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Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Filmmaker & Advocate

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How is the misrepresentation of women in media connected to the underrepresentation of women in power? Jennifer Siebel Newsom answers this question in her film Miss Representation.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom was already an accomplished women by the time she went knocking on Hollywood's door at the age of 28. She had graduated with honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor's of Arts in 1996, and obtained her MBA from Stanford in 2001. On top of her already busy academic schedule, she completed a certificate program at the American Conservatory Theater before leaving to work for Conservation International to do environmental work in Africa, Latin America and Europe. When she decided to pursue a career in acting, Newsom was confronted with an impossible dilemma. Already older than most actors vying for leading roles, her agent told her to lie about her age and level of education. Newsom refused, realizing her problem making it as an actor was not with herself, her age or education. It was the media's limited conception of women that prevented her, and other women, from breaking into this competitive industry. This experience was the driving force behind her documentary Miss Representation, a film exploring the underrepresentation of women in positions of power through challenging the media's limited portrayal of girls and women. Following the film, she launched MissRepresentation.org, a call-to-action movement helping girls and women reach their full potentials. Newsom is now a nationally recognized speaker and an advocate for women in media. In 2012, she was named as one of Newsweek Daily Beast's "150 Women Who Shake the World," and in 2011 a "Power Woman" by New York Moves Magazine. 

More From Jennifer Siebel

"The Second Shift"
What is the impact of the "second shift" on working parents?

The Business of Beauty
Newsom thinks that an overemphasis on physical appearance hinders the professional development of women. 

Emotional Energy
As a filmmaker, sensitivity is an important character trait.

Strength Inside
Newsom discusses how social limitations can limit confidence in women.

Paid Parental Leave
70% of working women are working mothers, and yet the United States is one of only three nations without paid parental leave.