Dietland Is Your New TV Addiction

“[Dietland] is Fight Club meets Margaret Atwood” (Bustle)

There's a smart, funny and rather surreal new show launching on AMC on June 4th called Dietland. Based on the book by Sarai Walker and produced by Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), the show is led by an excellent cast that includes Joy Nash and Julianna Margulies. Dietland explores all the hot button issues women confront on a daily basis - fat shaming, sexual harassment, workplace inequality and thwarted career ambitions. I was glad to be included in a gathering of cast members, thought leaders and activists this morning, to discuss how women could better channel their anger and frustration at gender inequality issues, into action.

Dietland poster

Dietland poster


Dietland starTamara Tunie, Dee Poku

Why All Countries Should Follow The UK's Lead on Equal Pay

Last week, various film and television companies shared their pay figures, and the results were far from stellar. The most upsetting results came from Disney, who revealed a 22% pay gap between its male and female employees and a 40% gap in favor of men for bonuses. Yesterday, it was the turn of the music industry, which saw Warner Music UK as the stand out, with an average gender pay gap of 49%, and 82% for bonuses!

The reason all these shocking statistics are coming to light? Because of the UK government's mandate that all companies with over 250 employees disclose their pay data by April 4. This process began to unravel back in July 2017 when the BBC was asked to reveal the salaries of anyone earning over £150k. The results were damning, leading to protests by female employees and the resignation of one editor. Now that the requirement has been widened to include all large companies, we're seeing the true extent of the problem we already knew existed.

Companies with pay gaps are also being encouraged to outline a plan for how they might rectify the problem. But now these statistics are available to all, I hope it not only forces companies to continue to self-examine but that it provides employees the leverage with which to demand change.


The Warrior Women Of Wakanda Are The Heroines We Need

There are many things to love about the movie Black Panther but one reason this film is so revolutionary is it's female characters. Lupita Nyong'o plays a humanitarian spy, Letitia Wright is a technical wizard and Danai Gurira kicks butt as a ferocious warrior. These powerful, talented black women aren't just there in of service of the men, to play the girlfriend or serve as the moral conscience of the male lead. Their roles are highly independent as well as being integral to the plot. The characters they play are strong and capable, and respected for their skill and intellect. They’re proud and opinionated black women revered for their wit, prowess and sportsmanship.

Compare this to recent statistics. Women make up just a third of speaking roles in movies and 76% of all female characters are white. We are rarely central to the plot and non white characters are often written as racial stereotypes. A Geena Davis study found that 80% of movie characters with STEM jobs were male.

Movies such as Women Woman, Girls Trip, Hidden Figures and now Black Panther are disproving outdated theories of what audiences want to see. The myth of the fanboy is over. Male directors take note.

Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o  

Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o  


Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright

7 Things Men Can Do To Combat Sexism In Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley has imploded over the last couple of weeks, after several women came forward to publicly share their stories of being sexually harassed by senior figures in the industry.  I'm awed by the strength and bravery of these women and hope the ensuing outrage and various resignations, signal a sea change in the way the tech industry treats women. Various solutions have been put forward to try and combat the rampant sexism that exists in tech, but the most practical of these and the most likely to produce lasting change can be found in this blog post by Claudia Iannazzo, founder of AlphaPrime Ventures who suggests the following steps: 

1. Hire more women to create a more balanced and realistic workforce

2. Set diversity goals 

3. Amplify women's voices

4. Facilitate the introduction of founders to potential funders 

5. Make the panel pledge and refuse to speak on panels unless women are represented 

6. Make the column pledge which as above, ensures women are represented and quoted in articles concerning the tech industry 

7. Support the professional development of women, through training and sponsorship 

Read and share and lets make this mistreatment of women a thing of the past.