This year’s Golden Globe Awards made history with the first ever all-female winners. It started with The Handmaid’s Tale, which won for Best Drama, then the likes of Roni Adlan, Dana Broderick, and Michelle Dockery went on to win a second, third, and fourth prize respectively. The unprecedented triumph is surely down to the global success of the Game of Thrones, but it also marks a significant cultural shift.

The last few years have seen a rise in the number of women breaking into traditionally male-dominated fields. It’s brought a new wave of opportunities, but it’s also posed challenges. Chief amongst these is the #MeToo movement, which has brought to light the prevalence of sexual misconduct in the workplace. It’s changed the way we look at all-male groups and their members, and it’s made the media scrutinise people working in positions of power.

‘Inequality is rampant.’

Speaking to Vogue on the red carpet, Globes winner Adlan reflected on the significance of this year’s win: “Inequality is rampant, and it’s something we as a society need to focus on in terms of gender equality.” She continued: “We need to address this because it’s dangerous to have these lopsided social structures. We need to make sure that there’s some equality, and I think it will take some time for society to realise that men and women aren’t inherently equal.”

Dior’s creative director, Nader Saade, was one of the designers who created Adlan’s gown. He agreed, telling Vogue how “the theme of the night was equality, and that was something we wanted to bring through in our dress”. He continued: “It was meant to be a celebration of women and to celebrate women’s empowerment.”

What does the #MeToo movement mean for designers? It means that, as a community, we need to be mindful of predatory behaviour, which can come in many forms. It doesn’t just affect individuals in high-ranking positions, but people working in more junior roles too. In the wake of the movement, there have been a number of significant developments, both in terms of behaviour and workplace equality. While we can’t guarantee that every workplace will be perfect, we can ensure that the ones we work in are safe spaces.

‘Game of Thrones has redefined storytelling.’

This year’s Game of Thrones season finale was one of the most anticipated events of the year. It concluded a nine-year journey into the hearts and minds of ‘Game of Thrones’ fans. While the finale didn’t disappoint in terms of the intense debates it prompted, this year’s triumph also marks a significant shift in the way people view television.

Alicia Vikan, CEO of Nestle, told The New York Times how “stories that were once considered ‘entertainment’… are now considered ‘television’”. This was evident in 2019 when Game of Thrones reached a larger audience than ever before, topping all on-demand platforms and attracting a younger, more diverse audience.

It’s opened up a wealth of opportunities for content creators, with over 250 million of us expected to watch content on our phones this year. It’s also provided a new set of challenges. As with any social media platform, the #MeToo movement has meant that content deemed to be promoting predatory behaviour has been called out and removed. This is a major change from the way media was consumed previously, and it means that content creators will need to be even more careful in the stories they choose to tell. With so much content available, the competition for audiences will only increase, and it will be interesting to see which titles emerge as the biggest successes in the coming months.

‘It’s time for women to shine.’

While ‘Game of Thrones’ has undoubtedly been the biggest success of the year so far, other shows have had an impact too. In the UK, Little Women: Essie’s Journey won the BAFTA for Best Drama, while Killing Eve became the first show in the genre to win the Saturn Award for Best Television Series – Drama.

Meanwhile, in the US, The Handmaid’s Tale has been the big success story of the last year, with its second season recently becoming the most downloaded show in history. Hulu will soon be releasing the third season.

It’s been a year of big wins for women in the world of film and television, which is incredible considering how much change there has been in such a short space of time. While we’ve seen many familiar faces walk the red carpet, it’s also been an occasion for many women to show their talent and prove that they’re more than capable of holding their own against the best male actors. It’s been a banner year for women in entertainment, and it’s only the beginning.