From time to time, we point out the small percentages of women in creative positions in Cartoonland. But it isn't just animation:
In the 2008-'09 television season, women comprised 25 percent of "all creators, executive producers, producers, directors, writers, editors and directors of photography working on situation comedies, drama and reality programs," according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.
The most powerful creative people in the television industry tend to be show creators and/or showrunners (i.e., the executive producers in charge on a day to day basis), but only 21 percent of the creators and 23 percent of the executive producers in the 2008-'09 season were women, according to the Center (the summary of the 2008-'09 report is here).
Statistics from the Writers Guild of America paint a similar picture. As I've noted in the past, in 2007, 28 percent of all writing credits went to women -- a 2 percent uptick from 1999, when 26 percent of credits went to women ....
The 17% totals that the Animation Guild's statistics have shown in the recent past might be a little low compared to other parts of the business, but they're not very far out of the ordinary.