Not having a large support group of women filmmakers in Hollywood has been one of the many blights in Tinseltown. The fact that women largely get shut out in the industry smacks of patriarchy and sexism, but 21st Century Fox is aiming to change that.

Variety states that the company, in conjunction with Fox Audience Strategy, is now developing a mentorship program catering specifically to women filmmakers, the program, the Fox Global Directors Initiative, hopes to bolster the amount of women in film, cable, broadcast and digital programming. In short, Fox is planning on changing how Hollywood does things.

The program will consist of a five-week directors lab and will welcome 20 participants. At the end of the lab, five of the 20 will be chosen to extend their stay for around another 10 months. During that time, their project could become a Fox short film.

Joe Earley, the chief operating officer of Fox Broadcasting Co. said that the program will give voice to those who have been routinely shut out. “To connect with viewers today, we need stories that represent the amazing range of experiences and voices in the real world,” he said. “Along with writers, the vision of directors is key as they obviously bring those stories to life through their own lens.”

Even better is that the project is led by a woman. Nicole Bernard, the executive VP of Fox Audience Strategy, said that the project reflects their excitement about creating change. “The cross-divisional enthusiasm to launch this initiative speak to our commitment to drive industry change and we hope that stellar creative arts organizations across the globe will be equally excited to join us,” she said.

This initiative is sorely needed, but many more studios need to open up their doors to women filmmakers before the whole of Hollywood can see any lasting change. However, this initiative is a great first step towards filmmaking equality.

What do you think about this initiative? What else do you think Hollywood needs to do to bolster diversity in film? Give your opinions in the comments section below.

21st Century Fox

By Monique Jones

Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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