Congratulations to this amazing lady, Catalina Cruz who won her primary for the New York State Assembly seat in Queens' District 39 and is now on track to become first DREAMer to hold office in New York State. And thank you to all the candidates who stepped up and pushed a positive inclusive agenda designed to make New York a better place for all, not just a select few.
Tarana Burke talks women and leadership
On a recent panel discussion, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke was asked why sometimes, even when women reach positions of positions of power, they still don’t necessarily push for or create a more diverse workforce. Her answer - it’s not just about any woman, we have to have the right women at the top. Women are also victims of years of patriarchy and we sometimes have to unlearn a lifetime of pre-conceived ideas.
I would add to this that it’s very tough for one woman alone to effect change. When there’s no safety net and she’s on the front line alone, the default is to protect her position by maintaining the status quo.
It takes a village to make a difference.
The future of everything
Last week, leading executives and creatives from across the music, television and film industries came together for a high level dinner to share solutions for how we truly move the needle for women in entertainment in 2018. Led by guest speakers Keri Putnam CEO of the Sundance Institute, director Alma Har’el and manager/activist Ty Stiklorius, we left the room armed with actionable ideas for how we continue to drive forward momentum. After a year of marching, speaking out and making our voices heard, we are more than ready to make good on that promise of action. Everyone can be a part of the solution. Here are ten things you can do to make a difference.
1. Take the pledge. Make a personal commitment to create a diverse workforce within your department and company, or on your productions. And set measurable goals.
2. Build data, source data and utilize data to help make the case for equal hiring practices and diverse content creation. We want to see our own stories.
3. Be mindful and intentional about expanding your professional network. How are you ensuring that you're connecting to and meeting with people across race, gender and socio-economic class?
5. Call out bias and bad behavior when you see it. We have to bring these issues out into the open and hold companies to account.
6. Mentor and sponsor women. Don’t just give advice and guidance, pick up the phone, make introductions, go to bat for people.
7. Use the notion of ‘shining’ to amplify other women’s ideas.
8. We need more women financially investing in other women. How do we make the case to a wider network of high net worth women that investing in diverse content makes good business sense?
9. Use your privilege. If you’re in a position of power or influence, use it to support those with less.
10. If you can't make the system work for you, build your own systems. Lets use entrepreneurship as a tool by which to lead by example.
Audrey Buchanan, Ty Stiklorius, Dee Poku, Laura Rister, Tory Tunnell
Where are the real seats of power held? Where are the decisions being made that affect us, the consumers in our everyday lives? Who's deciding what we get paid, who gets hired and fired, our benefits, how companies get run? One key place to look is on corporate boards.
Currently only 19% of S&P 500 companies have a woman on their board. And it's an issue I feel very strongly about. Last night we gathered together a group of seriously smart, successful, board qualified women to hear insights and ideas on how they could get recruited for corporate boards. Our speakers were former Goldman Sachs partner Lisa Shalett and Nexus Management founder, Ceci Kurzman. Both are heavy hitters and on some serious boards.
Getting on boards takes work. You have to lobby, you have to position yourself correctly in the public eye, you have to network at the right events, you have to know the recruiters and be on the right lists, and you have to have right skills e.g. tech, finance, marketing. But it can be an incredibly enriching experience for you and your career and is a sure fire way to affect real change from the top.