The 2019 MAKERS Conference is over. Now it's time to get to work.
Feb 25, 2019
The 2019 MAKERS Conference might be over, but now it's time to get to work! You heard from top change leaders including Tarana Burke, Gloria Steinem, Sharon White Harrigan and more — so take what they said to heart and keep the momentum going in the fight for equality.
Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO, GLAAD, encourages you to check to make sure your company's medical coverage includes trans people and that the office bathrooms are all-inclusive. For more information on how to create a safer workplace for LGBTQ individuals, check out GLAAD.org/resources. Corey Rae,Activist, Model & Writer,offered herself up as a resource to help as well. "I am always there for anyone," she says. "I am here if no one else is."
Leah Smith, Disability Rights Activist, is "fighting the good fight" to continue to help people with disabilities and keep the Americans with Disabilities Act alive. The group ADAPT is on the frontlines. Learn more about their work here and watch Far From the Tree, a documentary featuring Smith on Amazon.
Vicki Shabo, Vice President for Workplace Policies and Strategies, National Partnership for Women & Families, says it's time to "hasten the pace of change" for paid leave:
Use your voice in your workplace or your community to make change. Who can you talk to? Who can you influence? Who can you mobilize?
Go to supportpaidleave.org/makers and tweet at your member of Congress, telling them to prioritize national paid leave.
Kerry Cooper, President & Chief Operating Officer, Rothy's, says women's fashion can save the planet through smarter solutions. "My challenge to you: Think different. Take something that doesn't seem like it makes sense, take it apart and find a new way to put it back together. We need more female entrepreneurs — go start a business where you think you can make a difference. Find something destined for a landfill and find a way to reuse it."
Regina Wilson, Firefighter, FDNY, Kristina Kepner, Battalion Chief, LAFD, and Kristin Crowley, Deputy Chief, LAFD, make up a part of the just 4 percent of female firefighters nationwide. They say you can help inspire the next generation by taking young girls to fire stations and opening their eyes to the possibilities. "Let them know that this is something they can definitely do," says Kepner.
Carolyn Everson, VP of Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook, says companies need to acknowledge mental health issues — and find ways to treat them. "This is a crisis...99 percent of leaders that were surveyed at the Harvard Business School said they have some type of a stress related disorder or mental health issue," says Everson. "We need to take this on."
Malika Saada Saar, Senior Counsel on Civil & Human Rights, Google, says to look into whether or not your company asks candidates if they've been arrested on job applications. The practice was banned at Google and she encourages others to do the same in order to get more individuals like Sharon White-Harrigan, Clinical Director, Women's Prison Association, in the door. Says White-Harrigan, "Take a chance, help a Sharon, because it will change the lives of these women knowing that someone gives a damn." Learn more about hiring practices from the National Employment Law Project (nelp.org).
Joanna Barsh, Senior Partner Emerita & Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Company, encourages companies to implement the Rooney Rule, a policy from the NFL that requires teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for coaching positions. However, she wants MAKERS to not just use it, but set the threshold at 50 percent to help increase diversity. "Forget about one candidate," she says. "We need guardian angels for every talented diverse individual." Click here to learn more about the Rooney Rule to help increase diverse talent in the workplace.
Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix, says the streaming service makes salaries and bonuses for all directors and above transparent so everyone knows what each other makes. Read this Harvard Business Review experiment for more information.
Diana Trujillo, Mars 2020 Arm Science Surface Phase Lead, encourages you to find your "berraquera," or will to fight. "It is up to you (and to God) to define who are you and who you are to become — nobody else," she says. "I am here to inspire you. You can make it work. You got this."
However, sometimes inaction is the best type of action.
Susan Schuman, CEO, SYPartners, says inaction is actually sometimes the best type of action. Traditionally, CEOs had all the answers and were accountable for everything. Now, executives are starting to relinquish control, admitting they might not have all the answers and distributing power to the collective. This requires leaders, Schuman notes, to coach through the beautiful mess — rather than clean it up.
Heidi Schreck, Playwright & Performer, says to read the Constitution, and think about how it impacts our daily lives. Gloria Steinem recommends seeing Schreck's new play, What the Constitution Means to Me, because "it is a miracle. It is the most original, informative idea." Purchase tickets here.
Kylene Campos, Global Marketing Director, SK-II, reveals that in China, unmarried women older than 25 are known as "Sheng Nu," or "leftovers." The skincare brand is helping women in Asia — and elsewhere — take control of their destiny and Campos encourages you to do the same.
John Legend, Singer, Songwriter & Activist, Lenore Anderson, President, Alliance for Safety & Justice, and Robert Rooks, VP, Alliance for Safety & Justice, stress the importance of confronting the country's criminal justice issues. "It ravages so many communities," Legend says. "It is something we all have to deal with as a nation, because if you want to build a more loving society and community ... we can't continue to be the leading incarcerator of the world."
Nadya Okamoto, Founder & Executive Director, PERIOD.org & Chief Brand Officer, JUV Consulting, says to read her book Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement, which teaches us why menstrual hygiene is a right, not a privilege. Buy it here.
Talk about investing — in your employees, your family and yourself.
Moj Mahdara, CEO & Founder, Beautycon, says to win financial power, women need to ask for what they want. Use the hashtag #Ialso to start the conversation and reclaim what you deserve.
Shannon Schuyler, Principal, Chief Purpose Officer & Responsible Business Leader, PwC, says businesses can help create a more fulfilling employee experience that provides workers with tools to help them find their own individual purpose. Examples? Rotational opportunities, stretch assignments and reverse mentorships."We have to create a culture that allows people to find themselves, to find what fulfills them...give them an opportunity to figure out what that is."
Sarah Levinson Rothman, Amanda Silverman, Meredith O'Sullivan Wasson and Christine Su, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, The Lede Company, started a female-led business in Hollywood, in part, by making motherhood an asset. "We'll email each other like, 'Oh my nanny didn't come to work'" says Su. "We all understand because we're all moms at the end of the day and we use a lot of mom intuition in our day-to-day lives."
Kara Nortman, Partner, Upfront Ventures & Co-Founder, All Raise, and Nairi Hourdajian, VP of Marketing and Communications, Canaan & Co-Founder, All Raise, say it's important to start "whisper campaigns" that elevate other women. "When you're at your next event you go over you say, 'Hey, do you know X, they're going to be the next big director," says Hourdajian. "It really is always trying to pay it forward," adds Nortman.
Raise feminist boys to end toxic masculinity.
Jameela Jamil, Actor, Activist & Founder, @I_Weigh, says to raise boys to be vulnerable and sensitive: "Tell him to cry when he is sad, tell him how important it is to talk about his feelings. Tell him it is better to be soft and strong rather than be hard and weak. Never let anyone tell him to 'stop being a girl' when he is showing sensitivity." Watch her full speech here and share her message far and wide.
Terry Crews, Actor & Activist, says toxic masculinity is a cult from which men need to be deprogrammed. "There's a movie that everybody's playing in their head and the movie doesn't end up the way they want it," he says. "They're like, 'Wait a minute, you're supposed to beat up everybody you're supposed to get revenge and everybody is supposed to ride off on their horse. And I'm like, nope. In fact, I'm a survivor, and the truth is sometimes you don't get justice. You get freedom, that's the difference."
Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, P&G, says many stereotypes of masculinity need to be actively reconsidered — including the "strong and silent" type. "We are told to suck it up, don't be a wimp. Man up, don't cry. These kinds of comments reinforce that mentality that men are machines...We can move forward by doing what we do right now: talking about masculinity."
But remember, women need to recognize the parts they play in creating toxic cultures too.
Jada Pinkett Smith, Actor, Producer & Entrepreneur, reminds women that if we're asking men to step up, women need to do the same. Pinkett Smith says to think about the "Queen Bee Complex" and comparative superiority because they're "super important in trying to figure out how to bridge all these gaps I see within the world of women."
Use your privilege.
Arlan Hamilton, Founder & CEO, Backstage Capital, says business leaders should invest in companies led by underrepresented founders, and realize that they're working twice as hard to get the same recognition. "For every $42,000 that a black woman raises, a white man raises nearly 1.2 million. And she is expected to not only to do the same but four times better just to be seen as on par. My take on this is: What if we put her on equal footing? How far will she go?"
Tarana Burke, Activist, Advocate & Founder, 'me too' Movement, encourages everyone to get comfortable talking about uncomfortable topics. This doesn't require becoming an activist, like her, or taking to the front lines — instead it can start by simply talking with the people in your lives. If someone characterizes the 'me too' movement as negative, try redirecting and reframing the narrative. For advice on how to take small steps in your everyday life, check out meetoomvmnt.org.
Rachel Thomas, Co-Founder & President, Lean In, says women should become more aware of inequality in the workplace and involve themselves in gender diversity efforts. "It is hard to imagine groundswell of change if everybody doesn't get on board."
Megan Smith, CEO, shift7, Stephanie Lampkin, CEO & Founder, Blendoor, and Frida Polli, CEO & Co-Founder, pymetrics, say you should talk about artificial intelligence at least once a day. "Think about AI as a tool for increasing equality and representation."
Jennifer Garner, Actress, Philanthropist & Entrepreneur, says she plans to take the 4 percent challenge — a TIME'S UP-led initiative that involves announcing a project with a female director on a feature film in the next 18 months.
Amanda Nguyen, CEO & Founder, Rise Up, Inc., says simply standing up — for sexual assault survivors or others — can move mountains. "No one is invisible when we demand to be seen."
Franklin Leonard, Founder, The Black List, says diversifying Hollywood benefits all. "If everybody can compete, the quality of the best stuff will get better because you will be pulling from a greater well of talent."
Choose your circle wisely.
Ciara, Grammy Award-winning Singer/Songwriter, Producer, Model & Actress, says you shouldn't be scared to revise your support group. "You can't be afraid to drop dead weight... you've got to remember you're surrounding yourself with the right people that you can learn and grow from."
Celeste Burgoyne, EVP Americas, lululemon, says losing her husband unexpectedly taught her to prioritize her relationships. "I mean real friendships. Give to them, lean in, be vulnerable, don't take them for granted. I think we all know that we'll need those relationships more in the future than we can even know is possible."
Glennon Doyle, Author of Love Warrior & Founder, Together Rising, says to build and be a part of communities that allow people to bring all of themselves to the circle. "The reason we don't share our full selves in most places is not because we're wimps, it's because people SUCK at listening. We don't know how to listen," she says. "We do not know how to handle beauty or pain so when people share it we panic and reject it or minimize it or try to make sense of it by comparing it to our own experience or by saying ridiculous shit like: everything happens for a reason, darkest before the dawn or God doesn't give us more than we can handle yadda, yadda. And when we share ourselves and people respond that way: we just wish we'd never shared at all. Because we didn't share to be fixed, we shared to be known." Learn from what people do in recovery, Doyle says. "Folks don't try to fix each other and that's why folks find family. Because they feel in the recovery family accepted, valued, seen, protected. As they are."
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Public Theologian, has a prayer inspired by the reality that Jesus' opponents are now included in the Bible as footnotes. "Your bully from middle school, footnote. Your depression, footnote. Your shady boss, footnote...make no mistake, all those things are very real," says Bolz-Weber. "But to me the whole point of having faith is that it allows us to believe in a bigger story than the one that we tell ourselves."
Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Ph.D., Global Yoga Ambassador, lululemon & Founder, Yoga Literature Art Camp for Teen Girls & Red Clay Yoga, offers a simple, soul-redeeming meditation. "Try to get rid of the things that you are holding. Take in a deep inhale and draw your shoulders up toward your ears. Exhale them back around and down. Notice how it feels to breathe...allow yourself to harness your own power."
Kendall Coyne Schofield, Two-time U.S. Hockey Olympic Medalist & Five-time World Champion, says owning your space, especially in a male-dominated arena, takes practice. "I had to [remind] myself that I earned that moment and I need to be confident in my abilities."
Rosdely Ciprian, the young performer in What the Constitution Means to Me (and a high school debate star), has a quick confidence-building trick. "When you're scared, look at yourself in the mirror and say: 'Oh hey, you look good.'"