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It’s Time for Women to Lead

Variety, February 7, 2018

By Mary McColl

Black and white vector image of a woman standing at podium and addressing a crowd.The multitude of issues affected by gender in the workplace are inextricably linked; the struggles to end workplace sexual harassment and to increase women’s representation in career leadership must be fought together. As #MeToo gains traction in the national media and the issue of sexual violence behind the scenes in Hollywood comes to the forefront, it is equally important that we examine why so few women hold the top rungs of leadership positions in the movie and theater industry, even when there is no shortage of qualified female leaders. According to a 2015 study of the League of Residential Theaters conducted by Sumru Erkut, Ph.D. and Ineke Ceder of the Wellesley Centers for Women, 60 percent of “second-in-line” positions in the theater industry are held by women, but many fewer women hold the theater’s top position. In this guest column, Mary McColl, the Executive Director of the Actors’ Equity Association, discusses the role that diversity in leadership has to play in developing policy and ending workplace sexual violence.

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