Over the course of 75 years, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has nominated a woman for the Best Director prize just seven times.
Barbra also took a stand when she presented the award of Best Motion Picture - Drama and told the audience she was the only woman to receive the Best Director award, when she took home the gong for Yentl in 1984.
"We are honored, " Howard began as the pair began to open the envelope containing the winner's identity, "to be here to present the award for best director".
While the HFPA is nearly entirely removed from the "insider" industry precursors that traditionally line the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards (its membership encompasses roughly 100 journalists, not film professionals), it does offer invaluable visibility directly or indirectly.
The Best Director prize went to Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water, who won over Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Ridley Scott (All the Money in the World), and Steven Spielberg (The Post).
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Things are even worse for female directors at the Oscars. It took a decade for another woman to occupy a slot, with Lost In Translation's Sofia Coppola earning a nod in 2003.
Women make up just 7% of the directors who helm the top 250 films, according to the San Diego State's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.
A female-directed movie ended up receiving top awards this year, however.
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Jane Campion followed in Streisand's footsteps two years later, recognized by the HFPA for her work in directing The Piano.