Is There A Glass Ceiling? The Caucus Presents A Panel of Experts

The Caucus

Promoting excellence in television and new media, and as part of it’s mandate to raise awareness of diversity, women, and minorities in the entertainment industry, the Caucus today presented, in conjunction with Emerson College, Women in Film, and the Alliance of Women Directors, the panel Women and Media Glass Ceiling. 

The Caucus: Albert Fisher, Guerrilla Girls, Dennis Doty

According to Dennis Doty, President of the Caucus, “The worst men should have to say about the glass ceiling is that they have to clean it.”  Facts don’t prove him out.  According to recent statistics from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, San Diego, women, in features, make up only 7% of directors, 8% of writers, 17% of executive producers,  23% of producers and 2% of cinematographers.  In the television world, we fare slightly better being 21% of creators, 22% of executive producers, 16% of directors and 29% of writers.  Needless to say, that still leaves us far behind the eight ball when it comes to our careers.  Why is this?

Hosted by Cynthia Littleton of Variety, the panel included such notables as Loreen Arbus, one of the first to head a national television and two cable stations;, Holly Sorensen, executive producer of “Make It or Break It”; Jane Fleming, former Women in Film President and producer; Millicent Shelton, TV director “30 Rock” “Men of a Certain Age” and NAACP winner; and last but not least, the Guerrilla Girls, in the form of Kathe Kollwitz, a pseudonym.

The Caucus: Loreen Arbus, Jane Fleming

While women have achieved their highest levels in years, that there is a glass ceiling there is no doubt. Many of us have to knock on that repeatedly before we can break through.  “It’s always been harder for women and especially women of color to get through,” Millicent  Shelton says.  “I usually only have one hour on set to convince the crew that I know what I am doing.”  

Getting out there, networking ,meeting people, and developing relationships helps us to be seen.  It takes more than just talent to succeed in Hollywood.  “We have to climb that extra foot.”  Despite what the Guerilla Girls and others believe, we can’t be expected to be hired on just because we are women or are Black.  The prejudice is that women are not as accomplished as white men.  Obviously, this isn’t true, but we are judged by what other women do.  Now that Katherine Bigelow has won the Academy, the door might be nudged open a crack. We have to keep our foot in it.  

The Caucus: Chuck Fries

Jane Fleming pointed out how when she spoke up to her bosses about the pay differential between her and the men doing the same job, she was rewarded with equal status, “but it probably never would have happened, if I hadn’t gone to the plate.  Feminism has only been around 150 years. Nothing happens if people don’t step up to the plate.  We have to keep pushing.”  

The Caucus: Holly Sorensen

Holly summed it up by saying that “We, as women, have to do whatever it takes to get ahead.”  Let’s shatter that glass ceiling.  

Chuck Fries pointed out that celebrating it’s tenth year, The Caucus Foundation will have provided grants and awards of close to $1 million to 100 worthy students to complete their film, television or interactive projects by end of 2010.

As the Caucus continues to promote excellence in television and new media, they will be honoring many achievers for Awards Dinner (12/5/10).  Those working in television and new media are welcome to join.  

For more information about the Caucus go to

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