Here are some facts according to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media: While women comprise just over 50% of the population, only 10% of all films have a gender balanced cast. Only 7% of directors, 13% of writers, and 20% of producers are women. While women represent 50% of the workforce, only 20% are depicted in films as working characters.
And above all, in the United States, women are not equal to men, by law. We literally do not have the same rights. See ERA.
I recently served as the Communications Chair for the Los Angeles Chapter of the UN Women National Committee, and Co-Chair / Producer of the HeForShe Los Angeles Media Summit. After watching Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech and learning that it helped to push through the equal pay law in California – one of the strongest pay laws in the US – it was clear that this topic was one that needed to continue, so we decided to have a public conversation around gender equality in the media.
Below are some images from the event at YouTube Space LA, honoring Patricia Arquette and Joss Whedon, who have both been inspiring and outspoken advocates for gender equality. Hosted by Sean Hill and moderated by CNN’s Carol Costello, the panel also included Rowan Blanchard, Franklin Leonard, Hector Villagra, Jay Abdo, and Maha Dahkil. You can see all of the images here.
This event was truly a collaborative effort and could not have happened without the countless investment of hours, days, weeks, and months from the board, the team, our partners, and sponsors. It’s especially encouraging to hear that the conversation is still going, beyond the four walls and into people’s board rooms and teams.
On that note, if you would like to join Patricia and countless of others in the fight for fair pay and passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (because honestly, how is this still a thing??) sign the petition to finally pass it into law at change.org/era. And please, take action and continue the conversation about gender equality with your friends, colleagues, and team members.