Neha Patil (Editor)

Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

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Founder  Geena Davis
Type  Non-profit
Formation  2006; 11 years ago (2006)
Purpose  Equal representation of women in Hollywood films

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is a non-profit research organization founded by actor and activist Geena Davis in 2007. It researches gender representation in media and advocates for equal representation of women.


After Thelma and Louise was released, the media predicted an influx of woman-centric films and more prominent roles for women. Seeing this trend repeat with other films that failed to change the status quo, Geena Davis was inspired to study why this happened. Davis subsequently founded the eponymous Institute in 2006. Madeline Di Nonno joined as CEO in 2009 after searching for a way to transition from the entertainment industry to a non-profit.

Davis says the Institute targets the entertainment industry rather than the public. It seeks to increase diversity in casting and advocates for equal representation of women in media. For example, Davis cited research by the Institute that 17% of people in crowd scenes are women. Using her connections in the industry, Davis takes these statistics to media executives to educate them about the poor representation of women in media. Children's entertainment is a focus.

In 2010, the Institute, along with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, established a $5000 award for diversity in children's animation created by college students. In 2012, Google awarded a $1.2 million grant to the Institute through its Global Impact Awards to research gender representation in children's media. In 2016, the Institute partnered with YouTube to encourage more female-created content on the streaming video site. To give more opportunities to women and encourage diversity in general, Davis founded the Bentonville Film Festival with Trevor Drinkwater.


Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media Wikipedia