynote essay to the Women in Film issue of the esteemed journal Lumina, which immediately prompted outrage in the industry and a closer examination of Monica’s findings. Ultimately, Screen Australia and the state-based funding bodies introduced schemes to actively promote and support women filmmakers, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 1990s.

DOWNLOAD the complete version of Monica’s thesis Climbing the Celluloid Ladder

READ Monica’s keynote essay in the AFTRS journal Lumina

LISTEN to Monica and Gillian Armstrong discussing the issue on ABC Radio National

READ the blog Monica wrote for Metro Screen in August 2015

LISTEN to Monica, Rebecca Barry and Alexandra Blue on Radio Adelaide

READ about the issue, and Monica’s thesis, in the Arts Hub news

CHECK out Monica’s interview on The 16 Percenters blog page

For more information about the thesis, or to speak to Monica about the issue, please email hello@creativeplusbusiness.com to set up a meeting or phone call. Happy reading!