Last week, the Academy sent out 276 new invitations to join its ranks, the highest amount in recent years. (178 were invited in 2011; 135 in 2010; 134 in 2009; and 105 in 2008.) What you will notice from the list of invitations is the focus on diversity which is something the Academy clearly had to deal with since its membership was very old and very white and very male.
It's great that the Academy is focused on diversity but there are several things to note.
There are only 2 women invited into the directing branch -- Ava DuVernay and Catherine Hardwicke. If you will notice, Ava DuVernay was invited into both the directing and the writing branch. (To get invited to be a member you need to be recommended) It is my hopes that she will pick the directing branch, because that branch is desperate for more women, and let's just say that I would love to be at the first meeting of the directing branch that Ms. DuVernay attends. Those guys are not going to know what hit them. Also, I would say that if you really want more women directors (which I'm not sure is the case) one could make an argument for including Agnes Varda, Tina Gordon Chism and Sarah Polley in that branch rather than where they were nominated.
The list of women (Please forgive if we made mistakes. We make an attempt to figure out the gender neutral names. Sometimes we get it wrong.)
Sophie de Rakoff
Tracey A. Doyle
Andrea Nix Fine
Mary Jo Markey
Makeup Artists and Hairstylists
Short Films and Feature Animation
Visual Effects 1 out of 24
Tina Gordon Chism