A study done recently titled ‘Boxed In’ by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film has identified 20 women around the world who hold high influence behind the scenes in the television industry.
In 2015-2016, the study tracked 3,504 characters and 3,593 behind-the-scenes credits.
For the last 19 years, Boxed In has tracked women’s representation in prime-time television.
Over 19 years, Boxed In has monitored approximately 29,800 characters and 41,300 behind-the-scenes credits.
Some of this year’s earmarked individuals are:
• Martina Stoessel (Argentina) - At 19, the youngest woman on this list and the only non-exec, the singing-acting-dancing sensation earned her spot after three seasons as the titular star of Violetta, the Disney-produced teen telenovela.
• Michelle Guthrie (Australia) - Trained as a media lawyer and with a career that includes a stint as a senior exec at Google Asia in Singapore, Guthrie took over as the first female boss of Australia Broadcasting Corp. this May.
• Shahrzad Rafati (Canada) - "Becoming the largest multiplatform network globally definitely stands out, as does becoming the No. 3 video property worldwide, following only Google and Facebook," she says of recent milestones as CEO of Broadband TV.
• Iris Xia (China) - The queen of Chinese reality TV, Xia has had massive hit after massive hit for Star China Media, the country's leading production group. Starting with adaptations of imported formats, including So You Think You Can Dance and The Voice of China, Xia has shifted to homegrown originals, which Star owns and sells worldwide.
• Marina Berlusconi (Italy) - The daughter of Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is the country's premier media mogul: Chair of Italian communications giant Fininvest, she also is head of Mondadori Group, one of Europe's leading publishing houses.
• Sunita Uchil (India) – As Chief Business Officer, Global Syndication, Zee TV, Uchil was instrumental in setting up a "format factory" at Zee, developing in-house productions instead of relying solely on imported fare. "Licensing our formats can be a bigger [business] for us," she says.
• Noura Al Kaabi (UAE) - With Star Wars and Fast & Furious not — yet — eyeing a return to the sand dunes of Abu Dhabi, the focus for twofour54, one of the United Arab Emirates capital's burgeoning Media Free zones, has turned toward television. Under the watchful eye of chairwoman Al Kaabi (recently appointed to the government cabinet), there has been a major increase in Arabic dramas — a hugely lucrative international export, according to a news agency. – bz