FBI Women?

This is something I realized the other day, it seems like in film and TV, if there is some team that is specifically identified as “FBI” it is almost certainly going to be headed by a woman.

V - Erica Evans
Fringe - Olivia Dunham
Profiler - Samantha Waters, Rachel Burke
Silence of the Lambs, etc. - Clarice Starling
X-Files - Dana Scully

That might not seem all that long/impressive a list (though I’m probably missing one or two), but how many CIA, Quantico, CTU, etc., female leads have you seen?

Clarice Starling wasn’t the head of a team in The Silence of the Lambs. She was still in training. She wasn’t even the head of a team in Hannibal, which was set about ten years into her career.

Dana Scully wasn’t the primary investigator on X-Files until the last season, and she was still subordinate to Asst. Dir. Skinner.

I recall three FBI agents on Twin Peaks, played by Kyle MacLachlan, Miguel Ferrer and Chris Isaak. Who am I forgetting?
Without a Trace** has a male lead.

She’s not FBI, but Amanda Waller has been the head of various covert government teams in the DC universe.

The FBI team on Flash Forward is headed by a black guy.

She definitely wasn’t his boss. She was his partner, and he was the one who identified most of their cases and then convinced her they should look into it.

Headed may have been a poor word. That they are the lead (or in the case of X-Files co-lead) of the show, is my point.

Olivia Dunham is not the head of the Fringe team - Broyles is. In fact, it seems that most of the women on your list aren’t the boss, but work under a male boss; I’m at least certain this is true for Dana Scully and Clarice Starling.

Bones. Booth is an FBI agent; when I was still watching it, there were several other male agents as guest stars. IRCC, his boss was male, too.

Ah, OK. I never saw it as a problem, but I’m female myself. Also, I don’t know the gender statistics of the FBI. I imagine that women are making bigger strides and gaining authority there the same as everywhere else.

Does this bother you, or are you merely curious?

The same is true for Profiler, which was headed by Bailey Malone. Sam Waters (and the other chick) were only the forensic psychologist of the team. But thanks for mentioning a very under-rated, but fantastic, show!!

Also: if these people count as the ‘leads’ in these teams, then certainly Sydney Bristow counts in Alias, so there’s one for the CIA.

CTU (well, CTU-LA) has had several female heads over the years. Michelle, Alberta Green, Erin Driscoll, hell, I think even Nina was head of CTU-LA briefly at one point.

It seemed statistically unlikely for all female governmental leads to be specifically “FBI”, which to me indicates that Hollywood or something in society has a natural inclination to place women in this branch of service out of all possible ones.

I just thought I would bring it up since it was interesting. Like TV Tropes.

Again, I mean “lead” in reference to the show not in terms of their position in the government hierarchy. If you go that way, well everyone has a boss so the term is a bit meaningless.

Lead = Main character

More women are becoming TV leads in general? That might not be actually true – I’ve no idea about the statistics.

Myra is Secret Service, not FBI, but she has a lead role in Warehouse 13, and the Big Boss appears to be Ms. Fredericks, but her affiliation with government/other entities is unspecified…

Veronica Mars was supposed to be an FBI trainee in season 4, but the pilot for that looked pretty awful so for once it might have been for the best that it was cancelled. I just wish they had wrapped up season 3 first.

And they’re disproportionately hot, too! Why is Hollywood lying to us?!

Well the question is “why”? It’s obvious why hot women star in TV and movies, but why FBI, specifically, out of everything?

I think it’s just that there are more shows about the FBI in general (besides those in the OP and elsewhere in the thread, Numbers and *Criminal Minds *also involve FBI agents/teams)

Besides, there are female lead characters in all the shows about some sort of government or quasi-government agency:
Alias: Sidney Bristow (CIA)
Chuck: Sarah Walker & the Brigadier General (also CIA)
NCIS: Ziva, Abby, Caitlin … plus an actual female boss, Director Shepard
JAG: Mac, as well as several other secondary female characters
24: several mentioned upthread (CTU)

You may as well ask why there are so many hot female cops and CSIs - it’s generally accepted that hot women + ass kicking is usually a great combination when it comes to ratings, and the easiest way to get your hot female lead to kick ass regularly is to put her in some sort of law enforcement type job.