Leading Ladies at Social Media Week LA

It was Entertainment Day at Social Media Week LA, with sessions covering topics such as music, television and film. One of my favorite sessions was the Power Women in Entertainment Roundtable with Jesse Draper (Valley Girl, Inc.), Sarah Penna (Big Frame), Rachael McLean (JuntoBox Films) and Govindini Murty (Libertas Film Magazine). Each of the women was asked to discuss their experiences with the “glass ceiling” in their respective careers. They talked about the double standard of very vocal men being deemed ambitious and powerful, while women who do the same are considered bitchy.

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My favorite response to this came from independent journalist Govindini Murty, which was: Who cares? Her message to women in power positions was that as long as you get the results you want, it doesn’t matter what others say. Prejudice characterizations, based on race, gender or something else, are used as an attempt to silence competition.

I thought her straightforward perspectives were refreshing and appreciated when she supported her advocacy of more women in the film industry with economic approaches. If women fund half of Hollywood (through ticket sales), why is only a fraction of the people directing, producing, critiquing and starring in films female? Women aren’t depicted equally, and it doesn’t make good business sense, especially when some of the most successful films of all time have female leads. Looking forward, young children today are no strangers to YouTube and other creative outlets, therefore their generation will be comfortable with anyone being content creators and having a voice. Exclusion will (hopefully) be a foreign concept. Overall, it was inspiring to hear these women speak passionately about their careers and the impact they are making on their industries.

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I had to share the view from the SMWLA HQ patio I got to enjoy in between sessions. What a beautiful day in Santa Monica! Attendees were also treated to free coffee throughout the day, which was definitely a highlight.

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