When it comes to tackling gender equality, Hollywood always seems to drag its feet. With depressing frequency, stories and statistics emerge that make Hollywood seem an inhospitable place for women, from stars such as Jennifer Lawrence speaking out about the pay gap, to the numbers that tell us women directed only 6% of Hollywood films in 2013 and 2014. Strange, then, that the film industry wasn’t always this way. In fact, there were more women working in Hollywood in its first two decades than there are now, or have been at any time since. If Hollywood is ever to achieve gender parity in its studios and boardrooms, it should look back to its beginnings.
Women were in the movie game from the very start. The first woman