Crunching Numbers - Gender and the Flight Anthology
Submitted by Erik Melander on March 19, 2007 - 17:29
Back in 2005 I wrote a feature for Comixpedia trying to make some estimates on how many women were involved in webcomics. I always wanted to do it again, but there was a whole lot of number crunching necessary to make it, and I am in no hurry to do that again.
Now it's 2007 and I'm surfing the net and come across the announced lineup for Flight vol. 4 and that gets me thinking.
In order to explain I'm afraid we have to zoom back to 2005 again. When the first volume of Flight was released, it had 21 contributors of which 7 were female. 33% that is and most of the contributors seemed to dabble with webcomics. When I did my study in 2005 I made the following conclusions:
From this we can derive that it is highly unlikely that the number of female webcomic creators is lower than 25%. The real figure is probably somewhere between 30-40 %.
Fits nicely don't it. I own all three released volumes of Flight so I decided to check what the status was of contributors gender in the volumes that have been released since then.
None of the volumes (including the not yet released volume 4) reaches the percentage of female contributors of Flight vol. 1. Volume 2 has 28% women contributing (9 of 32). Volume 3 is worst with only 3 of 26 contributors being women (11,5%). And the yet to be released Volume 4 has 22,6% (7 of 31). The total number of women who have contributed to all Flight volumes is 15, with a total number of contributors of 68 this results in 22% female contributors overall.
It might be tempting to draw conclusions from this, but with such a limited amount of data, and no knowledge of how contributors are selected, that would seem to be fairly pointless. I have to admit though, that I found the numbers a bit disappointing.