I was in a meeting a few weeks ago with a man who's very high up on the corporate ladder at a company you all know. I was presenting the IndieFlix business model and he said, "Wow, this is amazing. Who helped you with it?"
I told him, "Well, I have a wonderful team that executes back home."
"Yeah, but, who helped you create this model?" he asked.
"Well, I did and it has evolved over the years and now here we are." I responded.
"Really?" he asked. "You did this all on your own?" I had a hard time truly understanding what he meant until his next question: "So, who watches your kids while you're traveling?"
We talked for a minute about this and I found myself making excuses like, "Well, my daughter will be off to college soon!" As if it were a detriment to be a single mom with kids at home, when in fact, it isn't at all. It's inspiring. The whole conversation got me thinking about gender roles and how I bet he's never been asked who watches his kids while he's working.
To be perfectly honest, I had never given much thought to the fact that I'm a woman in the corporate world until recently. I know myself as a mom, a filmmaker, the CEO and co-founder of IndieFlix but I'm just Scilla. As IndieFlix has grown I've found myself in big conglomerate board rooms and I'm realizing they're all men, and that it's always been all men, all the way up the ladder. I'm just used to it.
I can't help but think my awareness is heightened because we are producing and releasing The Empowerment Project Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things, a documentary about women rising to the top and not being afraid to dream big. I'm meeting remarkable women who have incredible stories of success and empowerment, and in focusing on this subject, I've become more aware of how women are treated differently in the workplace and in the world in general. This awareness makes conversations like the one I had in my meeting a few weeks ago, pretty hard to sit through.
At the end of the day, I don't take it personally. Is there a glass ceiling? It's not in my reality. If I hit it, I'll let you know, but I don't believe I'm going to hit it. I think for those who think they're going to hit it, it's there. I think women have a harder time getting to the top because of the lack of role models and societal programming. We spend a lifetime blending in and longing for acceptance. How can we possibly know how to stand up for ourselves effectively? I think as women we are treated differently and that can be a challenge. Does it mean we can't do it? I don't think so. We can do anything but I'm feeling the inequalities for the first time so I'm going to do something about it. I've joined an amazing team of young, talented, female filmmakers and I am co-producing and IndieFlix is releasing The Empowerment Project: Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things, Sarah Moshman (Director, Producer) and Dana Cook (Producer) made this film to spark conversations and to inspire young women all over the world to dream big and know they can get there. Stay tuned! This will be fun.