About Female Forward

About Female Forward

“We need to take more aggressive steps to create change in the status quo, and Female Forward will make a meaningful difference in the talent pool we need in order to create gender parity in the director’s chair.”

Jennifer Salke
President, NBC Entertainment


At NBC, we recognize that our industry can and needs to do more to have women represented in the director’s chair. With only 21% of scripted television episodes directed by women in the 2016-17 season*, now more than ever it’s important to provide talented female directors with the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

NBC’s annual initiative Female Forward aims to solve that problem by giving female directors a pipeline into scripted television. We believe that collectively we can achieve gender parity among scripted series directors by systematically increasing the number of qualified women in the field.

In the program, spearheaded by NBC President Jennifer Salke in partnership with acclaimed TV director Lesli Linka Glatter, selected female directors are given the opportunity to shadow on up to three episodes of an NBC series. Their experience culminates with an in-season commitment for each participant to direct at least one episode of the series she shadows.

Female Forward will begin with the 2018-19 season on 10 NBC series with the intent of expanding the number of directors and shows in subsequent years.

The program joins NBC’s robust diversity and inclusion initiatives that under the leadership of Salke’s lieutenant Karen Horne have discovered and developed diverse onscreen and behind-the-scenes talent including Jenny Hagel, Lil Rel Howery, Mindy Kaling, Sharat Raju and Alan Yang.
*Directors Guild of America 2016-17 Episodic TV Director Diversity Report