Women Won Only 23% of Oscars This Year, Worst Showing in 4 Years

Jane Campion, Sian Heder and Billie Eilish received 10 of the 43 individual Oscars awarded on Sunday

Oscars Women Winners Ariana DeBose Billie Eilish Sian Heder
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Women at the 94th Academy Awards won 10 of the 43 individual Oscar statuettes handed out on Sunday night, the worst showing for female winners since the 2018 Academy Awards.

That’s 23% of the overall individual winners across the Oscars’ 23 competitive categories, bolstered by wins for Best Director Jane Campion, as well as others for Sian Heder for Best Adapted Screenplay and Billie Eilish for Best Original Song. This tally, however, does not include the International Feature category, which is awarded to the film’s country of origin — in this case, Japan for Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car.”

That total was a drop from last year when we saw Chloé Zhao win Best Director for “Nomadland,” just the second woman to ever do so, as well as Emerald Fennell picking up Best Original Screenplay for “Promising Young Woman.” Their wins in 2021 helped women secure 17 wins out of 47 individual winners from the 23 competitive categories, which was an all-time record for women at the Oscars.

Of the 229 individual nominees from 2022’s crop of nominated films, TheWrap counted 65 were women (or 28.3%). That was also a decline from last year, when a record 76 of the 235 individual nominees (32.3%) were women, and also a drop from 2020, when 65 of 209 individual nominees were women (31.1%).

Fortunately, the two frontrunners in this year’s Oscars Best Picture race were each directed by women: “The Power of the Dog” from Campion and “CODA” from Heder, with “CODA” ultimately winning Best Picture. Campion also became just the third woman to ever win Best Director following Kathryn Bigelow and Zhao, and it cements her status after she was one of the few women ever even nominated for Best Director.

Some of the notable and historic wins for women this year include Ariana DeBose becoming the first openly queer and Afro-Latina woman to win an acting prize, Billie Eilish becoming the first person born in the 21st Century to win an Oscar, and Jenny Beavan won her second Oscar for “Cruella” after 11 nominations for Best Costume Design in her career.

However, “The Power of the Dog” director of photography Ari Wegner, only the second woman to ever be nominated for Best Cinematography, did not pick up the Oscar, nor did “Encanto” composer Germaine Franco win Best Original Score, which would’ve made her the first Latina to do so.

Here were the other female winners beyond acting winners DeBose and Chastain.

  • Jane Campion – Best Director – “The Power of the Dog”
  • Linda Downs and Stephanie Ingram (with Justin Raleigh) – Makeup and Hairstyling – “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
  • Zsuzsanna Sipos (with Patrice Vermette) – Production Design (and Set Decoration) – “Dune”
  • Jenny Beaven – Costume Design -“Cruella”
  • Sian Heder – Best Adapted Screenplay – “CODA”
  • Billie Eilish (with Finneas) – Best Original Song – “No Time to Die”
  • Yvett Marino (with Jared Bush, Byron Howard and Clark Spencer) – Best Animated Feature – “Encanto”