“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” This phrase stayed with me, among many others, after my first conversation with EGA’s Managing Director Chris Fetner. Simplistic? Maybe. Silly? Not at all! How else would you tackle a broad issue such as women in the entertainment globalization industry? One inspiration, one challenge, one action, one solution, one discussion at a time. And that is what The Collective is here for. Formed as a safe space for women in the industry to engage and network, this platform will be used to inspire, support and celebrate each other. We want to hear our EGA members’ thoughts and concerns, share motivational stories, hold topical discussions, hear from guest speakers, and network with women from all levels and sides of global storytelling.
In the world of storytelling, we don’t have to look far to find women who embolden us. We are captivated by the achievements and struggles of heartening female characters, real or fictional. From Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures, Cleo in Roma, Erin Brockovich, Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, to Moana, and so on. Each woman has a story and a voice of their own, but also a narrative of overcoming adversity that echoes with so many of us. It is this common ground that can unite us.
Very fittingly, The Collective was launched on this year’s International Women’s Day. The IWD 2021 theme is “Choose to Challenge.” They state: “A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.” What could we challenge in a vastly progressive industry such as our own? While we can presume that women occupy a fair amount of entertainment globalization jobs, they are vastly underrepresented in upper management and C-suite positions. And what can we do to change that statistic? We can start by supporting a female colleague, by empowering her to stand up and be noticed, to reach her full potential. We can hear her story, share it, celebrate it. If you are in a privileged position, reach out to the women who have the desire, potential and drive to join you. If you want to move up, look for the mentors, helpers and advisors. Seek out the inspiration.
And that’s our goal with this initiative: to foment discussion and be the space where growth and change can start to happen. As women in the entertainment globalization industry, we have made great strides in this long and arduous road, but we don’t have to walk it alone. We invite you to join The Collective community and be a part of the conversation!
So, how many bites will it take to eat this elephant? I can’t answer that, but I do know women are hungry and this elephant does not stand a chance.