Raise Your Voice Pledge Video | 2018 MAKERS Conference
#RAISEYOURVOICE Video Pledges from MAKERS@ Board of Directors
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- Ladies and gentlemen, Dyllan McGee.
DYLLAN MCGEE: Hello, everyone!
Welcome to the 2018 MAKERS Conference!
We are so thrilled to be here at the beautiful NeueHouse in the heart of Hollywood, where a whole new kind of earthquake began this fall. Women stood up, and the old boys fell down. And at MAKERS, we are all over this. MAKERS is a feminist media brand that has been a megaphone for women's voices for six years now. I can't believe it.
We are very proud to be part of the Oath Board of Oath. And we have the Oath Board of Advisors here with us tonight. Oath Board of Advisors, can you please stand?
Thank you Abby. Yay! Thank you. Thank you. So at MAKERS, we tell stories of groundbreaking women, and many of whom have been raising their voices for decades. Gloria Steinem.
Betty Reid Soskin.
I mean, ladies, we know the time's up, right? Yes! So over the course of the next three days, you're going to hear from women and men who have not only raised their voices, but have taken it a step further into action, because our voices are taking us so far. But it's really the action that's going to take us to the next level. So that is why on our final day, we're doing something new, team. Our MAKERS @ Board of Advisers. And I want each and every one of you to stand right now. MAKERS @ Board of Advisers.
OK, stay. Look at all these women. Don't be shy. No, stay, stay. OK. Each one of these women is going to get up on this stage and make bold and exciting pledges and commitments not just to say more, but to do more. It's going to be incredible, so don't miss out Wednesday morning. OK, other things that are new this year, men.
Right? We've got a lot of them in the audience. There they are. There they are!
Some of them are even going to come up on the stage. And we hope that all of you on the Livestream, we hope there are men out there, too. You guys are the ones who get it. You're not buying into the old boys' club anymore. You're willing and want to join the Girls Club, and let me tell you something about the Girls Club. We will never, ever discriminate against anyone for gender, race, ethnicity, orientation. So ladies, let them in!
And then there's the girls. And this time, I mean the next generation. I mean this step team over here.
Everything we do at MAKERS with an-- is with an eye towards your future, a future that is not just female, but also feminist, because it's that mindset that's really going to make change.
[APPLAUSE] DYLLAN MCGEE: It only took me a minute to now we had to get Liza Koshy to the MAKERS stage. Ladies and gentlemen, Liza Koshy!
LIZA KOSHY: Raise your voices!
Let me hear that [INAUDIBLE]. Let me hear your female sin! Oh, too much? Hey! I'm having an adrenaline rush!
DYLLAN MCGEE: Yeah.
LIZA KOSHY: I have an estrogen rush.
DYLLAN MCGEE: OK.
LIZA KOSHY: Hey, I need some help. When I say may, you say ker. May, ker.
DYLLAN MCGEE: Oh, I like it.
LIZA KOSHY: May, ker. All right. All right. How are you guys doing tonight? Thank you so much.
DYLLAN MCGEE: OK.
LIZA KOSHY: Thank you, thank you.
DYLLAN MCGEE: You know, the funny thing about Liza--
LIZA KOSHY: Oh, lord--
DYLLAN MCGEE: Is I have to admit this to all of you is-- is that I think I may have met my match. Liza Koshy may have more energy than Dyllan McGee.
LIZA KOSHY: No way. No way.
DYLLAN MCGEE: You do your thing, honey. I'm leaving you on this stage.
LIZA KOSHY: We're both taller than this. That's my success story.
DYLLAN MCGEE: We are. We are. We're both five feet tall. All right, Liza Koshy!
LIZA KOSHY: Thank you. Oh, give it for Dyllan. Y'all, please give it up for Dyllan.
All right. Woo, goodness gracious. That is very-- I'm very small. Hi. How are you? I am very, very nervous to be here but I am very excited to raise my voice, so thank you for having me. Hi. I'm Liza Koshy, and that video made me look crazy, which means that it was accurate, because I am.
I spend-- I am just so honored and so flattered. And honestly, I was really confused as to how I got here.
I-- I don't know how I had the privilege of speaking to an enormous room of amazing badass women and supportive ass men, but I am here. And I would love to think Henry for having been in my age demographic and for having great taste in people he watches. So thank you, Henry. Henry going to keep me employed, y'all.
But I am so excited to raise my voice here today. I am not a public speaker by trade, and you guys can tell. I usually speak in private, and then I press a button to make it public. Millennials.
I am a millennial that creates for Gen Z, a.k.a. Henry. My creations began on an app called Vine. And now, Vine allowed me to create videos that were six seconds long, and now, it allows me to create nothing. Rest in peace, Vine.
Too soon. I'm sorry. Now, six seconds wasn't enough. And as you can see, I enjoy talking a lot and being extra obnoxious, so I explore the world of YouTube to see what I could create on there, and see if anybody would be down to listen to little old me, and they did. Now, 13 million people do. And I don't know what's wrong with them. But hey, you made them, OK? They're your kids, not mine.
But you raised them right, though. But for some reason, they put up with me, and they're willing to watch what I put up. So from writing, to shooting, to editing, to creating sketches, and bits, and characters from the voices that are inside my head-- y'all saw that-- they watch what I do, and what I do is what I love. And I'm just so grateful that they do. But with this love, and with love in general, comes responsibility.
Now, it is an honor to have the platform that allows me to communicate with our future leaders, and future entrepreneurs, and strong young boys and girls, and the future even stronger men and women. And it's amazing to be able to speak to them and speak their language. It's weird. They use, like, pound signs as hashtags. It's crazy, y'all.
But I am very proud to speak lightheartedly of topics they relate to and will learn of more as they develop and grow and raise their own voice, such as stereotypes, sexism, anxiety. And I take so much pride in having created this lighthearted world for them to speak their own voices, and share through their own comments, and relate to me on that different level.
But the reason why my voice is heard is thanks to those who have raised theirs before me. And I am thankful to have been raised by three amazing, strong women. No, I do not have three moms, although it is 2018, and we can do anything now. But I have an amazing, beautiful mother that raised me, and two strong older sisters, and an incredibly supportive father who allowed me to come out here and be this insane for the rest of the world.
So I was encouraged to be myself, and encouraged to be confident, and encouraged to be heard. And now, I'm-- not only do I have a platform online, but a platform I'm standing on today, so I'm very grateful for that. But-- thank you.
But I wouldn't be able to do what I do if I wasn't inspired by the amazing voices of women in this audience tonight, voices from the audience before me, including Amy Richards, who may be backstage right now, I think. But she is an amazing human being who I met at a dinner with these awesome ladies organized in conjunction with YouTube, Natacha Hildebrand and Betsy Rosenberg, who are the dynamic duo behind Doyenne.
They're a female-led line dedicated to curious conversations, and honestly opened my brain up, opened my world up into talking, and speaking, and using my platforms to really heighten my own voice and raise my own voice. But it was an amazing dinner that connected me with Amy. So I'm-- she's not back stage. She's right there. But-- but thank you.
And then the ladies of Bliss, hello. I am just incredibly-- your story is just incredible. And these women inspired a nation with an award winning documentary, "Step." And they are now taking-- they're taking in the lessons that they've learned, and teaching it to the world, and teaching it to a generation that I am also trying to speak to, so just--
You, thank you. Thank you. That was awful.
If y'all need a member, please let me know. I got better rhythm than that. That was pretty bad.
But thank you, and just absolutely beautiful. Regina Wilson in audience tonight, if you wouldn't mind raising your hand, because I'm not sure where everybody's at. Oh, my goodness. Hello. I'm so sorry. Regina Wilson, y'all don't know, but she remains 1 of only 10 African-American women on the New York Fire Department, which consists of more than 10,000 firefighters and officers. She was a first responder in 9/11-- a first responders in 9/11. So I have to say one more time, just please give it up for Regina. Thank you for being here.
And of course, Gloria Steinem.
I don't know where to start. Where's she at? Oh, [INAUDIBLE]. This-- woo. OK, I just don't know where to start with you. I have to talk to you later. I'll force you to talk to me later. Thank you. Tamika Catchings, where's she in the audience tonight? Yeah, right there, Tamika Catchings, please give it up.
Yes, give it up. Former WNBA player who embraced what others would call a disability and made it her sixth sense on the court. Still one of the best players ever in the WNBA today. Woo, raise your voice for Tamika one more time, please. Please, please, please.
And Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, I am so sorry, girl. I got a foreign last name, too. My bad. But this rock star, where's she at? Where's she at? I just saw-- did I see her? Oh, she's on the screen. There we go. There we go, reference. This rock star of a woman created MuslimGirl, which is a blog and YouTube channel and a movement that goes to take back the narrative about misleading misconceptions surrounding Islam, and specifically in and around women. Please, please raise your voice so loud for Amani.
Now, these are just a few of the incredible women that I am learning from, and who are just a few that inspire what I am currently doing. I'm trying to apply the lessons that I've learned from all of them into what I do moving forward with my life.
Now, I am extremely proud to be raising my voice on a show I am making right now called "Liza on Demand." Yes, my name is in the title. Don't worry. I'm humble.
But not too humble. Look at my sweatshirt. That's right. Uh-huh. I got it from my incredible co-writers, and co-creators, and show runners, and amazing just overall badasses, Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont. They are just incredible creative people who are woke and are absolutely amazing. We have a half-- over half female cast and crew, and are all helping me raise my voice through entertaining, storytelling, and being completely unapologetic about who I am as a strong female lead.
So the show's themes of feminism and strength really carry through the entire storyline in each episode, and from being catcalled, from being told to smile, beautiful, from saying that I can't do a job because it's for a man. This show gives those archetypes the not always perfectly manicured middle finger and a humor--
All through humor with a smile and a message. And that humble plug being said, go check it out.
I am honored to contribute to the foundation laid before me by you incredibly strong women in the audience. And by-- I-- I am actually proud to share my platform so that all may be heard. I'm talking of generations before me and generations ahead of me. I'm very, very excited to just be someone contributing to the time that is now, because time's up.
But I am proud to be raising my voice, and I am so excited for yours to keep raising over the next three days and beyond, baby, because this is what it is for the rest of our life and for the rest of our generation is what we're doing now. Just going to keep raising and keep yelling even louder. So thank you guys so, so, so very much, and thanks for listening.
Oh, that's my cue. All right. See you later. I think I'll keep running. Hold on.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Ava DuVernay.
AVA DUVERNAY: Thank you so much. Thank you, thank you. It's so funny, wherever I go, I know I'm going to hear glory. I walk out, they play Glory. It's going to follow me forever, but I don't mind. Listen, I'm here today-- this is Makers, let's give it around, I'm really excited that this is getting started. Really cool, really cool. We're starting it off with some tremendous, tremendous women. No time to waste, I'm just going to get them on out here, and we're going to have a conversation about Time's Up. Because it is. Here we go, Maha Dakhil, Rashida Jones, Melina Matsoukas, Natalie Portman, Tina Chen, Nina Shaw, and Jill Soloway.
This is basically the Avengers. In real life. So happy to be here with you all, and what we're really just going to do is dive into Time's Up, a real intimate conversation about the inner workings, the origins, the future, the intention, so that we can all leave here on the exact same page. That it goes beyond a cool thing that happened at the Globes, or some headlines, and you will really get inside of it and know exactly what we're doing, right? All right, so what the hell is this thing? Who can give us the overview, the logline, for folks who've never heard of Time's Up? Maha.
MAHA DAKHIL: Hi, everybody. Time's Up. Well, the overview and the origin, it really began when Donald Trump was elected. And it was a shot heard around the nation. And I like to think that Time's Up is born of a collective consciousness. I think the reason why this came together so quickly and so speedily, you know, specifically in response to the allegations that you've all heard in Hollywood in terms of sexual harassment. But I think even before that, I think women have been feeling very marginalized and oppressed since, you know, this shocking turn of events happened in our country. And when, in Hollywood, it happened in such a affronting way, we had to respond to it.
So, in terms of how it began, it began in so many different ways. But a few of my colleagues, Michelle Kydd Lee, Hylda Queally, Christy Haubeggar, a few of us sat around and basically just made a list of all the women we knew who were as outraged. And one good thing about agents is we can convene easily and so we invited all these folks and dozens of others of incredibly courageous, wonderful women in our industry to sit around a table and start brainstorming about what we could do.
AVA DUVERNAY: I think it's important to know who the "we" is. So you have agents, you hire private lawyers, you have writers, producers, directors, actors, screenwriters, public advocates, the group is pretty large. It is really multifaceted and very robust. Really dynamic when you get in the room with all of these women that touch different parts of the entertainment industry in different categories. Jill, can you talk a little bit about, because I know that you've been, you know, facilitating some of the smaller convenings.
JILL SOLOWAY: Yeah.
AVA DUVERNAY: But how is it to have all of these women in a room together, and these are powerful, powerful woman, OK? How do we manage that?
JILL SOLOWAY: Yeah, I mean Ava, you know. It's like a dream come true, right? What is happening? We've been, we've all been waiting for this moment. And so you get in that room at CAA with these women around this huge table, and you go, OK we're all here, and this is real, and the revolution is alive, and let's do it. And it's just so exciting. And to me the thing that's most exciting is a sense of collaboration, where there isn't that question usually of politics, where it's like, well who's going to do that, and whose job is that. Well, that's not my thing.
We're all just saying yes and, yes and, what you want me to do? I got this. Just people are all, you know, filling in this space with their enthusiasm and joy for revolutionary connectivity and changing the world together. And for me, when I saw the Golden Globes and I was like, holy shit. Like, we took over a thing. We took over an awards show, and it worked. I mean.
AVA DUVERNAY: In a very small amount of time, too.
JILL SOLOWAY: Yes, it's just like insane.
AVA DUVERNAY: It is, it is. It's dynamic. It's beautiful to watch and to feel. Nina, can you talk a little bit about the mission? Just the overall mission. We'll let the lawyer do the legality. Let us know what the mission is.
NINA SHAW: It's very simple, it's equity and safety in the workplace. And that can really, you know we like to say at Time's Up we can do anything, but we can't do everything. So the goal was to set a mission that really related not just to the entertainment industry, and frankly, not just to women. That's really covered the cross section, and everyone relates to it. And I think that one of the wonderful things about coming out the way we did at the Golden Globes, or really in January 1st in the different publications, is that we were focused on not just our industry. We were focused on a group of women who had written to our actress sisters in solidarity, and we were writing back to them.
AVA DUVERNAY: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the things that's important when you hear the logline it's equity and safety in the workplace. One of the things that Time's Up is doing is to really make that intersectional. And I was wondering Rashida if you could talk a little bit about that. Not only being focused on women, or even men who are dealing only with sexual harassment, but it's really about an equity and a safety in all its permutations throughout the industry, right?
RASHIDA JONES: Yeah, completely. Well I think one of the things we were forced to look at when we we're asking for something is what do we want for ourselves and how do we make change in our own backyard first. And I think the biggest thing is we want our industry to reflect the world. And the world's changed. And Hollywood has got to change with it.
So, with that in mind, you know, I think everybody here and everybody in the movement kind of acknowledges that there is no change unless you bring every single person along who has spent time being marginalized, harassed, assaulted. Whether that means you're a person of color, or whether that means you're a woman, whether you know whether that means you're a disabled person, like there's so many people who have been ignored as we deal with the long tail of the patriarchy, frankly. So for us, I think, intersectionality is the hub, it is the absolute centerpiece of everything that we do.
AVA DUVERNAY: Tina, can you give us, you know I have to ask you the heavy lifting questions. Can you talk a little bit about the strategy going forward, specifically as it relates to the Legal Defense Fund?
TINA CHEN: Well, I'll tell you, one of the great things about Time's Up, and I think the reason it has spoken to so many people across the country, is that everyone here in the entertainment industry really knew they wanted to reach out beyond this industry, and really reach folks who don't have as much means and privilege. And an ability to speak for themselves without fear of losing their jobs or harming their family. And we have real life examples of that, where people who were speaking out are getting sued, you know, for defamation to silence them. Or low income women who don't, you know, have enough damages that a lawyer will actually take their case. So the folks here, the leaders at Time's Up really said we want to do something. And that's where, so I'm a lawyer, that's my background.
AVA DUVERNAY: That why I ask you legal questions.
TINA CHEN: But we knew the only way to help-- You know, one of the real tangible ways that people need help right now is to get them lawyers. Is to get lawyers across the country and sometimes a lot of the big firms that do pro-bono work, can't do this work because they've got conflicts with big companies. So you've got small lawyers, who can't afford to do this for free. And that's why we have this Time's Up Legal Defense Fund.
So $20 million in a month from 20,000 donors across the country, from $5 to millions of dollars. It's been an amazing outpouring of support. Over 200 lawyers have signed up. But I will tell you, we've had over 1,000 requests for help in a month. You know, so the need is clearly there.
AVA DUVERNAY: I haven't heard that number.
TINA CHEN: From all industries. Farm workers, hotel workers, you know, steel workers. I had this steel worker from Indiana reach out to my office. So we've got folks who we thought that was the case, that there are people hurting right now. And Time's Up has really spoken to them. And it's spoken to men and women across the country who need help. Need help getting safety and equity in the workplace.
NINA SHAW: It really spoke to our need to take action. That we didn't want to be a group of people who got in a room and talked about the changes that we wanted to see made. We wanted to be part of that change. And it was so important for us to come out in our very beginning with an action oriented item. What are we going to do? We're going to set up this fund, we're going to invite people who, all people, not just women, not just men, people who fall within the criteria, and then we are going to do something. And that has been I think the hallmark of us as a group. We don't want to just be talk.
TINA CHEN: So I have to give a nod to our sisters that the National Women's Law Center, which is a 45-year-old women's rights organization in Washington D.C. We kind of dropped this idea on them right around Thanksgiving and said, we want to announce it January 1st. So, like, get used to that idea. And they came on board, and it was a big reach for them. But they've given us the infrastructure, the expertise, you know, to get this stirred up. You know, we wouldn't be able to be answering 1,000 requests right now without their assistance. So NWLC.org, if lawyers want to volunteer. For people who are out there watching, if you're a lawyer and you want to volunteer, go to NWLC.org. And we still need donations, so go to the GoFundMe page for Time's Up. And, you know, spread it around.
AVA DUVERNAY: Say the URL again.
TINA CHEN: So it's NWLC, National Women's Law Center, dot org. NWLC.org. If you need help, there is a button on there for you to fill out a form to request help. If you are a lawyer and are able to volunteer your services, please go on there and fill out the form to volunteer. And anyone who can donate or wants to organize a fundraising drive, the GoFundMe page for Time's Up is still up there and we are still expanding our goal because anybody who knows what it's like to pay legal fees knows $20 million is a lot of money, but not a lot of money. It's not that much.
AVA DUVERNAY: Need more. Yeah. One of the things that I really loved about Time's Up is a quest to, and it's just getting started, but a real desire to be intersectional. And I say that word again because it's just incredibly important if we're talking about inclusively that we not just have a narrow view that applies only to us. So me, as a black woman, I can't get completely tunnel vision on the issues of black people and women. I also have to think of native people, I also have to think of Latino people, I also have to think of trans people. I have to think of other people who are not me who need to be included in this conversation. Sometimes that's a push.
And Melina and I work on, she really leads up our, I love the name of the committee. We have a bunch of different committees in Time's Up, but the hottest sounding committee--
NINA SHAW: And hottest.
AVA DUVERNAY: And hottest, the one that's called WOCC, because it's women of color committee. Get it? So she heads that up and we're just getting, we're just trying to find our legs inside of the organization, but I'm going to honestly talk about just transparently how, you know, the challenges that we're coming into and kind of carving identity within a larger movement, and what the goals are for that committee.
MELINA MATSOUKAS: Well like you said, we believe in intersectionality, and there's certain things that affect us that don't affect everybody, and we have to embrace our individualness, you know? And so, woke, stay woke. It's all about making sure all the initiatives with Time's Up include people of color and don't just speak to women's rights, but, you know, people of color we're the most marginalized group of people, historically. And we really want to dismantle systematic racism within our industry, you know? And educate people on bias and prejudice. And, you know, when you talk about safety, there's also racial safety. When you step onto a set and you're the only woman of color on set, like, you're in an unsafe environment. You know, and it's unfair. We're really all joining together to dismantle that power structure. And I think it really starts with the power structure. Who's in the room? Who's making the decisions? And we're trying to change that.
AVA DUVERNAY: Yeah. Absolutely. One thing that I think is so powerful about Time's Up, and I really think, I mean, I know that we would not have had the goodwill and the attention from the press and from the public that we've had if it wasn't for our actress sisters, truly. They are the face, and they put their faces and their careers on the line in a way that a lot of us who work behind the scenes, you know. We can kind of move in and more stealthily, and so I just want to salute our actress sisters, and one of our big leaders in that space is Natalie.
I was going to ask you, it's been a month. I mean, this is crazy. And the reason why this has been able to have such velocity is because of the high profile nature. I just want to let people know, these actresses are, they are warriors. I want to talk a little bit about that contingent because I want to make sure people know it's not just the face of a bunch of people working behind the scenes. Like, you all are real true leaders and architects of this. So just to talk a little bit about how the artists and the actors are fitting into the overall strategy and what those meetings are like.
NATALIE PORTMAN: Well, thank you, that's very kind. And it's been really incredible to gather actresses, because I think something that we realized was that we're usually the only woman at work. And so like many other industries, we walk onto a nearly all-male set and we're usually alone and we rarely get to interact with each other. I've never had, I think Rashida is my only close actress friend until now.
AVA DUVERNAY: We think you all just hang out together.
NATALIE PORTMAN: Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES: Now we do.
NATALIE PORTMAN: Now we do. And so the power of just all being in the room together and sharing our experiences and realizing how much we've been endangered by being isolated, by being the only woman in the work environment. How that extends to other industries too, where if you're the only woman in the room, that endangers you, it isolates you, it prevents you from sharing stories. So if there are predators, you don't talk to each other. So there's this kind of secondary thing about, you know, being the only woman at the table or whatever that is very isolating and endangering. And how empowering it is to be in a room, to be on the same team, to say we refuse to be pitted against each other. There's not only one spot. We're going to make room for all of us.
It's really, really powerful. And it's been really incredible. And we have all these new friends. And it's really great. I also have to, I'm kind of distracted right now, because I see, is there some Baltimore in the house? I love you. I'm freaking out, your movie. Did you guys see Step? If you're in this room, you have to see Step if you haven't seen it. You people are inspiring and incredible. I'm distracted, sorry.
AVA DUVERNAY: Fantastic
TINA CHEN: Called out by Natalie Portman.
AVA DUVERNAY: I want to talk a little bit about, how we're doing on time? Oh yep, there it is. Everybody is very organized here except me. There we go. I wanted to talk a little bit about these big events and how we are essentially just hijacking events. Janelle at the Grammys and you know everyone at the Globes, and we're constantly thinking about ways to take these large cultural moments, shift the conversation when everyone is there. But I want to back up because the Globes was such a, it was a cultural phenomenon in the moment that it happened. That permeated way outside of the room. That signaled a coming together of two, I won't say campaigns, but two different ideas about how to achieve equality, Me Too and Time's Up. And who can talk a little bit about the beautiful kind of intertwining and integration of those two, not in a co-opting of one or the other, but I thought it was a very beautiful side by side, harmonius proclamation of what the two mean. Can anyone give definition to what one is and what the other is and talk about that moment?
JILL SOLOWAY: I mean, I think about it as simply, me too, so time's up. It's all of us, so no more. They just kind of connect.
AVA DUVERNAY: But they are two distinct groups. One of them, you know, founded Me Too, founded years before this current moment, by Tarana Burke, right? And that needs to be acknowledged. Woman of color, alone, does this hashtag, is putting a lot of velocity and attention and grassroots organizing around this, that meets with our moment as Hollywood industry people who saw an opportunity to galvanize.
And I was just, I have to admit, in early meetings where they were like, Me Too activists are coming and they're going to link up with actresses on the red carpet, I was like, that disaster. I was like, don't do that, don't do that. It's not going to work. And it was harmony, and it was beautiful, and just felt so good. And it really signals what we want to be doing, which is holding hands. I'm a conspiracy theorist, I think everything is going to go wrong, so I was like, this is bad. But it was beautiful. Can you talk a little about that?
RASHIDA JONES: I think we feel that way too. I think we sort of saw the worst case scenario, we tried to work backwards from that because what was important is that everybody's acknowledged, right? From Tarana to all of the whistleblowers, it was really important for us with knowledge the brave people that got us to a point where we could have a conversation about how to move forward so this never, ever happens again. And it takes all those steps to get there. And I feel like when you look in hindsight at anything that's happening, it all looks really linear, but when it's happening it feels very stop and start, and kind of fragmented all over the place.
But I think for us, to acknowledge women who have been working in this space for so long, is part of, is moving forward. Because you look at the people who have been here for so long and working on this stuff for so long, you want to say, hey what you have done has got us to this point. So you need to come with us. We need to celebrate you, and in doing that we can all work together to move forward. Because we all want the same things. And that's the truth. And I think it's been really painful for people who do speak up and who have, you know, carried the burden of this work for a really long time to do it on their own. So our job, more than anything, is to bolster that work.
TINA CHEN: I have to say, sort of, having spent eight years in the other White House,
NATALIE PORTMAN: The good one.
TINA CHEN: You know, one of the things that I saw was, you were too fragmented as a women's movement. You know, we've been fragmented for years. And we work in our silos, but women don't live their lives in silos, right? They are doing all these things. They're struggling with their health care, and they're struggling with their childcare, and they're struggling with sexual harassment or all of these things at once. And what's great about Time's Up, as Rashida just said, is bringing everything together.
I've been working on the United State of Women, as lots of folks know, and Dylan knows because we announced the United States of Women two years ago here at Makers. And we're going to keep that going, too. And do it again and bring it to Los Angeles. So watch out for that news. But this is all about bringing everything together. And again, I have to give a lot of credit to the women of Hollywood, who really brought this together, gave voice to it. When people said to me, why did this take off? And I say, it's because people relate to Natalie Portman. And they're sitting in their kitchen table, and it's like, if it is happening to her, and then it's, I can give voice to what's happening to me. And then we can protect them, which is why we have them work that we're doing.
MAHA DAKHIL: And I think the reason that it really worked so beautifully and wasn't the disaster that I knew you were afraid it was going to be, is that it was so authentic and so heartfelt by our actresses. And on their behalf, I can say, I think people project, it must be so amazing, it's such an elitist life. But we've been sitting in these rooms and we're not meeting as actresses, agents, managers, producers, storytellers. We're meeting as women who are just using our resources to shine light on the inequality for women, for people of color, intersectional, as we say that is the forefront and DNA of Time's Up. But I think why it works so beautifully is it was authentic. And it wasn't a stunt and the desire was to profile the activists, not the actresses.
NATALIE PORTMAN: And Monica, who started the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, who reached out to us and really got--
AVA DUVERNAY: That broke it open in such a incredible way.
NATALIE PORTMAN: And she said something that was really moving, which was, she was like, we're silenced, and I'm paraphrasing, she said it much more beautifully, but we're as silenced by the shadows as we are by the limelight. That the women, the farm workers, are told no one cares about you, you're in the shadows. You can't, your voice doesn't matter. And the women in the spotlight are told, you're the elite, no one cares about you, stop whining, stay silent. And the uniformity is just like, shut up, no one cares. And all of our voices matter. Like, our voices don't matter more, our voices don't matter less, we all have stories to tell and need to stop being silent about injustice.
AVA DUVERNAY: Absolutely, well So, I wanted to talk a little bit about the Olympics and, talking about things to hijack, we'll just talk about it. No, no, but when we're thinking about what the next kind of national conversation is going to be, in a couple of weeks, I guess it's a week or something, everyone's going to be talking about that. When we have sisters who have come out and talked about the abuse that they've experienced at the hands of their own coaches, with the US gymnastics team. And just wondering as we move that idea 0 Time's Up and elongate that in other industries and realms, how do you think Time's Up will A. Support that, but also what can women in that industry do? This is an example of how the outreach can permeate different industries. If we use that as an example, how can Time's Up affect them and how can their plight affect what we were thinking about? Have we thought about the gymnasts?
MAHA DAKHIL: I mean, I think that since we have started and launched, it has become a worldwide reaction and phenomenon in a way we weren't expecting. And we know we can't answer it for everybody, but we're hoping that the work that we're doing will amplify and encourage other people in industries to convene as well. It's already beginning, where women in tech, women in advertising, women in New York are meeting tonight across industries. Women in London are meeting.
And we, the words Time's Up, which are our sister Katie McGrath and Rashida coauthored, in one of our very first meetings where we spent so much time just naming it, because we knew it was so important to find a name that was gender neutral, that was a response to the moment, and you can't believe how many names we went through. I'm going to embarrass Natalie, the spirit of Time's Up really began with the next generation. Right there in the room, she brought her daughter Amalia to the meeting and only her baby, only in true Natalie Portman elegance and strength, breastfeeding on the hand, planning the Golden Globes on the other. It really was--
NATALIE PORTMAN: I can't do it here.
MAHA DAKHIL: She almost didn't come because of child care issues, and we were like, no, this is the room. I think we are proof of concept. If you convene women in a room and you brainstorm, look what happened in a matter of weeks. Every other industry can do this, and we want to be there to support, amplify it for everyone that we can. We have no staff, but for one person. We hope to grow the infrastructure here and to project in and be hopefully, the Avengers you think that we are.
TINA CHEN: It's about sustainable change. I think what attracted me in the very first time I heard about it was that this wasn't about just getting stuck in the moment. It was about, how do we actually change our workplaces, and what can we do to actually make sustainable, lasting change. And that's, I think, for the Olympics. What can they do to help change and protect those athletes? What can we do in all of these industries? People deserve to go to work and be safe. Be able to make a living and support their families, you know? And how do we change that so everybody can do that safely and succeed in their jobs and their careers.
AVA DUVERNAY: I think one of the things that I love really love and value about Time's Up is what Nina said, is that the immediate kind of institute, the immediate triggering of the Defense Fund was actionable. It wasn't just us talking up here saying, we should do something and things need to change. That was a way that it will change. But I asked the Olympics question because, I put that to women out here who are in all kinds of different industries, or different cities that might not be a major market. People who were watching the Livestream to point out that some of the infrastructure and some of the ideas that we're working with in Time's Up are there to be duplicated.
And we're also there to learn from and to listen from folks that are doing it way better and way longer than we are, right? And so it's that exchange, but you know, we, like you said, can't touch everyone. But there's an example here, that there's a lot of information on the website. There's a lot of information in different panels that everyone's doing. Just to say this can be duplicated in smaller pods, in different categories, different industries. You don't have to have all the star power or the corporate muscle to meet together and just get in the room and start setting some committees and figuring out how to get things done.
NINA SHAW: Everyone can do something. I think there isn't a day that goes by that I, and I'm sure everyone here, doesn't get a call that says, what can I do to help Time's Up? And I always say, in your place, let's think about what you can do. When someone says something offensive, find a way to connect to them and say, listen, if you pull them aside, if you genuinely believe, listen I think you're a great person. I think you're good at heart, but let me tell you why what you just said probably made half the people in that room uncomfortable. And I want to be the person to tell you that. You can do that in your workplace, among your friends, in your social circles.
When men ask, and men ask all the time, how can we help you? How about in those rooms where you are and we are not, you be our defenders. When someone says something that you know that they would never say in a mixed group of people, you don't have to, you can just say, listen, guy, you know. Let's not go there. Because when we go there, we diminish all these women who we say we love. Or these trans people who we say we support. Or these activists who we say we believe in their causes. So there's something that everyone in this room can do in some way, and in that way we are all part of Time's Up.
AVA DUVERNAY: We have just a couple of minutes left. This is the speed round. Everybody OK? We got real glass in here? Dang, Makers. Really nice. Three rounds, going around to every warrior woman here and ask if there's one thing, logline, that you want people to know about Time's Up and you want to people to take out of this session, what would it be Jill Soloway?
JILL SOLOWAY: 50-50 by 2020. It's an initiative of Time's Up. And we can be found at 5050by2020.com. And what we're doing is going to our own leaders and demanding that we go on 50-50 leadership by 2020. Women, people of color, queer people, disabled people, and other otherized people in positions of power.
AVA DUVERNAY: Good. Rashida Jones?
RASHIDA JONES: I think that every industry deserve to be a reflection of the world the way it is now. 39 percent of this country are people of color. That number will change drastically over time, but every person, whether it's woman, person of color, queer person, disabled person, deserves to be equal. And the way for us to do it is just to encourage in our own industries, however we can, to push this message forward. However we can, we're all doing the same thing.
AVA DUVERNAY: Amen Nina Shaw.
NINA SHAW: Don't be on the outside looking in. Stand up, open that door, come through. I know it's-- And listen, as a woman of color, I really understand that a lot of times you're like, oh those white women they're just doing, don't do that. Come on, seriously. We know that happens. Don't do that. Because we don't want to be in the back when the train pulls out of the station. OK?
AVA DUVERNAY: Amen. Maha Dakhil.
MAHA DAKHIL: I am so excited. I think this is a complete cultural revolution that we're in, that we are so lucky to be alive right now in these crazy times because it is upon us as soldiers, as sisters, and with our brothers to change the world. It's happening now. It's happening overnight. Time's Up is a small reflection of that. It applies to every single person out there. And, as Nina said, you can participate just by changing your own behavior, changing your own outlook. Look at the businesses you support. Are women at the center? Are people of color at the center? Are trans? Ask those questions and there will be ripple effects for years to come.
AVA DUVERNAY: Melina Matsuokas.
MELINA MATSOUKAS: I think, speak up, educate, and fight with us to dismantle white male patriarchy.
AVA DUVERNAY: Simply put, and powerfully put. Natalie Portman.
NATALIE PORTMAN: Gather. Get together with the other women or whatever group you identify with in your workplace to discuss what you can do to change and be radical, be extreme. Be the Che Guevara you are in your dreams.
AVA DUVERNAY: And Tina Chen.
TINA CHEN: Don't be afraid. Part of why this has gone on for so long is the fear that has been imposed upon us. And the silencing that's been imposed upon us. And break through that, don't be afraid. That's why we're all together. We're all in this together. We are, you know, warriors together. That's why we have a Legal Defense Fund for people who need it. For justifiable fear for what they're going through. And that's what we've got to break through. Don't be afraid.
AVA DUVERNAY: Amen. Hashtag raise your voice. Thank you very much for having us. Appreciate you. Have a great conference.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Jennifer Bailey.
JENNIFER BAILEY: America was never America to me, yet this oath I swear-- America will be, Langston Hughes.
I first learned how to raise my voice at my Grandma Vera's house on the South Side of Chicago. Like so many women of her generation, women born in the Great Depression, she and her family followed the North Star-- from Hughes, Arkansas to Chicago-- in search of a better life.
It was at her table with Miss Edith, and Miss Yvonne, and Auntie Belinda-- over pots of collard greens and black-eyed peas-- that I learned who my people were.
You see, these were working class women-- women, who for a living, lifted people as homemakers. Women who most people rendered invisible. But at the table over games of spades there was truth-telling. Truth-telling about what to do when that man touches you the wrong way at church. Truth-telling about men whose fists too often met jaws. Truth-telling and seeing one another in a society that rendered them invisible.
It was at that table that I learned, as a little black girl, that I had a voice, that I had a story that was worthy of not only being told but heard. And it was that table I had in mind when I called my friend Lennon in the fall of 2016, two weeks after the election, wondering how we as women could build new tables for people to be seen and heard, not because of what they do-- no-- but because of who they are.
That launched the People's Supper-- an alliance of a motley crew of a faith organization, a grief organization, and a radical feminist anti-harassment organization-- unexpected bedfellows-- to come together to think about how we might create a table where all belong. So over the past year, we've been hosting conversations of healing spaces for those who aren't quite ready to bridge with difference yet, and bridging spaces-- spaces I like to call the borderlands-- spaces of border crossing, where we can get to see and know one another in the fullness of who we are.
We've hosted over 1,000 of those dinners in the last year, in 124 cities and towns across the United States. Tonight, it's your turn to join the movement. It's your turn to get to know each other in a deep, heartfelt way.
So what we're going to do-- are y'all excited?
Come on. For Grandma Vera and them, are you excited?
So we invite you to join us for dinner next door, at the world famous Hollywood Palladium. You're going to exit this main entrance, and the MAKERS staff will show you on your way.
We have a special guest chef, Nancy Silverton, who is here. I hear that she won the James Beard Award in 2014. I'm a "Top Chef" fan, so I know what that means. That means she's real, real good, y'all.
And the invitation for you tonight is to strip off whatever it is you might have been carrying and lean in to sharing your stories. Thank you so much.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Michelle Tan.
LYRICS: Ain't nobody tell me what to do, what to do. You know I be breaking all the rules, all the rules.
MICHELLE TAN: Good morning, good morning. Hi MAKERS and MAKERS Men. Who is ready to raise your voice?
Oh, people. The theme is not raise your whisper. It is raise your voice. Let's make some noise. Who is ready to raise your voice?
Thank you. My name is Michelle Tan and I am so proud to be the editorial director at MAKERS. And my job is to raise the voice of MAKERS. And we do that in two ways. We tell the stories of change makers, news makers, history makers, and my personal favorite, troublemakers. All of whom are really working to really lift up other women and also inspire the next generation of leaders.
We also amplify the voice by directly talking to you. So please continue to tag @MAKERSwomen. Use the hashtag #RaiseYourVoice. And just continue to use all of those on all the different platforms-- Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr. Tattoo it on yourself if you feel so compelled. We will take all of the attention we can get.
And we have such a great program. We had an incredible night last night. And we have so much more for you guys to post about today with incredible action ideas, inspiring speeches, and some just basically kick ass women. And one of those women is Pamela Bell. She runs an incredible mission-based retailer called Prinkshop, which is right here on site on the second floor of Noia house. She is silkscreening a feminist t-shirt so you can actually wear your feminism on your sleeves.
And it'll be available for you on all the breaks. You can also hire the MAKERS team for any New York runway fashion shows you would like. And the next speaker that we have coming up this morning to start you off is Joanna Barsh, bestselling author and one of our favorite members of our MAKERS community. So enjoy the day.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Joanna Barsh.
JOANNA BARSH: We only have 15 minutes. I am going to give you a lot of words in 15 minutes, and a lot of pink-- and I'm sorry about the pink! And you're going to see in a minute-- 2017-- you knew this, I don't have to tell you-- it has been a year of total disruption. If you are comfortable right now, you shouldn't be here-- we're all uncomfortable.
Why? I'm going to tell you the story, and then I'm going to run through some data, and then we're going to talk about the new research, which is really, really exciting. So the story is about everybody-- Sheryl Sandberg tells me never to say everybody, so I'm going to say almost everybody-- knows that we have a gender issue and a diversity issue in all companies, practically-- not all companies-- in America. And there has been slow progress-- and I will show that to you.
We have total uncertainty coming into 2018, because there are tailwinds making us go faster, and tailwinds making us go slower. Is this the watershed moment for women, for us, for you leaders-- men and women in this room. I actually think it is, and our new research is going to show you why. So your mission-- I need the Mission Impossible music, please-- if you choose to accept it, I will get to it in a minute.
So first some facts-- we all know that women graduate more than men from college, from graduate schools-- in many majors, in most majors. And what are women doing-- this is a ridiculously hard chart-- I know that, that's my job to show it to you-- which is, women are flocking into the majors that pay a lot less than the other majors. So if you were thinking of going to college or grad school-- anything with the word engineering in it, that's high paid. So that's what this shows you.
Next, the pipeline-- thank you [? Linda ?] McKinsey for the pipeline, I love this pipeline-- and now we've got three years to look at. Rachel will be here later to talk to us more about the pipeline, but I'm telling you there just isn't a whole lot of progress. Now you shouldn't see a lot of progress in just a few years-- you should see it over the long term-- but this is disturbing. It's also disturbing that women are leaving, and we are leaving jobs to get other jobs for different reasons than men.
Men in the audience, you know why you leave-- for that money. And for women, it's for a whole host of other reasons, which include things that possibly companies could have done differently to keep women on board. The progress at the very top-- we always like to look at women CEOs-- and it's pretty exciting to think that we got to 32, until you realize this is the Fortune 500. So now there are 223 women missing from this chart.
What about boards? Boards are out of steam as well. We were climbing in terms of our percentage of new board seats, and then we kind of got stuck at 28%, 30%-- and in fact, women are 21% of the total S&P 500 board seats. And that's not all those women, because many women, as you know, they sit on many board seats-- let's just leave it at that. We have set records-- we have set great records. And this is venture capital for example-- wow 4.4%.
Aren't you excited? Come on. That's 368 deals out of 7,002 deals. And that is 2.2% of the money-- and that's OK because the all men teams are getting 79% of the funding, because some of the teams have men and women on them. But why is that happening-- when you realize that women teams actually do really well. In fact, 63% of the time these companies with female founders are doing better.
Why do we have to do this every year? Hey, wait a minute-- we did make a lot of fuss about getting equal pay. It seems to be paying off-- at least companies are announcing that they are going to address it. I'm excited about this. And many of these companies actually have done something about it. And now I'm not going to talk to you about abuse-- you know all there is to know about abuse.
But time is up-- we learned that last night. And in fact, we made all this happen-- we the people of America made this happen-- the women-- the brave women who made it happen. And now the debate is broadening-- so that's a lot. But where does that put us-- where are we? And can we in this room, up there to, all agree on four things?
First thing-- can we agree these advances are fantastic, but that progress has stalled? Yes or no? Yes? Yes. Can we agree that the only way to get to the next horizon is through disruptive thinking. Because growth is there, we just have to change the way our heads are working. Do we agree on that? Thank you. But do we agree that it's time to act, and we have to act boldly? Yes. Then do we agree that in this room, we will be participants and not spectators?
JOANNA BARSH: Yes. Which means none of this-- like I don't know, that doesn't sound that bold to me. Let's go-- I'm going to show you the new research. Cone of silence-- this is a progress review. Anybody ever worked with a consultant-- you know what that means. It means that I reserve the right to change everything if the data comes in differently as we go forward.
This is the first time that Maker's has, in fact, joined forces with-- well, a team of us, let's say-- to look at this research. This is a pretty exciting research. Why? For the first time ever, we are having in-depth honest conversations. You don't want women to get ahead? Great. Tell me, I'm listening. We need 50 company data points to actually get enough critical mass to really understand what it means.
And we're talking to 50 people on the business side, 50 people on HR to see if we're all aligned in what we're saying. And what am I looking for? I am looking for the bold moves. They don't have to be new, they don't even have that exciting, they just have to be a big move forward that accelerates our progress. So where are we today? This is all anonymous and confidential.
If your company has not yet signed up-- trust me, I'm the only one with [? Uma-- ?] where is [? Uma? ?] Are you the audience? Wave your hand wildly-- she is working with me. And just to show you, I was from BCG-- sorry, I was from McKinsey, she was from BCG-- we're working together-- Uma and Joanna. 25 companies have signed up-- I need 25 more. I've done 23 interviews with [? Uma ?] so far-- and we are learning from both wins and losses.
And this is what we're learning-- and you already know this, but I'm going to run through it again. It is actually very hard to move beyond dialogue for the leadership. If you're in the audience, and your leadership, I feel your pain-- I know somebody else once said that. Absence of women at the top-- if you don't have women at the top, the whole pipeline just doesn't work.
What about the evaluation process? There is bias in it-- like in the water-- in those meetings. It makes it hard for women to advance. And what about the business pace-- anybody here is on the business side knows it's unpredictable, it's fast-- you're moving at lightning speed. HR just finds it hard to catch up-- to keep up. What about work norms? They're so embedded-- 24/7, talk to me any time you want.
These things are hard for women, but also for men. And they're not changing without disruptive thinking. And then what about sponsorship? We have proven six ways to Sunday that sponsors make the difference, and yet women are not getting sponsored at the same rate as men. And finally, the biggest mother of them all, that game we are playing in business today-- can I say it? Sucks. It's zero sum, winner take all.
And there are a lot of highly talented women, and men as well, who choose not to play that game. So those are the problems-- let's take them one by one. And I'm going to give you sanitized disguised quotes to give some color to what we're looking at. To make progress, we've got to do more than talk-- you know that. So here is a chief diversity officer from a major company-- who used to be a business leader-- saying
I'm one of 15 direct reports, and I'm the only one, beside the CFO, who gets to report out pretty much all the time. That's because the CEO wants diversity to happen in our company-- it's a necessity for him, and for all of us. And that CEO is about performance-- so what does that mean? We're benchmarking, we're communicating, you have to have progress.
And he treats it the same way he treats revenue and other initiatives-- so he expects the numbers to improve-- the numbers are improving. Concept number one-- take no prisoners. What does that look like? You know what it looks like-- you set targets. You put those targets in the leader's objectives, you link those objectives so that you have strategy and diversity linked, you share the scorecards, you report on the progress, and you get paid on the progress.
And there are consequences in your wallet. And why does that work? Everybody's aligned-- hey, we've got the wallet involved now, so everybody participates. It is a top priority. What about the next role? Rooney role-- now, that's been in place, as we know, in the NFL for years and years-- it doesn't always work, there's a lot of debate about it. But what if we did it for real?
What if we said there have to be qualified women on every slate? What if we said the HR is not on the line to bring the women, but to enable the business leader to get the women that he or she needs? And what if the CEO actually does review every single new promotion, inside or outside, that happens. And holds the slate open-- and this is the kicker. What happens then? More women join at the top.
What about the next one? If we had more women at the top, what would happen? So here is an Svp talent officer on the HR saying it's happening Joanna, the CEO wouldn't put up with it. So there's this one guy-- runs the division, not any women on the team-- and we talked to him. We're not too heavy handed-- and the next year, he shows up with more women on the team. Oh, that wasn't hard.
How does it work? We make room for women-- that's how we do it. And there are two interesting ways companies are doing that right now. One is to completely restructure the executive team in the operating committee, and just put more women-- add people of color-- on those teams. Not hard to do-- but then you have to actually work with a brand new, much larger, team-- and that is hard to do.
But if you do it, what happens? Now you have voices that are different sharing different perspectives on the issues. Sharing your customers' perspectives. This enables a cultural shift throughout the company-- it's amazing. What about this one? Somebody is doing this one as well-- take the top roles and split them into two. CEO, COO-- I'm not telling you who's who in this picture.
But why would you do that? You would do that because you need more leadership in today's turbulent times, you need more bench, because people quit and you want to protect the company's interests. This is not a very expensive thing to do. Third point-- without bias-- imagine a world without bias, wouldn't that be lovely? Well it can happen.
And here is a professor telling me there is bias in everything everybody says. You could say the same thing about a man and about a woman, and it would help the man and hurt the woman, or vise versa. We don't want to do that. She says, let's just make criteria that match the role, make sure it's transparent, make sure it's good, and then actually use it in the meetings.
So how do we do that? Rip out the bias. Here's the first way we do it-- we actually put all the criteria on paper, we evaluate every candidate actually gets the criteria-- not against Tom. Tom, of course, is the best person in the entire pool. And when we evaluate against Tom, all the women show up in the 2 2 box-- which is bleh, she's hardworking.
But we're not going to do that anymore, because we're going to call it out. And how does that happen? It happens-- that we reduce the subjectivity that really hurts women. Here's an even bolder idea that is in place in one company, which is let's evaluate all the women in their own meeting first. The men get to wait until the afternoon after lunch in that lull. In the first meeting, we put all the women candidates up against the criteria, and we advance every single one who is ready.
That makes sense, right? Logic-- that's not bold, that what you're supposed to be doing. But there are no men in that pool. Then after lunch, we evaluate all the men, and we decide who also meets all the criteria and are ready for advancement. In an open world where we have lot of room for advancement, all those people get advanced. If, for some reason, the company is on a budget, we advance as many men as we can.
This results in disrupting the pattern of how we do reviews, making people conscious about their criteria, and looking at each candidate against the criteria, and more women advance. Like from 19% to 32% in this company. Not bad. Number four-- HR mismatch of pace with business. How does HR get ahead of business in order to fulfill all of those hiring needs?
And what this CEO says-- look, this is not easy. We're all on a short term reign, and I have to deliver results-- and the head of the business has to deliver results-- and by the way, Tom, who we all know is the best one in the pool, is ready to take that job any time we want to give it to him. So what do we do? We anticipate and we stockpile talent.
How do we do that? Concept-- we shift the talent process-- this is happening in one of the companies-- by adding discovery to the talent process-- that's what you're looking at here. What does that mean for any HR People in the room? Networking very extensively, knowing your target, setting a much higher target so that we're bringing in 50% women right from the beginning.
Opening up new sources, particularly for people of color, so that we can go where they are getting schooled. And we bring in the talent, regardless of their skill-- we train them, and now they're ready for a lot of jobs. And by the way, we take the internship program, and put it on steroids. So what does that do? We just get a whole lot more diversity right into the funnel from the get go, we give them exposure to our company, we get exposed to them, and before we know it, we're making a cultural shift.
Let's go on to the next problem-- how work gets done. Does anybody really like to work 24/7 80 hour weeks, and travel on a whim-- does anybody really like to do that? No. And here's a woman who's doing diversity-- used to be a marketer in a very large company-- saying to us, OK, I'm in the messy middle-- I have young kids. I get it-- I had to take my kid to the doctor at 4 PM-- she was very sick-- I didn't get home till 8 PM-- but I worked till midnight, and that's fine for me.
I can do my job, it's all about performance-- and I'm going to have it that way in this company because they are totally flexible. What about your company? So the concept is to hang on to these people, and help them hang in there until life and work gets easier. So how do you do that? You have to be willing to change or bend the rules.
This is a simple to do-- And there are a myriad of ways to do it. For example, remote work-- on your schedule, not on my schedule. You work when you want, where you want to work. What about new practices that solve an issue? Like, this one company pays for mothers to travel with their baby and their mother-in-law-- god forbid-- or their nanny.
What about the benefits that reduce friction? People, it's not that expensive to put a hospital grade pump in every office. What about parent friendly rules? This company said men and women who are new parents, whether you had it or adopted it, or-- can't be a dog, has to be a baby-- and you get to stay home all year.
What happens? People feel empowered, they feel like somebody is listening, they feel like they can shape their own way they work. That's not that hard to do-- it's not that expensive. I know, sponsorship-- I'm going to skip the text, but you'll see it later. How about we just make it easy? How does that work? We need low risk trials-- what does that mean?
Rotations for young people-- I see a lot of young people in the audience. Imagine following them around the COO, or the Chief Marketing Officer, or the Chief Financial Officer-- imagine being a chief of staff to that person. All those things will work to give you exposure to the young talent, and it will work to bring people together naturally instead of saying hey, you over there, you sponsor her over here-- that's not going to work-- this is going to work.
What about the final one-- which is the hardest, the mother of them all-- do we have to change the game? I know, I'm an old lady-- that's not going to happen in my lifetime. So how do we do it? It's a vicious world out there for the men along with the women. This is for everybody-- do we want a more collaborative workplace, do we want to stop zero sum winner take all behavior among our very kind colleagues?
More coming on that, because we are just starting the interviews. The game, I want to tell you, is actually changing for some people. And mindsets are shifting-- and when mindsets shift, behavior shifts too. In fact, HR teams are coming to the fore and inventing. There is significant progress-- some of these companies have made huge differences in two or three years.
However, I am learning that all gender programs will tire over time. And as they tire, you need to refresh. So your mission, if you choose to take it, is to mobilize the people in your company who are with you on this-- to join us at the front line research. If you're early on or if you're doing your thing, just set up learning experiments, and share back to Makers what you are learning. We all can learn together, and we can all act together. This is not a one woman effort, it is not a makers alone effort-- it requires at least 50 companies to be on board. If you have any questions, find me later. I've had a blast-- I hope you learned something. Goodbye.
PRESENTER: Ladies and gentlemen, Allie Kline and Lowell McAdam.
ALLIE KLINE: Good morning. How are you all? Really? How's it going? After all that data? Yes, we are thrilled to be here and I am thrilled to be here with someone I have tremendous respect and admiration for, Lowell McAdam, who is the CEO and chairman of Verizon. So thank you so much for making time with us.
LOWELL MCADAM: It's great to be here. And I have to say Tim had a great idea to do this conference that he's had you know unbelievable support and people like you that are leading it now. And when I look at who's in the audience, wow, it's a great group. And when I look at I'm glad I'm on first because if I had to come in later I'd disappoint you. So I'm glad to be on and we're glad to support this and we'll continue to support it.
ALLIE KLINE: Awesome, well let's get right to it.
LOWELL MCADAM: OK
ALLIE KLINE: OK. So we're going have some serious talk on then we're going to do some fun stuff.
LOWELL MCADAM: OK good.
ALLIE KLINE: OK. So you are the chairman and CEO of you know Fortune 15 company, one of the most successful companies in the entire world. How do you think about and looking at the data that Joanna just presented or the research a lot of these women in here have the ability and influence to go make those issues a CEO issue? What's the counsel you give to us?
LOWELL MCADAM: Well I'll give you an example of this weekend. People ask you know how do I get noticed by the CEO? And I remember when I started out there were Harvard Business Review things about you know make sure you do this and this and this in your career. I went in to Minneapolis for the Super Bowl this weekend and I met with the leaders of the team that brought that network, you know I won't brag about that that'll take too much of our time. But the two biggest leaders of the team on the ground were women. And that's how you get noticed.
We were up triple the volume than we've ever been before. And they took me around and they introduced me to one of their superstars who happened to be born in Romania, educated in Germany, is an immigrant to the US, we work with her to make sure that she's going through all the process. So in that day I saw why immigration's important, why diversity's important. And I think I'd sum it up, Judy Spitz who was our CIO in one of our big business units used to say to me all the time Lowell you'll never win the game if you leave half the team on the bench. And that's sort of the mantra that we've accepted.
ALLIE KLINE: So what is-- so that's you're an evolved man in many ways. How do you get the attention of a CEO that may not have that same default perspective? How do you make it a business imperative or a business issue?
LOWELL MCADAM: You beat them. No I mean seriously I'm a big believer in diversity of thought. And as you bring that whole team to bear you end up with a better strategy, with better execution, and you go out and you win in the marketplace. And I do honestly believe that people that don't make people of color, and diversity, with men and women a front page issue for them in the top of their mind they're aren't going to do as well in the marketplace.
ALLIE KLINE: So you talked about the Super Bowl and the impact of I assume what Nikki's team was doing there. There's two women that I've been really fortunate to work with on your team, Nikki Palmer, who is the chief network officer in charge of all of Verizon's wireless network which is huge, and Chandra McMahon who's your CSO head of all security. What's the impact of having women in those positions that are typically held by men?
LOWELL MCADAM: Look those are two of the most critical positions in our company. And Hans Vestberg, who's our CTO, gave Chandra a very high compliment. When he was the CEO of Ericsson he worked with 154 companies around the world. And he said Chandra is the best CSO he's ever seen. So she has-- when she speaks people listen. And Nikki's the same way. And you know I'm especially proud of folks like Nikki and Marney who's beside herself that she can't be here, she's got the flu. But we identified them early in the career. You know they had the mindset, they had the drive, they delivered the results. And our job was just to help move them into the right positions.
And Magda Yrizarry right here in the front row, Magda is our chief diversity officer. She's invaluable to me because she's in my face. She says Lowell you know we got this position. Here is a list of the candidates, and it's like yeah I got it, OK, let's figure out the right way to move them through the organization and get them you know so they can make a difference. And when they do, boy they sure stick out.
ALLIE KLINE: Yeah. OK let's talk about Me Too.
LOWELL MCADAM: OK.
ALLIE KLINE: What are your thoughts on the movement?
LOWELL MCADAM: So we need the movement but I wish we didn't have the movement. And let me just tell you a quick story, a mom story. So my mom stayed home with me until I was in first grade and then she went back to teaching full time. And she carpooled with another teacher to a school that was about a half hour away because she didn't want to teach where she had three boys, we were all ill mannered, not really, but she boxed our ears a few times, she didn't want to be in the school. So anyway she'd head off to school in the morning, I would go home with a friend, she'd pick me up on the way home, and we'd deliver the other teacher home.
One day I'm in the backseat seat you know wherever you are when you're in first grade years old, and all of a sudden the car lurches forward and she takes off. And I look around and the teacher's husband, who had stuck his head in the window of the car, is lying on the ground. He'd hit his head, those old cars from the 60s, I know many of you are too young for that but they had this big metal pillar between the front and the back door. And she hit the gas, he hit his head, and he's laying out on the ground out. Mom, mom, you just you know to Mr.-- he's out. She says, he put his hand in the wrong place.
And she looked at me and she said Lowell, don't you ever touch a woman without her permission. OK mom, I got it. You know but that story sticks with me. And so we need the movement but we shouldn't have to have the movement. And I think as I look at the big examples that you see between family, between coworkers, between business leaders like me, we have the responsibility to not have to have a movement like this. But you know we'll do it, we'll do it well, we'll make sure to your point about CEOs that don't get the message, they'll get the message if you know if we have this sort of movement.
ALLIE KLINE: Is this something you all talk about at the CEO level?
LOWELL MCADAM: Oh absolutely. I mean we don't have to talk about it anymore to be honest as far as the business goes. When we've had bad actors in Verizon, look you know no matter how good we are on some of these things I always have there's a higher gear we can always do more. But we've had a couple of examples that I can you know somebody had been with us 10 days and made a pass at one of his subordinates that was a woman. Boom, he was out. Diego fired him without any consultation. The person was gone. And unfortunately we've had many examples like that but people know you do that in Verizon you're out.
ALLIE KLINE: That's great. We're going to change the topic a little. And how many of you all this is your first Makers? Wow this is your first Makers? Wow that is amazing. OK so for those of you that have not seen this before Gloria Steinem holds the record. She is here, which is a Maker's Minute. We're going to do a Maker's Man Minute with Lowell and see if you can beat Gloria. No pressure. You're a Fortune 15 CEO. You can do it right? OK.
LOWELL MCADAM: No I've met my match.
ALLIE KLINE: Who's got a phone and a minute timer? Yep you got it? OK great so you tell me when to go.
LOWELL MCADAM: Is a Man Minute longer or shorter?
ALLIE KLINE: A man minute's like seven minutes don't worry so yeah. It's like dog years. Kidding, kidding, kidding. ready? OK. Best word to describe you?
LOWELL MCADAM: Deliberate.
ALLIE KLINE: Beyonce or Taylor Swift?
LOWELL MCADAM: Taylor.
ALLIE KLINE: A female who inspires you?
LOWELL MCADAM: My daughter.
ALLIE KLINE: Toilet seat up or down?
LOWELL MCADAM: Remember the story about my mother? Down.
ALLIE KLINE: Something that makes you hopeful?
LOWELL MCADAM: This movement, this Makers conference.
ALLIE KLINE: Something that pisses you off?
LOWELL MCADAM: People that don't take accountability.
ALLIE KLINE: Something you're afraid of?
LOWELL MCADAM: Washington politicians.
ALLIE KLINE: If you could be a woman for one day who would it be?
LOWELL MCADAM: Boy I'll have to-- I don't know, I don't know.
ALLIE KLINE: You don't know?
LOWELL MCADAM: No.
ALLIE KLINE: Something you wish you did more often?
LOWELL MCADAM: Worked out.
ALLIE KLINE: Something you wish you did less often?
LOWELL MCADAM: Stressed.
ALLIE KLINE: Something you've never tried but would like to do?
LOWELL MCADAM: Safari in Africa.
ALLIE KLINE: OK well I want to ask him one more. So you got 11, she had 16, that's close.
LOWELL MCADAM: There you go.
ALLIE KLINE: Headline you'd most like to see on the cover of the Wall Street Journal tomorrow morning?
LOWELL MCADAM: Verizon stock at 100.
ALLIE KLINE: Two more just because I can't resist, that would be amazing. I would love that. Favorite thing about your job?
LOWELL MCADAM: The variety.
ALLIE KLINE: And what's your biggest vice? This one I just want to know even if yeah--
LOWELL MCADAM: I collect old cars.
ALLIE KLINE: Oh nice, OK. All right last question for you. We have a lot of Makers app partners of which Verizon is one with this one in the audience. Tomorrow many of them will be getting up and making a pledge on how they're going to raise their voice. How will you and Verizon raise your voice going forward?
LOWELL MCADAM: You know Allie I'd say we're very proud of the things that we're doing. We're investing in STEM education for females through a program called WiTNY. We're moving people around the business, we're bringing people in like [? Michaela ?] from outside the country. I have a saying, there's always a higher gear. And in our credo it says our best was good for today, tomorrow we'll do better. And I think that's rather than one thing, it's doing all of those things and figuring out how to do more of it and do it better. And that's our pledge I think.
ALLIE KLINE: Great, thank you so much.
LOWELL MCADAM: Thank you Allie. Good luck. Enjoy the conference
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Cleo Wade.
CLEO WADE: What does it mean to have a radical life? Where does a radical life begin? Does it begin with radical support in the way I used to watch my mother and her girlfriends gather around the kitchen table wiping each other's tears, helping each other smile through their pain, through their divorces, through their custody battles, through the work days that broke them?
Or does a radical life begin with radical persistence in the way the suffragettes spent more than half a century fighting for their right to vote? And I've heard Carrie Chapman Catt referred to as 52 years of pause-less campaigning.
Does it begin with radical organizing in the way Ella Baker went from small town to small town talking to ordinary black folks making sure that they knew that they were deserving of the basic human rights they had been denied for so long in a country that spent 200 years enslaving and torturing them?
Does a radical life begin with radical leadership in the way Wilma Mankiller became the Cherokee nation's first female chief? Bringing running water to places that had no running water and showing young indigenous girls everywhere that there was not only a seat for them at the table, there was a seat for them at the head of the table. Does it begin with radical accountability in the way Dolores Huerta would sit with the farm workers she organized and count every single sexist comment she heard and reported to the room at the end of every meeting?
The first meeting, she counted 58. The second, she counted 30 and finally, none. Because she was brave enough to show them who they were, they could recognize what about themselves they needed to change. Does a radical life begin with radical endurance in the way we saw Anita Hill sit in that chair while senator after white male senator after white male senator antagonized and patronized her for surviving the sexual harassment of Clarence Thomas?
Does a radical life begin with radical determination in the way Tammy Duckworth did not let losing both of her legs in Iraq stop her from not only running for office in 2016 but also running a marathon? All with a two-year-old at home. She is now the senator of Illinois and pregnant with her second child at the age of 50.
Maybe radical life begins with the radical strength of so many of us who kept hearing no, who kept hearing that they never could, who fought to feel worthy in a world, a life, and a job that told them every single day that they were not. Maybe a radical life begins with radical forgiveness. The radical forgiveness we must have for ourselves in the moment we wake up and realize that we had been living in our privilege and our blind spots for too long, that we had not seen our other sisters, that we had not known or acknowledged the extent of their struggles.
Maybe a radical life begins with the radical compassion that we must have for one another when we look at each other and say, I'm sorry it took me so long to get to you but I am here now. I am your radical comrade. I am ready to practice radical listening and give you my radical empathy.
And when something happens to you, I will not turn away in fear or helplessness. I will stand up in solidarity with you and offer you, and all who are oppressed, my radical love, my radical hope, my radical faith, and my radical work ethic.
This is a promise we must make to each other because a radical change starts with us. It starts in this room not on the hill. It starts in your house not in the White House. It starts in the streets not the Supreme Court. It starts with the mothers who organized against gun violence, the students that organize against rape on college campuses, it starts with those of us who said me too, and all of us who say times up.
You know, as I think about how to activate my radical life during these times where we cannot afford to be idle, I realize that maybe the most important place to start is with the radical imagination. The difference between those who are rooting for liberation and those who are rooting for a continued oppression, the patriarchy, and white supremacy is that those of us who are fighting for freedom are fighting for a world that has never existed.
The oppressor knows what oppression looks like and how it functions because we've been living in it our entire lives. We do not know what the world looks like where women are free, where people of color are free, where people with disabilities, and immigrants, and refugees, and indigenous people, and LGBTQ, and gender non-conforming folks are free, and safe, and seen, and celebrated.
We are the builders who are building something that has never been built before. Let us do this with radical care, with radical creativity, with radical consideration, and radical bravery. And let us do this knowing that it is an imperfect journey. Let us approach our flaws with radical patience, radical honesty, radical mercy, and radical awareness.
I hope that all of you will look around and get to know each other today because your radical life might start in this room, in this place because this is the place where you met your radical family.
Thank you so much.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Barbara Smith and Gloria Steinem.
GLORIA STEINEM: If any of you hasn't seen the whole Makers interview, you really have to watch it. And I have to say that if any of you doesn't know that Barbara has thought up, written, organized much of what we know as feminism today, you don't know what you're missing, OK? So you have to promise me that you're going to catch up on this woman. Because, otherwise, I'm afraid she's just going to talk about other women.
And incidentally, in the last decade, she decided that she would see whether democracy worked or not, right?
BARBARA SMITH: Yes.
GLORIA STEINEM: And so, she took the corrupt city of Albany and turned it into a democracy, which elected women--
BARBARA SMITH: By running for office. Yes, two terms.
GLORIA STEINEM: And I think we're ready to hear the message today because of the results of the election. I think the country has finally realized because of the fact that-- what, 96% of black women voted for Hillary Clinton and 51% of white married women-- married women-- I would like to speak up for single women. But anyway--
BARBARA SMITH: Yes, let's speak up for us.
GLORIA STEINEM: --voted for Trump. Perhaps we are finally ready to admit that the women's movement has always, always, always-- feminism has always been disproportionately women of color and disproportionately black women. And in--
In the very first issue of "Ms." magazine, we published a Louis Harris poll. I think it was the first big poll of women's opinions on the women's movement and on specific issues. And something like 96% of black women supported what was then called the Women's Liberation Movement, not feminism--
BARBARA SMITH: Mhm, right.
GLORIA STEINEM: --and supported the issues, compared to only 30-something percent of white women. So let's just say that the hidden figures that we are-- let's just say our hidden figures should so not be hidden. I mean, it is the result of the way the movement has been covered. So-- and also, your genius title. The title was all the--
BARBARA SMITH: I'll say it.
GLORIA STEINEM: Yeah.
BARBARA SMITH: Yeah, "All of the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men, But Some of us are Brave-- Black Women Studies." It was the first book published in the United States about black women studies, specifically about black women studies.
GLORIA STEINEM: Yeah, so I just-- here's my personal question to you. How do you keep from going completely bonkers with rage when turn on-- when you go online and people are talking about white feminism. And, you know, hello, then it's not feminism, right-- and, you know, and just when you see the so-called second wave characterized as a white woman's movement.
BARBARA SMITH: Well, as we know, people in the United States, they probably got a C in history. Most people in the United States would have gotten a C in history because history really is not taught very effectively in our nation. That's because there's a lot that they wish to hide, particularly the genocide of indigenous people and the enslavement of my people of African people.
So the fact that we don't know about the history and the participation of women of color in the second wave of the women's movement, that's just like one of 2,000 things that most people don't know. As far as how do I not go bonkers, it's because I've spent my entire life trying to counter that-- those omissions and that ignorance. So I can always content myself with the fact, well, at least I tried. At least I did that book, did that anthology, started that press, whatever. You know, I have done all I possibly could to uplift the voices of women of color.
GLORIA STEINEM: Yeah, nobody-- nobody has done more. And since in your spare time, you've educated me over all these years.
BARBARA SMITH: We did a book together.
GLORIA STEINEM: Right, we-- right, OK.
BARBARA SMITH: That was quite a long haul.
GLORIA STEINEM: Yes, and we survived.
BARBARA SMITH: Yes.
GLORIA STEINEM: OK, so educate us. I mean, give us some of the hidden figures who should not be hidden.
BARBARA SMITH: Well, I find this a fascinating topic. But the one thing I want to say to begin with is it is hard sometimes to place women and black women-- and I'm speaking specifically about African-American women today, since that's my home community. It can be difficult to place us accurately in the history, in the chronology of feminism if what you're looking for are explicit statements of I am a feminist, and this is what I believe because I'm a feminist.
Now, if we look at history, we go back to the 19th century. And we see black women like Anna Julia Cooper, Nannie Burroughs, people-- Mary McLeod Bethune into the early 20th century who definitely were working on women's issues, who were in the black women's club movement but who did not necessarily use the F word, the feminist word. There are a few people I wanted to talk about, and I don't know if I myself would say that they were a part of the women's movement, because I don't know what they would say about it.
GLORIA STEINEM: Mhm.
BARBARA SMITH: I'm thinking about Fannie Lou Hamer. Fannie Lou Hamer was a pillar of the civil rights movement. And, of course, that's when I became politically active as a teenager in the civil rights movement.
She was born in Montgomery County, Mississippi, poor, a sharecropper. And she was about justice and freedom. Eventually, she became a founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
She was beaten brutally and carried the disabilities from that brutal beating, when she was in jail for trying to register to vote in her county. She did that, and then she became, as I said, a founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that at the 1964 Democratic Convention tried to get the illegitimate all-white delegation unseated.
GLORIA STEINEM: But I would say she was definitely a feminist because she was a founder of the reproductive justice movement. Because she was the first person to talk about sterilization.
BARBARA SMITH: Yes, the Mississippi Appendectomy.
GLORIA STEINEM: Yes, right.
BARBARA SMITH: That's what they called it.
GLORIA STEINEM: Right.
BARBARA SMITH: And sterilization was so frequent and was used so often to abuse black women that they referred to it as a Mississippi Appendectomy. She had been sterilized herself.
GLORIA STEINEM: Right, and she-- she had tried to raise this in SNCC. And I think the guys were a little embarrassed by it.
BARBARA SMITH: Right.
GLORIA STEINEM: And so, actually, it was because of Ruth Ginsburg, who was then head of the women's rights at the ACLU.
BARBARA SMITH: Mhm.
GLORIA STEINEM: And sent me and another woman to interview Fannie Lou about the fact that she had been sterilized, and this was a systemic problem.
BARBARA SMITH: Right.
GLORIA STEINEM: So, to me, she is a founder-- one of the founders of the reproductive justice movement.
BARBARA SMITH: By speaking out about her own lived experience.
GLORIA STEINEM: Right.
BARBARA SMITH: So that's why scholars and historians kind of go back and forth about where does feminism start. Who was a part of it? Because does it require using certain terms and words?
GLORIA STEINEM: Well, I would go for content over form, wouldn't you?
BARBARA SMITH: Right. I think I'm with you.
GLORIA STEINEM: OK, all right. So who else do you want to tell us about?
BARBARA SMITH: I wanted to mention Johnnie Tillmon. She was born in 1917. I'm sorry, I may be getting her birth date wrong. I'm looking at my notes.
Fannie Lou Hamer was definitely born in 1917. But I think that Johnnie Tillmon was born around the same time. She was the founder-- she was a woman who, after having worked at a union job-- and I think she was based out here in California. Her circumstances changed, but I think perhaps because of illness. And she had to go on welfare. She really did not want to do that.
But out of that experience and out of the abuse of the system as it existed at that time-- and, of course, differently at this time too, because they tried to get rid of welfare in the 1990s and were pretty successful at that-- she started the national-- she, with others, started the National Welfare Rights Organization. And that was a really important group for looking at issues of class and gender. She talked about the welfare system as being like being in a bad marriage with a bad husband.
And she wrote an article that appeared, guess where? In the first issue of "Ms." magazine about the issues of black women, and women in general and welfare. So she's someone to know about.
And the other person I wanted to mention is Fran Beal. She wrote an article in, I think, the late 1960s. She was a part of SNCC. And she was also a part of the left. So she had a strong race, class, gender analysis.
She wrote an article called "Double Jeopardy." And she was talking about patriarchal attitudes and sexism within black context. And I have to tell you having done the same thing myself, it does not get you many friends, I have to say, particularly if you look at that period of the mid-20th century.
So she spoke out very strongly-- so sorry to be hoarse. I always am in the morning. And, of course, it's catching up with me, unfortunately.
But in any event, she spoke out about the intersectional issues. That term wasn't coined until a few decades later. And she also was a part of an organization and a founder of the Third World Women's Alliance, which was explicitly feminist.
GLORIA STEINEM: Before intersectionality came "Double Jeopardy." Hello? I mean, this was not, you know, a totally new concept.
BARBARA SMITH: And sometimes triple jeopardy.
GLORIA STEINEM: Yes, right, right, right. And we have Pauli Murray, who, you know, really invented the idea for now and the basis of Ruth Ginsburg. I mean, you know, we could go on. But I see it's telling us to move to Q&A. It says here, right here. OK.
BARBARA SMITH: Well, there we go.
GLORIA STEINEM: OK.
BARBARA SMITH: Now, it's for you.
- I'm coming. Hi, Gloria-- Tina Chen-- and Barbara.
GLORIA STEINEM: Hello. Hi, Tina.
- Thank you so much for this.
BARBARA SMITH: Nice to meet you.
- So I see in your stories a direct line to women of color today. And I'm thinking in particular as I stand here of folks like Cleo Pendleton in Chicago, the mother of Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed. She's the young girl who was shot and killed after marching in President Obama's second inauguration parade, and the many mothers of the fallen-- Trayvon Martin's mother.
And my question is, from your-- from the historical studies and the studies of the women that you've described for us, what lessons can we learn as a broader movement, as a modern movement right now on how to support those voices, how to make them come to the forefront? Because I see, they're still not at the forefront and where they need to be in the work that we're doing today.
BARBARA SMITH: I think it's so important for women of color not to be seen as an afterthought or an add-on. We were committed feminists. And when I say we, I'm talking about members of the Combahee River Collective, which you may be familiar with. Because we wrote a statement that has been widely, widely used, read, reprinted.
And now there's a new book with the statement in it called "How We Get Free, Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective." There are interviews with the three co-authors of the statement, including my sister, Beverly Smith and Demita Frazier. But we grappled as committed feminists in Boston in the 1970s with being marginalized within the women's movement.
I'll never forget that someone who is still a dear friend who I had just met at that time saying as we were riding along in the car, probably just a meeting or a demonstration. She said is that little group of yours still meeting? And I was like, are you kidding me?
So don't marginalize us. Think about how every issue that you're working on-- even if it's something as obscure as algorithms and technology, which we know nothing about, think about it how it affects women of color, women of different classes, women of different religions, Muslim women. Look at who's most under attack in our society at the time, and figure out how your activism is touching and changing their lives.
Also, read an article that appears in one of my books, "Home Girls, A Black Feminist Anthology," by Bernice Johnson Reagon, who you may know as a founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock. The article is titled "Coalition Politics, Turning the Century." And everyone needs to read that article to figure out how to do principled work across our differences.
GLORIA STEINEM: Yeah, and I would just say don't start a group until it looks like the people who are affected by the issue. Because if you start a group as white women and then say-- you know, you've taken on the power to include. Hello? Don't start until it--
BARBARA SMITH: Exactly, and take the time.
GLORIA STEINEM: Right.
BARBARA SMITH: Take the time that it will take to dig deeper and do more principled and inclusive organizing.
GLORIA STEINEM: Right. Maybe we should pass the mic around. See, there's the problem of transit time here. OK, all right.
- Hi, my name is Kim Foxx. I'm from Chicago. And my question piggybacks off of Tina's question. What do you say to women of color who have felt perhaps that they were not included and are now feeling like the movement is happening?
And are we welcome? What do you say to them, who perhaps say we would rather stay over here because they fear that talking about inner sectionalism will somehow alienate them from their allies? What are your words of encouragement for women of color?
BARBARA SMITH: I think that's why that article that I mentioned-- "Coalition Politics Turning the Century"-- is so useful. Because it makes a distinction between home and the movement. The movement is not your home necessarily.
It might become your home, but you have to have a place where you feel fully seen, fully empowered, and you can do your own work. So what I would recommend to anyone who is marginalized in many different ways are, you know-- and particularly around race, have that place where you can be yourself and talk the way you want to talk about whatever it is you wish to.
But you can't have a movement in a vacuum. Movements are big, broad, and inclusive. So we have to be able to work with others who are different from ourselves. And we expect people who are not of the same background are co-conspirators-- not allies, because allies is a little too weak for me. But we want our co-conspirators to step up and to be there with us.
- Thank you.
GLORIA STEINEM: All right, and it's sort of blank there. Does that mean-- do we have time for one more question?
BARBARA SMITH: We had 12 seconds.
GLORIA STEINEM: Oh, 12 seconds? OK, all right. OK, quick. Run!
BARBARA SMITH: No, I think we're going to run it out. Two offers for-- OK.
- I'll speak loudly, and you can repeat.
GLORIA STEINEM: Yeah.
- Gloria, you turned to Barbara and you said educate us, which I loved. Barbara, can you tell us-- now that you've educated us-- how we can continue to educate ourselves. What are your top three go do this right now?
BARBARA SMITH: Well, you must be reading my mind because there a couple of books I was going to recommend, besides all of mine. I would recommend-- there are two authors that I think-- my actual field is teaching literature, African American literature and black women writers-- two authors who you're going to learn a lot from.
One is Margaret Walker. The book is "Jubilee." It's a novel. It's an antidote to "Gone with the Wind." It's a real story of enslavement, told from a black woman's point of view.
The other one is Ann Petry's "The Street." It is a novel that takes place in the 1940s in New York City, a story of a black single mother, struggling economically. But what Ann Petry does so brilliantly is to show how gender, as well as race and class, get in the way of her hopes and her dreams. So those are just FYIs. And if you turn to my books, you'll find a lot of bibliographies.
GLORIA STEINEM: And I just want to say, you have to read everything this woman has written, OK?
BARBARA SMITH: Or at least a little of it.
GLORIA STEINEM: She's made me what I am today. And I hope she's satisfied.
BARBARA SMITH: I am. I am.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Betty Reid Soskin and Luvvie Ajayi.
LUVVIE AJAYI: OK.
[SHOUTS FROM CROWD]
This is the best fan section ever. You have bars. You're amazing. I basically feel like I'm sitting on the stage with a unicorn. Right? I'm just like, wow. Just reading your story and reading about, first of all, how many career changes have you had?
BETTY REID SOSKIN: Oh, I have no idea. I reinvent myself every decade.
LUVVIE AJAYI: OK. Out of all of those, which one was the most fulfilling?
BETTY REID SOSKIN: Oh, I think-- I think that I'm using everything I have ever learned right now. And this is probably the most gratifying period of my life.
LUVVIE AJAYI: That is awesome. So we just heard from Gloria Steinem and Barbara Smith about hidden stories. Your work is devoted to sharing your own hidden experience, which is almost overlooked. Is sharing our personal truths a political act?
BETTY REID SOSKIN: I think there's probably no more political act than sharing those truths. Because that's what separates us from everyone else. That's where the gifts that we give, that we bring into the world, exist, in those personal stories.
LUVVIE AJAYI: Where did you find your courage to tell the truth, to be this person?
BETTY REID SOSKIN: That's hard to answer. I'm not sure that most of the real truths haven't been learned in retrospect. I've never anticipated them. I lived a complete life in a complete state of surprise. I'm not a planner. I'm not a list maker. It's only in looking back that I really have any understanding of where I've been.
LUVVIE AJAYI: Wow. I'm just over like-- OK. You know when you're just, like, staring at magic. That's what I'm doing right now. So, you're 96, which is, like, completely hard to believe. Because you-- you are so active, you're so, like, present. And you're here. And it's because we don't have examples of what 96 looks like.
BETTY REID SOSKIN: But I don't either. I have outlived all of my peers, so that I'm living in uncharted territory right now. I've lost my sense of future. And in compensation, my sense of past has been amplified. So that though I don't have any idea what tomorrow's going to be like, because there are no models left for me, I have to make it up as I go along.
But in exchange I'm finding myself looking out on a world today in chaos and realizing that ever since 1776, we have been a democracy in chaos, cyclically. That we're on an upward spiral, we keep touching the same places at higher and higher levels. That I'm not enslaved like my great grandmother was.
There's still much, much work to do. But every generation I know now has to recreate democracy in its time because democracy will never be fixed. It was not intended to. It's a participatory form of governance that we all have the responsibility to form that more perfect union. And that has been what has kept you going now over this past decade. The sense of responsibility to do that, that I really do have a role as an extraordinary ordinary person, that I have a role to do that. And that's been amazing.
LUVVIE AJAYI: When you look back to-- what was that, 1953 you moved to the suburbs?
BETTY REID SOSKIN: Yes.
LUVVIE AJAYI: --with your family. And you were talking about your son's school did the minstrel show.
BETTY REID SOSKIN: Yeah.
LUVVIE AJAYI: How do you think we've moved forward since then?
BETTY REID SOSKIN: I think that because we are not a monolith we move forward in waves, individual waves, in various parts of the country and in various segments of the population. And that there are always many of us lagging back. That there are those of us who are on the cutting edge, and that's what I see here in this room. That's an incredible place to be in. Makes me want another 20 years.
But I'm not sure how to answer that question. Because I think that some change is immediate, and some change takes decades, some change is generational. And all of that is happening at the same time. That's a complex thing to have to manage under governance.
And we, as a democracy, because we have a constitutionally-protected right to be wrong, we have a constitutionally-protected right to be bigots if that's what we want to be, that there are all of us going through these different phases at different times. And so it's hard it's hard to catch that wave because you don't ever know where the edge is.
But I think that you guys are on it. I think that I've probably been on it too. And maybe some of us only get on it for short distances-- we catch the wave and then we fall off. But there are enough of us right now that I see us in a new period of chaos. And it's in those periods, they're cyclical, that the democracy is redefined, that that's when we have access to the reset buttons, and that we're on another one of those right now.
And that's the opportunities that I hope that you guys have enough sense to seize. Because I think that that's probably the greatest hope that we have, because we're in one of those periods where everything is up for grabs. And we can shape it. And I think that's what I've done with the National Park Service, without ever knowing that that's what I was doing. Because it's only obvious to me in retrospect.
LUVVIE AJAYI: So you've talked about this crazy--
So you talk about these chaotic times that we're going through. And I think having and holding on to joy is a form of resistance.
BETTY REID SOSKIN: Yes.
LUVVIE AJAYI: And I also think hanging with a wolf pack of women is a form of resistance. What brings you joy? What, like, makes you bolt out of bed in the morning?
BETTY REID SOSKIN: I think maybe it's that at 96 and still having new experiences for the first time, I never know what the day is going to hold. I have found myself in a conference room at our park, in a Skype session with a class of 11th graders in Eugene, Oregon, or sitting there participating on a panel that's in the Annual Flower Show at Philadelphia.
I never know when those experiences are going to come out. But they're constant because we're in a state-- we're in a stage here in history where there are such constant and regular changes happening. We used to-- to count generations in generations, and now they're in five-year cycles. And my sense that it's moving so fast, the excitement that I never know what tomorrow's going to bring. And it guarantees me a new experience at least once a week.
LUVVIE AJAYI: So we are blog twinsies, in that we started blogging the same year, 2003.
BETTY REID SOSKIN: 2003.
LUVVIE AJAYI: I started blogging as a freshman in college. And you started blogging before the Park?
LUVVIE AJAYI: I started-- No, I started blogging because I was doing a family history. And in trying to trace the women in my family, I was using the Mormon's Family Centers. And in trying to trace the women, they get lost. I couldn't find them because the names would change, their circumstances would change, and they'd drop out of history.
And I began to want to know more about the fascinating women. I got my mother's family back to 1631, and my father's back to the 1400s. But I kept losing the women. And then I'd hit the slave curtain, because in both sides of my family there was slavery. And then I'd hit that curtain and I couldn't get beyond it.
I guaranteed that my children and their children were going to know what my life had been like. And so as a way of leaving behind tracks that I had lived for my own kids, I began to blog. And I was under the illusion that because I was sitting in my den at home with my iMac, or with my Mac One, or whatever it was at the time. Because I began-- I got my first computer 25 years ago.
But here I was in my bunny slippers and my PJs, and I would think that I was just talking to myself. And now there are thousands of people reading that blog. But I' am still only talking to myself. Because it's become the way that I process life as it goes out every time a new experience happens. In order to know-- because as I say, I don't have any peers anymore. There's no one to compare notes with. And so I'm putting the words out in front of me so that I can tell where it is I'm going. Because I'm my own model.
LUVVIE AJAYI: I was reading one of your blog posts. And you were talking about Imposter Syndrome. You didn't call it that, but you made a mention of how you're like, I'm afraid people are going to look up and be like, wait. What is she doing here?
BETTY REID SOSKIN: What do you mean, here?
LUVVIE AJAYI: You read-- you wrote a piece about not being sure-- basically, we consider you extraordinary. I don't think you do. Do you consider yourself extraordinary?
BETTY REID SOSKIN: Now I do.
LUVVIE AJAYI: What made you switch?
BETTY REID SOSKIN: Because on the street I'm known as Notorious BRS.
LUVVIE AJAYI: So Notorious RBG and then Notorious BRS. You own that. So what did you-- when did you finally say all right, I am extraordinary?
BETTY REID SOSKIN: I think when I began to have the sense that I had outlived my peers, I outlived my parents, I've outlived my sisters, I've outlived one child. I'm on the edge of life, without a sense of future.
I know that life has become so precious now, not only in the months and the days, but now the hours. I wouldn't have it any other way. Because every single hour has so much more meaning than it ever has had. That along with advanced age, fear of dying begins to diminish. There's a rightness to mortality.
I think that to the extent that I've arrived at this stage with my senses intact, without dementia. That I can appreciate this, that that is what makes me exceptional. Because I'm here and can share that. That's an amazing thing. Yeah, I think that says it.
LUVVIE AJAYI: So-- and before we go, I want to congratulate you because today is the pub day of Betty's first book, "Sign My Name to Freedom, a Memoir of Pioneer Life." Let's give Betty, Ms. Betty Soskin, a round of applause. And buy her book. Order her book.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Andy Katz Mayfield, Jeff Rader, and Ahmed Musiol.
AHMED MUSIOL: How's it going everybody? Can everybody hear me OK? Great. So Andy and Jeff, co-founders of Harry's, ran this ad in the New York Times. Could we get that back up on the screen real quick please? And while they're pulling it up, why did you guys decide to run that ad in the times? Why are we here? Tell us a little bit about your philosophy.
JEFF RADER: So we ran that ad for international men's day this year. Thought it was really important that we as a brand have a voice around the evolving nature of masculinity. And for us, that actually started about five years ago when we started Harry's. When we built Harry's, Harry's is a men's grooming brand, and we wanted it to feel like a distinctly men's brand. But a brand that had positive impact on the world. And as we thought about the impact that we wanted to have, wanted to have impact on our team, on our customers, and in the world more broadly.
When we thought about our team, Andy and I being two male founders of a men's brand, we're worried that if we didn't focus on diversity early on, that we could end up in a room with 100 other guys talking about men shaving. And that wouldn't be good for our business, nor the type of company that we wanted to build. And so we focused a lot early on, on trying to hire amazing women with strong voices that could create a more inclusive culture at Harry's. And bring a diverse set of perspectives into the company. Today over 40% of our team are women. Over 40% of our leadership team are also women. Over 60% of the directors plus hires that we've made in the last year are women.
And we're definitely not perfect there. I mean, our goal is parity, but we felt like it was really important to have a diverse set of perspectives within the company. The second piece around our customers is we looked at the brands in shaving to start, and they espouse this, sort of, traditional male point of view that we just didn't resonate with. If you think about a shaving ad historically, it's a shirtless guy with a six pack and a perfect jaw line looking off into the distance, shaving while a girl is rubbing his face. Like it just didn't appeal to--
ANDY KATZ MAYFIELD: You can tell we don't really relate to that.
JEFF RADER: Speak for yourself. No, but, you know, we felt like we shouldn't be that. That we should be a real warm and normal brand that can actually talk to guys in a vulnerable way around the fact that like, hey, we don't know how to shave. Or didn't know how to shave, and had to learn that while we were Harry's. We are guys, normal guys like them, building a brand for them. And so we started having conversations with lots of guys around this masculine act of shaving. And masculine, and more broadly, and started to do a bunch of research on what it means to be a man.
And masculine today, and some of the stats that we came across were pretty troubling to us. You know, men are 3.6 times more likely to commit suicide than women. There's 2.7 million children with incarcerated parents in the world. 90 percent of those are men. 90 percent of all domestic abuse is perpetrated by men. Men are more likely to drop out at every level of the educational system. And so, you know, we felt like some of these norms that have been perpetrated in our industry, and more broadly are causing some of these, sort of, harder things on guys today.
And not that we're, sort of, here saying, oh poor men. We realize that men have been highly advantaged over the course of history, but we feel like the stereotypes that exist in the world should be questioned and evolved. And then a more expansive view of masculinity is an important thing for all of us. And that we as a men's brand should speak to that and should be a platform to espouse a more expansive view.
ANDY KATZ MAYFIELD: Yeah. And I think, you know, what we've tried to start to do in the last year or two is begin to put our money where our mouth is. And so the New York Times ad was an example of that. Where, you know, we wanted, as a brand, to sort of begin to have a voice on these types of issues. We've been really fortunate to partner with Wayfair and your company on a series called man enough. That is with your partner, Justin Baldoni, who's getting a group of guys together and actually start to talk about these issues. So from, sort of, a brand standpoint, we've started to have a perspective and a point of view internally.
We also feel like, hey, if we're going to have a brand that actually, you know, puts these values out into the world, we better be living it internally too. And so there an example is, you know, we took a look at our parental leave policy and, you know, thought a lot about our own experiences as parents. And my own personal experience as a dad. You know, who the norm was to go take a week or two off and come back to work. And I found that to be a really challenging thing to try to be a parent and come back to work. But perhaps even more interestingly for my wife, who is as career driven and if not more so than I am.
For her to actually take three months off and me take a week off, you know, created a really, sort of, unbalanced dynamic. And made the co-parenting thing really hard to actually live and practice. And so, you know, that experience was one that led us to this conclusion. That hey, we need not just a general parental leave policy, but an equal parental leave policy that treats birthing and non-birthing parents equally. So we've implemented that, and give everybody four months regardless of whether you're the birthing parent or the non-birthing parent.
ANDY KATZ MAYFIELD: Thanks. And then last, we also as a company have always tried to, sort of, be socially minded, and not just be about bottom line profits. We donate 1% of our revenue to nonprofit causes. And we've tried to partner with organizations that are also out there, you know, beginning a conversation on these issues. Whether it's challenging traditional gender stereotypes, or, sort of, catering to men who might be in a more troubled situation. So we've begun to work with organizations like the Representation Project, A Call to Men, the Bronx Freedom Fund, to also support them in their endeavors to drive a dialogue around this stuff.
AHMED MUSIOL: It's awesome. So you brought up something, I think, fairly important. Which is, kind of, hearkening back to the concept of how Man Enough works as well. Which is that it's-- for those who haven't seen it. It's a group of men having an intimate dinner conversation, and opening up very vulnerable. And we at Wayfair, we're looking at how we can go out and turn this into a reality. And thank God our brothers at Harry's decided to stick their neck out and jump on that train with us. But what's important about that is, we know we don't have the answers. And I think that's what you really pointed out, most importantly about how you guys are approaching this. Is that nobody is coming to the table and saying, we already understand what the end is.
We're exploring it as a collective. I think that can also lead to some fear for men who say, as I think we've all heard, right. Some men are afraid to even hire women now, because they don't know what they can or can't do. Some men are afraid to sit in a room with a woman alone in a professional setting. You guys seem to have figured out a way around that. But you're also held accountable. How do you navigate that?
JEFF RADER: Yeah I mean, I think a couple of things. One, we're definitely not perfect. And I think we think that this idea of progressive masculinity, or a more expansive definition of masculinity is still pretty messy, you know. I have a six-year-old son, and I think a lot about the norms that I grew up with, and what norms I actually like that I want to have him live with, and what I don't. And it's actually, it's really hard for me to, sort of, parse that stuff apart. And I think for us, what's most important is just to start to have this dialogue around the fact that a lot of these traditional norms of masculinity can be expanded upon. You can be both strong and vulnerable. Both confident and open. And I think it's important for guys to start to realize those things. And just talking about it in this setting, in other settings, I think, starts to, sort of, enable guys to open up and express their feelings which is the first step forward. And I think what's going to be a long journey here.
AHMED MUSIOL: And in doing a lot of this, you guys have a customer base to think about. Potential audience to think about, as well as a brand. Are you concerned at all that you might be alienating any of them?
ANDY KATZ MAYFIELD: I don't think so. I think if we take a stand on issues that, you know, may be controversial and wind up stepping into that controversy. You know, that's something that we're OK with, and we're accepting of. But I think our perspective is that there's actually a lot of guys that are wrestling with these issues. And that for a lot of guys, they almost feel trapped in their inability to actually have these conversations and articulate. And not to say like, oh poor guys. Like clearly, guys have had it traditionally pretty well. But we hope that by beginning to, sort of, talk about these things and have a dialogue, it actually is almost taking, you know, a weight off, and a relief.
And providing, you know, an avenue for guys to start to have this, much like Man Enough. And so, we don't feel like these issues are actually particularly controversial, or need to be politicized. They're very human issues that a lot of guys really do struggle and deal with. And that are yearning to have a conversation about. And it's going to be awkward and a little bit messy to Jeff's point, but we think that's just a really untapped, sort of, topic of conversation among guys.
JEFF RADER: A good example there is Andy and I last year during Father's Day wrote op eds around being working fathers. And wanting to be really good dads who, sort of, broke traditional norms of, you know, being a dad and, kind of, being the provider, but not necessarily being at home. And being there for our children with a lot of time. And how we struggled to balance that, plus really demanding careers. And we tried to speak as openly as possible and say, look, we don't have all the answers. And we actually, at the end of the op ed, sort of, said, hey like we'd love actually hear how other people are dealing with these things. And we got a real outpouring, I think, of other guys who are dealing with the same things. And trying to figure out how they also can break some of those traditional norms, and be different kinds of dads that maybe they had in the past.
ANDY KATZ MAYFIELD: And not just an outpouring of like, hey guys, cool article. Like people I hadn't heard from in 10 years baring their souls to me over email, because like it had clearly just struck a chord with an issue that they've dealt with in a deeply emotional way, but haven't had the ability to articulate. So I think those types of little signals gives us confidence that, hey there actually really is an appetite out there among a lot of guys to talk about this stuff.
AHMED MUSIOL: Yeah. I think that's a really great point. And, you know, we've all collectively experienced that with our collaboration as well. Hearing these very personal notes of men who are hungry to have this conversation. Are hungry to learn and evolve as I think we all are. And you guys are doing a shining example that through your partnerships. I'd love for you to maybe expand a little bit on how you guys are approaching these partnerships. Not only with Man Enough, but organizations like Calm and A Call to Men.
JEFF RADER: Well, and I think, you know, for us, one of the reasons why really excited to be here is we have, sort of, this internal mantra at Harry's, which we've found to be helpful. And the idea is that the future is orange. We make orange razors, if anyone has seen them so ties to our product. But the idea behind the future is orange is that, you know, in the future we don't think that men and women are going to be, sort of, only characterized by pink and blue. By these, sort of, overly reductive stereotypes. But that, you know, to be a good-- to be a good man is just to be a good human. And we think that we've seen that happen a lot over time. And we're excited that this conversation is happening. And to learn from everybody here around, you know, how other people are seeing that. And how we believe that these stereotypes over time, hopefully that's on us over time to evolve these stereotypes, and have them to dissipate and harm boys.
ANDY KATZ MAYFIELD: Yeah. And some of the insights work we've done with the leading edge of consumers suggest that, you know, a lot of guys and women are already there. Where they're like, this whole concept of masculine and feminine is actually outdated. Like we're just humans, and dealing with human emotions and human stuff. And I get society has a long way to go from where we are today to actually catch up to that leading edge. But that is, I think, underlying the premise of what we're doing. Which is this idea that like a lot of these, sort of, traditional tropes are just-- they're, kind of, masking the broader, deep human connection. That doesn't matter if you're male or female. We're all dealing with the same types of issues.
JEFF RADER: So to your question, when we partner with organizations, we want to work with folks who are actually raising the, sort of, consciousness over these things. Think about the representation project. They are trying to create content that is compelling. That starts to talk about and challenge some of these harmful stereotypes, and expand definitions around gender. And we think that's an incredibly important thing for us to do as a as a brand today. We think that brands have to have beliefs, and they have to share those beliefs with the world. It's one of the reasons why we like coming to work every day. And we also think one of the things that motivates our team, and hopefully a larger community to try to have a positive impact.
AHMED MUSIOL: That's awesome. Well I want to honor both of you for the work that you guys are doing. And thank you very much for spending time with us this morning. And I also want to thank all of you for being the teachers that we're looking to. And I think you guys nailed that on the head. I think we're all very collectively excited to be learning from each of you. So hopefully over the course of the conference, and moving forward even beyond the conference, we'll all be able to learn from one another and figure out how we can make a better world together. And it's wonderful to see two examples of how the bottom line doesn't have to be everything in a business. But the fact that we're all human really resonates at the end of it. And hopefully that's how we've learned how to move forward together.
JEFF RADER: Awesome.
AHMED MUSIOL: Awesome. Thank you guys.
ANDY KATZ MAYFIELD: Thank y'all for having us.
AHMED MUSIOL: Thank you.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani, and Lydia Polgreen.
EMILY V. GORDON: Hello.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Hey, everybody. My favorite thing about the two of you is that you have not only a meet cute story, but you have like a marry cute story, that's, like, interweaved with, you know, some really scary, hair-raising stuff. When did you guys decide that this needed to be a movie? And what was the process of writing the film like?
EMILY V. GORDON: I think it was-- the events of this movie happened about 10 years ago. And it was about five years ago that we kind of first started talking about it. I think because you want to have, like, a little bit of distance. We wanted to be able to talk about it without crying. Because then you'd ruin your laptop the whole time if you're typing and crying. So we needed that-- we needed a little bit of time. And it was you that kind of were more-- I was more hesitant, I would say, to write about this event.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah, Emily's more-- slightly more of a private person--
EMILY V. GORDON: Yeah.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: --than I am. Because I do stand up. And you sort of-- I'd gotten used to telling stories from my life. And so, yeah, it was five years as Emily said. But, you know, not to say that when we started writing it, it wasn't-- we weren't crying.
EMILY V. GORDON: That's true. There was a lot of crying.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: We ruined some keyboards. There was certain scenes we wrote that, you know, we cried when we wrote them. We cried when we rewrote them. We cried when we rehearsed them. And we cried when we shot them. And now we cry when we watch them.
LYDIA POLGREEN: I hope you guys buy your tissues at Costco.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: We--
EMILY V. GORDON: Just sleeve usage. It's a lot of--
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah, I use toilet paper. Because I-- it keeps me grounded.
But you know, when you're writing about personal stuff, you're going to find that window where you can start to process it. And it's not paralyzing. But you don't want to-- but you can still access the feelings.
EMILY V. GORDON: I think-- and I had written-- there's a website called Lemon Drop that was, like-- it was like a lady's web site years, and years, and years ago that I used to write for. And they were like, do you want to write about being sick? And I was like, oh, sure. And it was two months after I'd gotten out of the hospital. And I wrote a really, really stupid essay called, I was in a coma, and I didn't change at all. Who reads that, you know?
And I-- it was really-- I, at the time that I wrote it, was like, this is exactly how I feel. And I have processed everything. And obviously I was completely wrong. And so I thought if I wasn't processed back then, but I thought I was, how do we know that we're ready to do this now? And I don't want some really dumb essay in movie form out there. It's scrubbed from the internet. You can't find it.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: It's the only thing that ever left the internet.
EMILY V. GORDON: But-- and so that's-- we really kind of talked through a lot-- are we ready to do this? And we eventually decided that we were. Yeah.
LYDIA POLGREEN: So speaking of processing, Emily, before you became a writer, a comedy producer, you had a career as a family and couples therapists.
EMILY V. GORDON: That's correct.
LYDIA POLGREEN: I'm super curious if that work informs your work now?
EMILY V. GORDON: So much. If you guys want to be writers, go get a master's degree in therapy. Work for, like, seven years or so as a therapist. And then leave it. It absolutely-- and it's not a skill that other writers don't have. But I do think I got a bit of a crash course in-- my entire job was in kind of understanding what people were saying to me, and then also what they were saying to me as a therapist. And then helping them to kind of understand what they were and weren't saying to me. And then help them create solutions.
And that's a big part of writing when you're digging into characters. It's like, what is this person saying? And then what is this person not saying that they are desperately trying to say? And it kind of helps. That skill really, really, really helps. I took a really long way around to get it. But it really helps.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah, because I think, you know, people aren't always comfortable-- especially dudes aren't always comfortable showing their emotions in the situation that causes those emotions. Sometimes it comes up later. A lot of times it comes out as anger. So what Emily had to do was look at this person, see what they're exhibiting, and then be able to find what reservoir of actual emotion it was pointing to. Because, you know, in a movie you can't have a character going around being like, I'm sad. You have to, through their actions and what they're--
EMILY V. GORDON: While they're eating cheeseburgers with four slices of cheese.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Seems totally appropriate.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah. You have to show what they're struggling with or what they're dealing with. So it was-- that's why Emily's really good at writing characters. It's because she doesn't-- she knows how to not portray them directly. She can portray-- because I feel like so much of it is you're just trying to hide the emotions. But you still want to be able to have the audience--
EMILY V. GORDON: That's what you learn as a therapist. You can't really ever hide it. You can try to hide it. It's going to come out somehow. You might as well figure out a good way to let them out.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Do you ever feel like she's doing, like, Jedi mind tricks on you?
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yes.
LYDIA POLGREEN: You're like, oh, I know what you're doing.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Oh yes. And then-- and then, you know, now I know her Jedi mind tricks. Or maybe that's what I'm supposed to think.
But yeah, definitely. We really-- you know, I know-- she's actually taught me a lot about-- you know, like, she'll be like, OK, this is not about you not being able to find this fucking pen. What is it really? And then I have to think and be like, you know, I always thought, like, there should be, like, a Shazam for anxiety. Because--
EMILY V. GORDON: That would be amazing.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah. Because I'm like, I know I'm anxious. But I have no idea what I'm anxious about. The other day I woke up-- she said-- I sleep talk and sleepwalk. She said I woke up in the middle of the night, put on my glasses, yelled, I suck, took off my glasses and went back to sleep.
LYDIA POLGREEN: That is--
KUMAIL NANJIANI: It'd be great to know what that was about.
EMILY V. GORDON: Yeah, no idea.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: So she's been very, very helpful in making me-- making me understand. She will be like, you're not angry at me. You're angry at this other thing that's out of your control and whatever. And it was all this stuff that I really had not even-- you know, I heard the [? Harry's ?] guys before me talking about it. I think, for me, the big challenge of me being a grown up was learning to feel my feelings, or at least trying to be aware of them. Even body stuff. Like pain, I wouldn't feel pain.
Like, I would-- I went to the-- my dentist touched my jaw and was like, your jaw hurts. I was like, no it doesn't. He's like, but it really should. I'm like, it doesn't. Then I started meditating. And it's, like, mindfulness and, like, being aware. And then my jaw started hurting. It was hurting the whole time. I just didn't know.
EMILY V. GORDON: Welcome.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Yes. That doesn't sound like such a great deal, to be honest.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: I know.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Yeah.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: I've had days where I'm-- you know, I remember I would be super angry all day. And then I'd have water. And I'd be like, oh, right. I was just thirsty.
EMILY V. GORDON: Got to get in touch with those emotions, guys.
LYDIA POLGREEN: It sounds like you found your Shazam. So OK. So you make this movie. It's, you know-- I mean, it's an amazing story. It's a fabulous movie. Great critical reception. How has this changed your lives as a couple to see your story out there, people talking about it, thinking about it? There have been moments where, I feel like, you know, it's Kumail's movie. And Emily's central role in creating it sometimes gets kind of, dot, dot, dot.
EMILY V. GORDON: Yeah.
LYDIA POLGREEN: So I'm just curious about the dynamic between you two.
EMILY V. GORDON: It's interes-- well, one thing we learned is if someone's racist, I take that on. And if someone's sexist, he takes that on.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Right.
EMILY V. GORDON: Because so often, when you have to confront it yourself you're-- it's not only belittling. But it also makes you-- sometimes people, like, oh, dismiss you because you're crazy. But when you're coming to the aid of your partner, that's a different thing. So that's one trick we've learned.
And I do think-- it's interesting, because I think it's partially sexism, absolutely. And it is also partially that Kumail is more well-known than I am. And so, for me, it's been working hard to kind of not take it personally when it happens. But still not letting it go by.
And it is amazing. Like, you know, people will-- yesterday at the Oscar luncheon, people were coming up to us, both nominees, and congratulating Kumail. And I just kept staring at them like this, until they were like, and you, too. And I was like, thank you. Thank you for congratulating me. And it's been interesting. I think what it's made us more as a couple is more having each other's backs on-- and seeing that. Because I think we're now both seeing it in a way that we hadn't fully seen it before.
But it's frustrating. It certainly is. It's frustrating for people to think that I wrote all the emotional stuff in our script. And he wrote all the funny stuff. Not necessarily the case. As you can see, he's very in touch with his emotions.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah, guys. I'm a little thirsty right now.
EMILY V. GORDON: In every sense. And at the end of the day, like, you just keep-- we both work hard to just show up and do the work. Because that's the most important thing. But I think if I had to go out every day and say, no, no, no. Me, me, me, too. Me, too. Not in that sense. But just in the-- damn it. You can't really use that phrase anymore.
LYDIA POLGREEN: It's really hard.
EMILY V. GORDON: Yeah.
LYDIA POLGREEN: I find it very challenging.
EMILY V. GORDON: But I'm also involved. I'm also involved. If I had to do that myself, I think it would be very demoralizing. So I'm very grateful that Kumail does that.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Well, you've been clapping back. I mean--
EMILY V. GORDON: Well, he claps back.
LYDIA POLGREEN: I see it.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Well, I mean, I think-- you know, working with Emily over the last few years pretty closely on a bunch of different things, I've realized-- in a way that should have been obvious but wasn't to me-- just how the system really is set up to-- the voices of women are not considered on the same level.
EMILY V. GORDON: They're not considered voices.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah, it's really pretty remarkable. I saw it over, and over, and-- and Emily would point it out. She'd be like, did you see that? When I said that, they didn't say anything. But then you said the same thing later. And then they agreed to it. Over, and over, and over. And these weren't people who were--
EMILY V. GORDON: Sexist humans.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: That were bad people. I mean, clearly they were sexist, you know. But not in, like, really obvious ways. I think that stuff is really, really insidious. You know, I think there's a lot of obvious sexism that's very aggressive and easily pointed out. But then there's a lot of this other insidious, quiet--
EMILY V. GORDON: Just in the water, yeah.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah, it's just in the water. And I-- yeah.
EMILY V. GORDON: I had a female-- a woman that I worked with at "The Carmichael Show." Her name's Aeysha Carr. She's a genius writer. And she was so good at kind of having her presence in the room. Because usually there's not that many women in the room. In that room there happened to be quite a few. And I said, how do you-- when you're talked over constantly-- because that such a thing. When you're talked over constantly, how do you deal? Like, what do you do? And she was like-- she's like, the thing I've learned is that men want to stop at some point. But they feel like it's their job to fill the air. So she was like, when I hear them start to peter off just a little bit, I just jam myself in there. And like, OK, now is my time. And then they're like, oh, grateful. Thank you. I'll stop.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Yeah.
EMILY V. GORDON: And it's such a weird little trick. But it works so well.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: You exactly just did that with me.
I was like, I don't know how to end this. Thank you so much.
EMILY V. GORDON: It's a great trick.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: It is. You know--
LYDIA POLGREEN: So-- sorry, go ahead.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: I was just going to say, I noticed that, again, because we've been through this together during the-- not to get super political. But during the debates, watching Hillary and Trump was really interesting. Because he was so aggressive. And it was like, oh, if she responds in the same way, she's seen as being-- I don't want to use the word. But you know, people would say that she's being--
LYDIA POLGREEN: A nasty woman?
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah. Or-- and then if she is above it, then she's cold, and removed, and unfeeling. So I-- really watching those debates, I was like, there's really nothing she could do here. And it's so unfair.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Well, you know, I think that we're all in this moment looking at the world and saying, so much is changing. Things are moving fast. But you know, I was watching the Super Bowl halftime show. And there was an ad on for a new show that Amazon-- which distributed your film-- is putting out starring Jim from "The Office." I always forget his name. And it's your typical, like, guy-centered big budget thing, right?
Now, Amazon just canceled "One Mississippi," a great female-centered show. They did not pick up Bridget Everett's pilot, a great, you know-- I mean, great female comedian and performer. They cancelled "I Love Dick." So it sort of feels like progress. But you know, in this time when supposedly female-centered storytelling is at the center of the world, and we're all for it and against it, I see three immediate examples of female authorship really being shut down. And not to mention your friends, Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito,
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah.
LYDIA POLGREEN: No one's picked up their show.
EMILY V. GORDON: Yeah.
LYDIA POLGREEN: I mean, how-- are things really changing?
EMILY V. GORDON: I do think that they are. And I think-- I-- it's interesting, because I think in the past, none of those shows would have even gotten a shot. And so then we wouldn't even have the existence of them to discuss them going away. So if that's progress, it's sad progress. But I mean, it is a matter of just keep getting chances. Because it is also true that constantly there are tons of other-- all-- so many shows get canceled. So many pilots never get picked up. This was-- those specific examples were pretty high-profile ones that-- it's an interesting move, for sure.
But I do think-- I think there are more shots being given, especially in TV. Because TV now has-- it doesn't have to apply to everyone. But everyone can still watch them and enjoy them. And I think we're getting more and more chances to tell stories that are not Jim from "The Office."
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah, but I also think it's not enough. Because things have been so arid for so long, just a little bit looks like a lot. But it's not a lot. We've had, you know-- there aren't that many female-centric stories. There aren't that-- there aren't enough female-centric action movies, superhero movies. You know, everyone points at Wonder Woman. But how many--
EMILY V. GORDON: That's one.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: --superhero movies have come out in the last five years? Just today I was telling someone. I was like, you know, I saw "Black Panther." And it was-- I really loved it. And I realized, like, how all superhero movies were so similar to each other. And then this one was different. And I realized how-- just how similar they were because of how different this was. And someone was like, but superhero movies are all different. I mean, look at "Logan" and "Deadpool." And then I was like, what do they all have in common? Do you not see that they're all, like--
EMILY V. GORDON: White dudes.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: Yeah, and we've had friends pitch shows to networks where they're like, you know, we already--
EMILY V. GORDON: We already have a black show.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: We already have a black show.
EMILY V. GORDON: Yeah.
LYDIA POLGREEN: OK, we're almost out of time.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: It's true.
EMILY V. GORDON: Yeah
LYDIA POLGREEN: Quick, Makers Man Kumail, how are you going to raise your voice?
KUMAIL NANJIANI: I'm going to raise my voice by listening to women and amplifying. And also-- but also fighting for the right for men to shut up sometimes.
LYDIA POLGREEN: All right. Emily, how are you going to raise your voice?
EMILY V. GORDON: I'm going to let him shut up. And I'm going--
I'm going to-- you know, it's my job to do whatever I can to make sure other women are present in all aspects. Behind cameras, in front of cameras, in rooms, doing all-- doing all the jobs. That's my job.
KUMAIL NANJIANI: And I think, you know, it's very easy for men to not say anything when they see an injustice. And the problem is still there are men who have more power than women in a lot of positions--
LYDIA POLGREEN: Really?
KUMAIL NANJIANI: --in Hollywood. You know, and I think sometimes there is-- obviously there are situations where women don't feel that they can fight back against the system. Because they don't want to lose a job.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Right.
EMILY V. GORDON: Very, very quick story. I was doing a photo shoot with a bunch of other writers. And they were doing a group shot. I was the only woman. Hah. And the photographer said, Emily, don't be afraid to be sassy in the photo. And we were all, like, standing there, like, very officially. And he's like, put your hand on your hip. Get sassy. And I was-- I was mad. But I was also like, this is so stupid. And I was like, really? Sassy? And then Jordan Peele-- I don't mind calling him by name-- said, would you like me to be more hood in the photo?
And I thought that's what we need. That's what I'm looking for. I can handle this on my own. But it's so much easier if I have that.
LYDIA POLGREEN: All right, Kumail, Emily, thank you so much. These guys are awesome.
EMILY V. GORDON: Thank you guys.
HOST: Ladies and gentlemen, Fei-Fei Lee.
FEI-FEI LI: Good morning. Good morning, Makers. Good morning, everyone. Such an honor to be here. Let me start my talk. A few years ago, as you saw in the video, I started a summer outreach program at Stanford University to encourage high school girls from diverse backgrounds to participate and get involved in artificial intelligence.
I have one vivid memory of delivering this opening lecture. I was in a room full of ninth grade girls, most of whom have never even set foot on a university campus before. It was a complex lesson. I was really geeking out with them. And they were eager to learn. There was excitement in the air, but a little bit of nervousness too.
As we finished this really long technical discussion, I wanted to inspire them more. So I described how what we have learned. This computer vision technology can help doctors and nurses better track their hand hygiene practice in the hospital, reducing hospital-born infection that kills almost 90,000 patients per year in the United States, several times more than car accidents. I'll never forget what I saw at that moment. Across the room, these young faces just lit up. I saw passion, amazement, and even some relief, as this incredibly technical field that they just heard about suddenly took on a human form.
And this is the story that I want to share with you today, the deeply human side of artificial intelligence. In fact, I hope to convince you that there's nothing artificial about it at all, especially at this very moment. AI is about to transform our world in ways we can barely imagine.
I want to start with the story about a breakthrough moment in science. And it goes back to 1959. Researchers, Hubel and Wiesel, used electrodes to connect the visual cortex of an anesthetized cat to a loudspeaker, and then projected patterns of light for the cat to see. This allowed them to literally hear the cat's visual perception at work, and showed for the first time that the brain is organized by neurons stacked in a hierarchical fashion with each layer responding to increasingly complex visual pattern. And this work got them to win Nobel Prize a couple of decades later.
But more than 40 years after their work, I had an opportunity to be a summer research intern student at Berkeley to replicate this experiment in a neuroscience lab. Hearing the neurons responding to patterns of light in the darkness was a mesmerizing experience. No words can describe the sense of magic I felt at that moment, realizing that this rich and beautiful visual world we see all begins with such tiny neurons in our brain that get excited by simple patterns of light.
So I began to wonder, what if one day we build computers that can see like us. It turned out I wasn't the only one asking this question. Computer vision was already a growing field with thousands of researchers worldwide by the time I started my PhD study in 2000 right here in LA, Pasadena, not very far. Progress was slow but steady. And the amazing technology we now enjoy is possible because thousands of researchers dedicated their careers to establishing the science.
But teaching computers to see is easier said than done. A modern camera easily registers millions of color pixels when taking a picture. But deriving meaning from all that data is an enormous challenge. It's no surprise it takes Mother Nature 540 million years to get this solved right. A human can understand staggering amounts of details about an image with only a split second of glance, and then describe it in language, also very unique to humans.
One of my first experiments as a PhD student quantified this. And then it becomes the Holy Grail of the field of computer vision, to be able to teach computers to see and talk about what it sees. Luckily for me, I arrived at a very unique time in history. The internet was exploding. And that gave researchers access to more data than ever before. The sheer variety and depth of images available online made me think about the constant visual stimulation that children experience as they grow up.
So I saw a parallel in that. What if we could use the internet to help our algorithms explore the world in a similar way? So as you saw in the video, around 2006, 2007, I began a project with my students and collaborators called ImageNet, intended to organize enough images from the internet to teach computer algorithms what everything in the world looks like. In the end, it added up to 15 million photos across 22,000 categories of objects. It was the largest AI dataset ever publicly released at that time.
But here is the tricky part. In order to actually teach an algorithm and benchmark its progress, every single image must be sorted and labeled correctly. We needed to sort, clean, and label from a pool of billions and billions of images. In the end, we had to rely on crowdsourcing by hiring over 50,000 online workers across 167 countries to do this. So yes, we did get a little crazy. But that's the fun of science.
The hard work did pay off. By combining ImageNet with a class of algorithm known as convolutional neural network, or more popularly known as deep learning, and modern computing hardware, like GPUs, AI was revolutionized and ushered into the modern era of what we know today. By 2015, just a few years after ImageNet was released, computers were recognizing objects better than humans in head to head contest. Algorithms built on ImageNet have advanced the state of the art, state of the computer vision considerably with error raising image recognition steadily decreasing every year.
And my students and I began to make major progress on image captioning, the very problem I could only have dreamed of during my PhD studies. And the photo descriptions you are seeing now behind my back were some of the first ever machine-generated sentences for computers when they see a picture for the first time. But we still have a long way to go.
Today's AI is great at pattern matching in narrow tasks, like object classification, facial recognition, and language translation. But there's so much more to human thoughts and intelligence than simple patterns. AI is now targeting loftier goals, like natural communication and collaboration with richer sense of context and even emotional perception. I call this human-centered AI.
And many of my colleagues are working on projects that exemplify it. For example, examples include applying machine learning to education, understanding satellite imageries to track poverty more precisely, or developing diving robots to explore the deep ocean when divers cannot or it's too dangerous for divers to go. And along with my students and collaborators at Stanford, we're working with senior care facilities on early studies of AI assistance for nurses and family members.
But just like any technology, AI is a tool in the hands of people. In fact, I believe there are no independent machine values. Machine values will come from human values. Without thoughtful guidance, many of the benefits of AI could cause unintended harm as well. This is a complex challenge. And I don't pretend to have all the answers. But I do know we have an obligation to build technology that benefits everyone, not just a privileged few. And the first step is understanding who is developing it. So how well is humanity represented in the development of AI today?
I'll be blunt here. Diversity is sorely lacking in the world of computing. And that includes AI. The National Science Foundation reported in 2016 that fewer than 30% of computer science majors are women. A similar 2016 study showed that fewer then 15% are left by the time they reach their professorship. Similar numbers are found across most of Silicon Valley's tech companies. And the statistics for racial minority groups are even worse.
If this technology is going to change our lives, our society, and perhaps the entire future of humanity, and I actually believe it will, then this lack of representation is an absolute crisis. Outreach programs, like the one I started at Standford, are a powerful first step. I co-founded it four years ago with my former PhD students, Olga Russakovsky, now an AI professor at Princeton, with the goal to inspire girls and under-represented minority students, not just to pursue tech jobs, but also to recognize the human impact that AI has to the world.
The result is AI4ALL, a nonprofit organization focusing on increasing diversity and inclusion in AI through education programs. We specifically target high school students of all walks of life, especially those underprivileged communities. AI4ALL was launched in 2017, seed funded by Melinda Gates's Pivotal Ventures and Jensen and Lori Huang Foundation.
From Stanford, AI4ALL is already partnering with Berkeley, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon University, and Canada's Simon Fraser University to bring our AI education to a diverse group of students. No technology is more reflective of its designers than AI. From the architecture of its algorithms to the applications, it's our responsibility to ensure that everyone can play a role from the beginning.
I've always summed it up like this, we know AI is going to change the world. The real question is, who is going to change AI? I hope many of you in the audience will consider yourself to be part of this answer. We need you. Thank you.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Karlie Kloss and Megan Smith. Hello Karlie.
- Hi Megan.
- Welcome to Maker Stage.
- Thank you. This is incredible.
- It's incredible, and there's a theme going. Hearing Fei-Fei Li just now was fabulous. So we were talking backstage. There's so many programs, and so many different things going on. And I really wanted to have the chance to highlight the collection of what you were doing. And when we were in the White House, we were looking at how to get more of us, Americans, women, people of color, everybody in the planet, to be into these power tools. Into this area with their own creativity. And the components of that that you're using are all the, kind of, best practices. So let's dive into one of it is just do it. Like having the experiences. So with the camps. Talk a little bit about how you came to that and what you're doing.
- Well I think you said the key word creativity. And I think that's one thing that, you know, a lot of people don't realize is that using code and technology in really creative ways-- I mean there's infinite possibilities with what you can do. And I think, you know, seeing what Fei-Fei is doing with AI, and kind of humanizing that also. And the thing is, first and foremost, it has to start with learning the skills and access to the learning. And I think that's how you make bigger impact on, you know, what the future leaders of our, you know, in these industries look like, because you have to start with teaching them the ABCs of code.
And so what you just saw is a little clip of what we, a series that we did to really highlight and tell the stories of incredible women who I love what you-- your presentation before about the hidden figures. I mean, there are so many incredible women in so many different industries who have very technical skill sets, but are working in really creative industries, and doing really creative things with their technical chemical engineering background. And I think that's what's so exciting. It's about all the creative ways that you can use, kind of, this technical knowledge to supercharge whatever it is you're passionate about.
And so we have summer camps to teach girls to learn how to code.
- And they're incredibly successful. So they have summer camps. One of things is, you know, getting started. So 9 out of 10 parents would like coding taught at school in the United States and you have computer science for all. And that's a movement, and you guys are a big part of that. You know, you didn't have access at the time to jump in everyone's classroom, but you got moving. And you're really scaling. And your kids are-- starting to come into the industry, and mentor. It's a really cool method. So talk a little bit about the beginning and where you are.
- So I'm a fashion model, first and foremost. I don't have a master's in computer science or, you know, I want to learn more about AI and so I'm going to go and join--
- There was a business deal going down.
- Yeah, exactly.
- We're going to get the AI camp.
- But I'm a model, but I'm also a student of life. I'm super curious, and I was kind of watching all of these-- the ways that technology has transformed our world, media, fashion, commerce, communications, everything. And I, just as a consumer of it all, I was like, what is this language that these entrepreneurs are building incredible businesses? What do they know that the rest of the world doesn't know? And code, it's a language at the end of the day. And so I, over the summer, I had a bit of time off. And I took a code class, and I was like, wow, this is incredible. How you can scale problem solving, you know, its creative problem solving at the end of the day. And even though I'm a fashion model, and maybe not what somebody would think that an engineer would look like, you know, I am first and foremost, I've met so many brilliant incredible engineers which is why we did this series. And it's just the tip of the iceberg.
There are so many women who are, kind of, combining this technical skill set with creative problem solving in ways that they're really passionate about. And I have this audience of young women who follow me, and I kind of had this aha moment, where I was like, learning how to code has been transformational in how I see the world and opportunities to build businesses, or make social impact, and scale that using tech. And I didn't have access to this Learning when I was growing up. I went to great public school in St. Louis, and I wanted to create access to the learning, first and foremost. And then also bring light to incredible women who are already the Trail Blazers, like yourself. I mean, who have defeated the odds to lead in their industries.
- Yeah, and right now you guys, I think, you're going to be in 50 cities this summer. This is a-- it's free.
- So what so what we started is Kode with Klossy, and it's a two week long summer camp where we teach girls Ruby, HTML, CSS, basically how to build something. And it started out with 21 girls that I just underwrote a scholarship for, and what they went on to do was incredible. They were winning hackathons, and scholarships, full rides to incredible schools. And I was like, OK, how can I grow this and reach more girls? And we had thousands and thousands of applications for those 21 spots. And so it's grown organically.
We have 1,000 girls we are going to teach this summer, and 50 camps across the country, and I'm really excited because, you know, it's about these girls. We actually have one of our scholars here, Sophia [? Angle. ?]
- Stand up, Sophia.
- She's brilliant.
- Sophia is awesome.
- So you took your calculator and started programming Adele's song Hello, is that correct? Yeah, and had it start singing, which is fabulous. And then moved in--
- That's just the tip of the iceberg. She's going run the world at some point, and she is-- but it's been incredible to see, you know, Sophia has not only taken these skills and, you know, transformed your own future. You know Swift, you did an internship at Apple, got your sister excited about code. She's been in our camp. Sophia is also a teacher and a mentor to other students in our camps, in our community, and I'm so proud of you, and you're the reason why we want to keep growing this.
- It's awesome. And one of the things that Sophia-- Sophia, I saw you said, you wrote, a piece about this. You said, the glass ceiling is not just above my reach, restricting my ability to grow. It's suffocating me, pushing me down into stagnation. But I refuse to allow the glass ceiling built by racial injustice and stereotypes to restrain my strong present capabilities. So let's go. Yeah.
I noticed she's already found Cady Coleman, who's one of my mentors, who's a spatial astronaut and was on the space station for six months. And so you guys keep talking over there.
- Yes, exactly. Katie also is going to be a part of our series as well, that you saw a clip of. So she is a superstar. We're excited to have you part of that.
- Thank you, sweetheart. And one of the key things is to be able to do the thing. Because there's those aha moments, you know, I had it. I'm a mechanical engineer, and I had that Jimmy Carter was putting solar panels on the White House. And our teachers made us do science fair, and I thought, I'm going to do something about energy. And it's that moment, you're reading the books, and you start to invent something, and then as soon as you do that, you're like, oh, I can do this. So it's practice makes permanent. And so doing that.
And then also this cascading. Like you're now mentoring younger people. So their whole program has not only-- you're teaching teachers. Extraordinary program. You've got mentors. You're starting to work with media, and highlight stuff. Technical women, scientific women, are so invisible. Invisible in tech and invisible in women. So we have to really see this group.
- They're there, and they have been. I mean, as your presentation showed before, they've been there for a long time. But it's actually bringing light to them. And I think that's the power of media, and that's something that's so incredible about makers and being here on this stage, and just having the conversation, and creating content to bring light to extraordinary women like who was just on the stage before as well.
- Yet you guys have partnered with folks like [? Flatter ?] and one of the things about [INAUDIBLE] it's a team sport. You're doing this but teaming up with all different groups. Melinda Gates was on the Grace Hopper stage, which is 18,000 women in computer science gathering every fall saying, there's many pathways, and even more pathways. And so the teacher program is really exciting because you're getting teachers, which is one of our greatest areas. We need more teachers to train quickly in months, not years, into this. And you guys are doing that.
- Yeah, I think it's multifaceted, and it's a big problem. Like you said, we all have-- I think there's a lot of ways that we can work together to really make impact. And Sophia is a prime example of just this impact, that this ripple effect. I think teacher training is something that is a really big part of this as well, and that's something that we're focusing on. We're going to train 100 teachers to run our 50 camps this summer. So we're going to train these teachers. By the way, all these camps are free, and we're paying these teachers this summer so that's supplemental income over the summer. But then they'll take this back to their communities and schools, and be able to start computer science programs in their schools that don't already have them.
It's a combination of having incredible teachers, who are already passionate, incredible teachers, and just giving them the skills to learn to code. And then also having a really dynamic, exciting way to learn this. And that's just, you know, that's the curriculum component. And it is creative and exciting. Code and tech, I think people get really scared by it, because they don't understand it, necessarily. And it's like, it's a language, and also it's such a-- I mean, I've grown up in the fashion industry. It's a very creative industry, but you know, I actually think pairing that creative kind of outlook on anything with kind of a technical understanding of using code or technology to really scale whatever you want to accomplish. I mean, it's a literacy that everyone should have, whether or not you want to be an engineer. And I think that that's what CS for all, and even I think access to that learning is key. And that's where it starts.
And that's how you change, you know, the pipeline of talent in the future. You know, you want to have more diversity in your companies, in the tech industry. It starts with having access to the learning for everyone, not just self-selecting boys who think that that's interesting to them. But having access to the learning for everyone will have huge and--
- And broaden. Life if you broaden what you understand it's for then anybody, whatever you're interested in, it's actually for that. And so encouraging people, having ways in, using media, seeing that it's high impact, and so we're going to shift into see somebody extraordinary. I mentioned science fair. There's a young woman here who is really driving impact in her community and in the world, and stepped right up. And let's get Gitanjali Rao, come on out.
- Another super star.
- We're going to come over here. We'll be back with you, OK. Let's hear it.
- All right. How many of us are absolutely sure that the water we are drinking is safe and contaminant free? For those of you who somehow know, you should be considered lucky. I'd like you to meet [? Manaya, ?] [? Obimepo, ?] and Nicholas. They are residents of Flint and are among thousands of adults and children exposed to the harmful effects of lead in drinking water. However, this is not just limited to Flint. Approximately 5,000 water systems in the United States alone have lead and can cause lead poisoning, and other health effects.
This is also a worldwide problem. Health effects of lead in water range from just headaches and nausea to possible seizures and even death. To add on, approximately 17.6 million people had lead in their water and did not know about it for months after. The current solutions in the market are either too cumbersome, take time, or are expensive. They don't look at detection, accuracy, and contamination levels together. The happenings in places like Flint and the impact that this is having on our community inspired me to look for a solution.
Introducing Tethys, the quick and accurate tool to detect lead contamination in water. It's based on the idea of carbon nanotube sensor technology, and MIT material science is working on using nanotubes sensors in order to detect various gases. I decided to expand this idea to apply for liquids as well. To detect lead in water. Let's look at how it works. My device includes three parts. A core device housing a processor, a Bluetooth extension, and a power source. A disposable sensor cartridge that attaches to the core device, and lastly, a smartphone that connects over Bluetooth to display results. Let's look at the science side of this. When I dip my device in the water I want to test, this disposable sensor cartridge includes carbon nanotubes especially treated with chloride ions.
Let's say the water here has lead in it. The lead in the water reacts to the chloride ions within the nanotube forming lead chloride molecules. This increases the amount of resistance to the flow of current as well as decreases the conductivity. I'm measuring the conductivity drop and the resistance change using the programmed processor. To make it easier for the user, I decided to add a Bluetooth extension, which sends all the data to a custom app on your mobile phone, which displays easy values of safe, slightly contaminated, or critical.
I'm currently working on evolving my device even further by redesigning the device structure for ease and compactness, also by refining the carbon nanotube sensor for accuracy. I'm currently partnering with Denver water in order to perform tests that require correct instrumentation such as interference and false positives. I hope to spreads awareness by volunteering for the river watch of Colorado and writing articles as well. I believe that the purpose of science is to make a difference. I want to think of Makers, Discovery Education, and 3M for giving me the opportunity to participate in the competition, learn more about innovation, and also be here to speak with all of you and share my story.
- That was so good.
- Thank you.
- Good job.
- Gitanjali, that was really awesome.
- Thank you.
- So I was just at the Sundance Film Festival, and one of the new films is called Inventing Tomorrow. And it's got kids who are in high school, they're just-- you're in seventh grade right now. But it's starting--
- It's not crazy. Seventh grade.
- But one of the things that, you know, I was lucky because I went to inner city public school. But my seventh grade science teacher required
- Megan give her money. She's done this before. [INAUDIBLE] do it again.
- OK, we'll do more. We'll do that. You know, the kids in-- my science teacher, our science teachers, made us do science fairs as part of the curriculum. And so we just did this for science class. And so thinking of it more like PE, and art, and how you just do, is what you guys can see. You're in a science magnet right now. Can you talk a little bit-- you used an Arduino. I happened to have in an Arduino here. Doesn't everybody have an Arduino? This is just a little board in your cell phone. What are you doing at school that's helping you see that you can just do things like this? You can just fix stuff, and work with your friends, and talk a little bit about that.
- Yeah, so I have a lot of mentors along my way like 3M scientists who helped me out, Dr. Schaefer, and some of the staff at Denver water, such as Dr. Hernandez Ruiz, they really helped me understand more about innovation, the instrumentation, and that girls can have the capability to do STEM related activities, and innovate as well.
- Yeah, Karlie is working a lot on trying to get over those stereotypes, right. And so the kind of media that you're doing.
- Yeah, I wasn't doing this in seventh grade, though. Let's be clear. It's pretty awesome.
- So I think, you know, one of the things I thought when Flint happened is I wish that we had been where you are now, and that all the young people, that maybe the seventh graders, could together have measured all the water in the country. Because we would have taught people how to do that, and then you could have shared your data sets, and started working with adults who who might help, who might be ahead of you, or maybe some seniors in high school, who might be ahead of you. But you can think about the way that we write Wikipedia all together, why aren't we working on this? And the young people in Pine Ridge have a lot of uranium and other challenges on that reservation. And so they've just started to do what you're doing, internet of things and testing, and that. What do you see that could happen if all the kids were connected, and what would you guys do together?
- Yeah, so that would be a dream come true if all girls, and even boys, my age--
- We'll let the boys in a little bit. Just a little.
- --my age, middle schoolers, if we all learned to innovate, come together, solve problems. Something that I think would really make an impact on this really happening today is for everyone to find a mentor out there. And so I urge each and every one of you to take in a student as a mentee and guide them along the path that they are passionate about. I am passionate about innovation, and together we can make a difference, really.
- I agree entirely. I agree. And, you know, it's really awesome to see. Your dad is here with you. My dad was a huge, huge advocate. He was always so excited about NASA, instilled that in me. I get so excited about space things. It's true. The impact you can have on one person can be a game changing for their life.
- And use the network to just ask for other resources, take them places. The other thing is, we face a lot of hard challenges. When I was doing science fair and my friend Mira was doing a project in a place called Love Canal, which was a huge super fund disaster for the country. And on our panel, one of her judges was from Hooker Chemical , and so we had really interesting learning about politics and about how-- having the kids in on our hardest problems with us as part of their schooling, which is what Lorraine's jobs is doing with the XQ School Movement. And so I'm looking forward to learning more about your school. And what we call is not a smart city, but wise community, and you are part of the leaders of the wise community, so thank you very much.
- Thank you.
HOST: Ladies and gentlemen, Lily Tomlin.
LILY TOMLIN: Well, Jane was going to be here today. But thank heaven they had this film, because it's more, she's just closer to you and more, you get to see her better. And she gets to talk about everything that she wanted to talk about, about "9 to 5," because she was the producer of that film. And she did make "9 to 5" to show the issues that Karen Nussbaum had talked to her about, the struggles for women office workers. And it led to so many changes, including the formation of the National Association of Office Workers and the winning of millions of dollars in higher wages and promotions of women workers.
But there are two issues still front and center, equal pay and sexual harassment. A few months ago, Jane and I started working in Michigan with the organizers of ROC, that's Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. I am a blue-collar kid from Detroit. Gloria Steinem is from Toledo. Little did I know that back in those days she was 90 miles away. And I could have gone to visit her. But I never did. I probably would have hitchhiked.
I'm a blue-collar kid from Detroit, where a paycheck to paycheck means something. And having worked as a food handler and a waitperson many times in my life, somehow working with ROC just naturally interested me. One of my first jobs was as a tray girl in a local Detroit hospital. After serving the maternity-- I forgot to tell you Jane was sick. That's why she's not here. She has a terrible flu. She didn't even come to work yesterday for "Grace and Frankie." OK, I forgot to tell you after all that.
After serving the maternity patients their food trays, we'd wash all the dishes. And then we'd send them back to the main kitchen for the next serving. I was young and full of mischief. So I would take all the dish towels, roll them into a nice bundle, and then I would walk out into the hall cooing to the bundle. And there would be all kinds of visitors gathered around every patient's doorway. And I'd walk down the hallway. And then I'd stop at the laundry chute. And I'd toss the bundle.
Also, I was a cocktail waitress in what today would be called a brestaurant. But that lasted about one weekend. And I was also Howard Johnson's waitress of the week, self-appointed. I was so full of mischief. But I was growing more and more aware of the inequities of being a woman restaurant worker, especially a tipped woman restaurant worker.
The restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest growing employers in America. It employs 13 million people. 70% of tipped workers are women. And 90% of these women report experiencing sexual harassment on a daily basis. The restaurant industry is the single largest source of sexual harassment complaints to the EEOC. This extreme harassment can be traced largely to the sub minimum wage system. When your base pay is $2.13 an hour, which is the federally mandated pay for tipped workers, and remember 70% of that 13 million people are women, you must look to your tips not your employer for enough money to live on. ROC is working for One Fair Wage. I probably didn't even mention that we went to Michigan and worked for ROC. Did I say that?
LILY TOMLIN: Yes, OK. And they are working for One Fair Wage. Well ROC is working for One Fair Wage, which allows those who work in the industry to receive a fair-based wage. And they keep their tips. Employers in seven states, including California, follow this One Fair Wage policy. Not only are their restaurants thriving, but all seven have half the rate of sexual harassment.
LILY: Saru Jayaraman is one of the founders and the president of ROC, and she is director of the Food Labor Research Center at Berkeley university. Saru is going to tell you about all the work that ROC does and their plans for their future. Saru Jayaraman.
Thank you so much to Lily. She's amazing. She's an amazing spokesperson for these issues. So as you heard, my name is Saru. I am the director and founder of Restaurant Opportunity Centers United, ROC United. We're a national organization that has grown over the last 16 years. Really following the explosion in the industry.
The restaurant industry, as you heard from Lily, right now is the second largest and absolute fastest growing sector of the US economy. It's almost 13 million workers. One in eleven Americans currently works in the industry. One in two of us in America and in this room has worked in the industry at some point in our lifetime.
How many of you worked in the restaurant industry at some point in your life? Will you look around the room? This industry touches all of us, and it especially touches women. And it impacts our lives for the rest of our lives in so many ways.
Because this industry is the largest and fastest growing, but it continues to be the absolute lowest paying, and that is because of the money, power, and influence of a trade lobby called the National Restaurant Association, which represents the Fortune 500 chains. The Applebee's, the IHOPs, the Olive Gardens.
And it turns out that this trade lobby has been around since emancipation of the slaves when it first demanded in an earlier form that they not pay their workers at all. A mostly black, former slave workforce. Pay them a $0 wage and let them live on tips. And that idea of a $0 wage was made law in 1938 as part of the New Deal. And we went from a $0 wage in 1938 to a whopping $2.13 an hour in 2018.
And a $2 wage increase for women over an 80 year period. And over that 80 year period, the Restaurant Association has said, it's OK. These are white guys working in fancy fine dining steakhouses. They're making a lot of money in tips. When in fact, 70% of tipped workers in America are women. They are women working at those same restaurants-- IHOP, Applebee's, Olive Garden.
They suffer from three times the poverty rate of the rest of the US workforce and the highest rates of sexual harassment of any industry. Because when you're a woman earning $2, and $3, and $4 an hour in 43 states, your wage is so low it goes entirely to taxes. You're living on your tips. You must put up with whatever the guy does to you, however they touch you, or treat you, or grab your butt because your income, your base pay comes from the customer, not from your employer.
And besides the millions of women that put up with this every day of their lives, there are millions more young women, our daughters, in fact, many of us, for whom this is the first job in high school, college, or graduate school in which we are taught, encouraged, told by managers, dress more sexy, show more cleavage, wear tighter clothing in order to make more money in tips.
And that has led to so many actresses, senators, and celebrities saying to us, you know, I've been sexually harassed more recently in my career and I didn't do anything about it because it was never as bad as it was when I was a young woman working in restaurants. Which means our industry is not only the worst on this issue, it sets the standard for the rest of the economy for women.
But there's good news on the horizon. As you heard, seven states got rid of this ridiculously lower wage. California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Minnesota, Montana, and Alaska. They require the employer to pay the full minimum wage with tips on top. And we have half the rate of sexual harassment in these states. It proves the point that this is an issue about power.
Because when a woman has power, when she actually gets a wage from her boss, she doesn't have to put up with anything and everything from the customers. And she actually doesn't have to be told by her manager, dress more sexy, show more cleavage, wear tighter clothing to make more money in tips because she doesn't feed her family entirely on tips.
Even better news, there are 500 restaurant owners across the country from Danny Meyer, to Tom Colicchio, Alice Waters, and many more that are working with us to change this policy in many more states. And thanks to Me Too and Time's Up, the Golden Globes, which I was at, and so much more attention that we've gotten over the last few months thanks to the leaders of this movement.
Governor Cuomo just announced, thanks to Me Too, that he will make New York the eighth state to eliminate the lower wage for tipped workers. It is a huge victory. And we're also moving this issue on the ballot in the state of Michigan where we have some of the poorest women in the country working in Detroit and upstate Michigan for $3.52 an hour.
These are women who largely don't vote, feel completely rejected by the political system entirely, are suffering from enormous levels of poverty and sexual harassment, and are excited to go to the polls to vote themselves an actual wage. This is how we're going to turn this country around. By giving these women an actual wage and a voice, and half the rate of sexual harassment.
There is also some bad news. President Trump has announced a new rule that would make tips the property of owners rather than workers. This would exacerbate sexual harassment in our industry by forcing women who already have to put up with harassment from customers to turn around and face it from their managers who now have the right to keep their tips.
But I just told you how we can win. It's women from different sectors standing together and saying, we all face these issues. We all need more power. And together, we can win it. We won it with Governor Cuomo. We can win it in Michigan. We can win it across the country and in every sector. And that is why I'm so happy to be joined by women, sisters, from other sectors as well today.
First I want to introduce Jenna Watanabe, who is a member leader of ROC and also a restaurant worker for 15 years. Also Monica Ramirez. Monica Ramirez who has achieved stardom. She is one of the leaders of the Farm Worker Alliance, has spent her life fighting for women in farm, among farm workers, and actually wrote a letter on behalf of farm workers to Hollywood calling for this kind of solidarity that has led to the victory we're seeing now.
And Mily Sauceda who also-- Trevino-Sauceda, excuse me, who is actually the founder of the Farm Workers Alliance and was a farm worker herself for many years. Thank you so much to all of you for being here with me. Jenna, do you want to start by sharing your own experiences in the restaurant industry?
JENNA WATANABE: Yeah, absolutely. So thank you, Saru, and thank you everyone at the MAKERS Conference for inviting me here. And I just want to call out all the really courageous women and voices that we've been hearing, and also the women that we haven't been able to hear from that may not be able to speak up or raise their voice at this time.
So my background, I worked in restaurants for 15 years. I spent 11 years working as a server in Salt Lake City, Utah and I spent four of those in San Francisco, California. And let me tell you the differences are astonishing. In Salt Lake City, you make $2.13 an hour as a server, which means that all of your income comes from tips. Which means that your income is totally reliant on the kindness of strangers or, in my opinion, the approval of strangers.
When I moved to San Francisco four years ago, that was the first time I actually got paid the same minimum wage as everyone else. Something that was actually above $2 an hour, which started at $10.74 and it's now up to $15 this year. So one of the things that was the most challenging aspect of working in Salt Lake City making $2.13 an hour and working off of tips was dealing with all of the disadvantages that came with that.
So you have income instability. If you are sick for a week, then a quarter of your month's salary is gone. There were four or five months-- it was very seasonal. So there were four or five months where I would be stressed if I could even pay rent. And then probably the most undisclosed but just commonly known is the really, I would say, very sexist undertones that kind of permeate the industry.
Unfortunately, it comes from all different types of people. Not just from the guests, but also from the managers, also from the coworkers. Unfortunately, I have a story that kind of encapsulates this. I was actually taking an order for a family once and I remember asking a little boy how he wanted his steak cooked. And right at that moment I felt this right on my butt.
And I turned and it was a stranger. A man I had never seen before. And he just gave me the sleaziest little, shh. And I didn't know what to do. I was in sever mode. And all I knew was, OK, I have to play it cool. I can't react because if I do, I could lose my job. I could lose tips. I could not make money. So regretfully and painfully, I didn't do anything.
When I went to the back of the kitchen, my behind the scenes, I was met with an even more disappointing response. A lot of my coworkers told me to just take the compliment. A lot of them told me to go out there, ask for money. And unfortunately, one of my managers told me that I should appreciate it while I'm young because when I'm older I'm not going to be getting this kind of attention.
So that was my experience working in fine dining. Imagine what it's like for women that don't work in fine dining. Imagine what it's like for women who are just starting their jobs out. And she was mentioning earlier Applebee's. All those areas, those places where women are starting out and they're just getting exposed to this really toxic culture.
I want to say that a lot of women deal with much more difficult things than what I experienced. And I think it's time that-- well, first of all, I want to acknowledge that there's a lot of restaurant employers that don't respond that way and that they should be honored. But for the ones that are abusive, for the ones that do continue this, that's why I'm a leader in fighting for one fair wage with ROC. Because honestly, the abusiveness of the restaurants' time's up.
SARU JAYARAMAN: This is no less of a problem among farm worker women. And so Monica, we'll start with you. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started with this work and the work [INAUDIBLE]?
MONICA RAMIREZ: Right. Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone. I come from a migrant farm worker family. My family's used to crisscross the country working in the fields. Picking cotton, and cucumbers, and other crops. And so both sides of my family, my mother's side of the family and my father's side of the family were able to settle out of agriculture and stay in one place year round, which was in Ohio where I was born and grew up.
And as I was growing up, my parents really wanted us to understand our history, understand where we come from. And specifically, they wanted us to know about the conditions of migrant farm workers. And so they talked to us a lot about the fact that farm workers are underpaid, sprayed with pesticides, exposed to dangerous working conditions.
And growing up hearing all the stories of the things that my family members had gone through working in the fields, that really was what inspired me to dedicate my career and my work to representing migrant farm workers. I went to law school to become a farm worker attorney and in 2002 was able to found the first legal project in the United States specifically focused on representing migrant farm worker women.
Because migrant farm worker women face not just wage theft and being exposed to pesticides and other dangerous conditions, but sexual harassment is a major problem for farm worker women. And the few reports that exist tell us that 80% to 90% of farm worker women say that sexual harassment is a major problem.
And it's so common that the fields are referred to as green motels and fields of panties. And so my work is very much focused on representing farm worker women and joining in solidarity with farm worker women to solve this problem because we know it's one that has long lasting consequences. And so that's how I came to the work.
And in the course of creating the first project that I mentioned to you, which started in Florida, I reached out to Mily Trevino-Sauceda who is my mentor and has been my mentor for almost 20 years. And Mily created the first farm worker women's project in the United States in the state of Florida called [SPANISH].
And really, through Mily's leadership and mentorship, I was able to really kind of find my own voice as an activist and advocate. And because of Mily's vision, a number of us worked together for many years-- you know, almost I guess 20 years, and in Mily's case, for almost 30 years-- specifically focusing on the problems of farm worker women.
And as a result of all the work that we were doing all around the country as lawyers, as social workers, as activists, there was this idea that emerged in 2010 to create the first national farm worker women's organization that would bring all of us together. And so actually, I want to just take a minute to call out the fact that we have some of our hermanas here with us today.
So [INAUDIBLE] from La Mujer Obrera. [? Alvida ?] [? Carbajal ?] from the Farm Worker Association of Florida.
[INAUDIBLE] from the Worker Justice Center of New York. These are just some of our members, but today we now have 17 organizational members around the country, all of whom are working specifically to address the issues that impact farm worker women, and really came from the vision of Mily to organize all of us and bring us together.
And we now work advocating and organizing from the fields to Capitol Hill. And we are pushing to ensure that farm worker women no longer experience workplace sexual violence, but that they also do not have to confront wage theft and some of the other issues that I mentioned.
And so I want to give an opportunity for Mily to talk about her vision and sort of what's brought us here today as a greater movement. So Mily, will you talk to us a little bit about your vision for the farm worker women's movement and how you started it?
MILY TREVINO-SAUCEDA: OK. As Monica said-- gracias, Monica. [SPANISH] I do come from a migrant farm worker family. I did start working as I was eight years old. We were migrants, some of us. We were ten children in our family and it was very, very hard. And we went through so much. Some of us were born in the state of Washington, others in Idaho, and others in Mexico, and it was very, very hard.
So not until we arrived in California was when we, we learned about the United Farm Workers movement. And our family, I was working with my, my father and my brothers picking lemons. It's a hard, very hard labor. You have to as you pick and fill up the sack, it's 90 pounds. And that's 16 of those sacks in the bin.
So we would have to, like, get three, four, or five different bins during the year. The, the day. Excuse me. And not only that, it was all the issues that our families confronted. And not only us, it was the pesticide drift, women being discriminated because if they were pregnant, that you could not, you were not allowed or there were some jobs you were not allowed to, to be in.
And there were just different issues. The exploitation. All that. Our family learned about the UFW and we-- we started organizing with. And UFW was only involved with grape workers and we were lemon pickers, so we, we did that kind of organizing.
And it was a life experience because from there, I wanted to organize everywhere. But of course, in other places I was fired. It was very easy to fire people. Especially women. So but with time, our family was very well known in the Coachella Valley here in California.
And so with time, I started doing other kinds of jobs and then we did a needs assessment with farm worker women in the late '80s. I was an organizer. I was doing a lot of things and, and working with legal services, helping out and whatsoever.
But then when we did this, the needs assessment, it was very, very interesting because the needs assessment was bringing out the issues of farm worker women. The women were sharing their, how they felt. What were their experiences about housing issues, worker related, even harassment.
But they never said it happened to me. It happened to someone else they knew. The domestic violence, the violence against women, the discrimination. Everything was happening to someone else. While I was organizing in the fields, I was sexually harassed not only once, I was sexually harassed many times. And why? Because I was, I was raised very, very, very traditional.
And so when I had the chance or I wanted to talk about what was going on when the person was harassing me, I went to my dad and my dad, bless his heart, he didn't know how to deal with it. So he started instead of asking me, started questioning me. So I silenced myself. I just cried. And from there on, I just didn't want to talk about it.
And it, it happened at other times in the same place, and then in other companies the same thing to the point that I did, I silenced myself. I didn't talk to anybody about it. I was afraid, I was ashamed, I felt shame, all that. And then not until we did the needs assessment-- that was like 10, 10 years after. Or 11 years after.
The women were sharing that that was happening to someone else. And I remember saying the same thing. It happened to someone else. So just to make this shorter-- because people that know me know I talk a lot-- but what, what happened from there on is that the women were sharing stories where it was the first time many of them said, someone was really interested in hearing their story.
And so when we, when they shared that, it was interesting because then they said, we asked them actually, you are sharing with us all these problems and issues. Do you think there, there's, do you have recommendations or you think something can be done?
The majority of them in their own words were saying to me-- oh, mind you, a lot of them were complaining about what was, if the services were being given good, good services, and they all complain about the services. But just at the end they said, if there could be an opportunity for us to organize or actually get together to support each other, to do things, to do something for others, then let's get together.
And that's how we started that movement. We never thought it was going to become a movement. We just wanted to get the women together. And the women themselves-- right now the woman that, one of the women that was the co-founder, one of the co-founders, [INAUDIBLE], she's 96 years old and she's still working with us as one of our organizers.
Talking about since 1988 until now, OK? So I'm very happy for that. We started that movement with the [INAUDIBLE] Campesinas here in California, and this is how we started meeting other women in other parts and met Monica. And then we organized more women and blah, blah, blah. OK, [INAUDIBLE]?
MONICA RAMIREZ: So Mily, what would you, what would your advice be to folks in the room or folks who are watching via live stream about how to get started as an activist from the lessons that you've learned?
MILY TREVINO-SAUCEDA: You know, one of the, one of the biggest things that I would like to share is this. We-- even we, even if we come from the community that we want to be targeting to work with, we're not the saviors. Let's listen. What helped me was listening to what was going on with these women because then they helped organize, help us organize more, more surveys.
And listening, and then believing that they have the strength, and it's about us supporting and helping them so that they can enhance their leadership. It's, it's just, I mean, if we trust, we, we believe in them, we have the patience. I mean, we all are very resilient. So let's believe in each other. Let's trust each other.
Because we are very smart. We're bad ass. And we call ourselves chingones in Spanish, which means bad ass women.
MONICA RAMIREZ: So there are a lot of things that are happening politically, and certainly it's been difficult with some of the immigration enforcement that we're seeing. You know, more than half of migrant farm workers in our country are undocumented. And so for farm worker women who are undocumented, threats of violence against them by perpetrators who use their immigration status is a huge concern.
And it's one that we've been trying to advocate on for a long time to get a new immigration bill passed. So will you tell us a little bit about what you believe some of the priorities are for your industry and what, what members of Congress or other politicians can do to help?
SARU JAYARAMAN: Yes, so first there's something everybody can do, which is that we have an app that tells you how restaurants fare on issues of wages, benefits, and promotion practices. You can find it at our website, rocunited.org. You can use it to communicate with restaurant owners. Say, I love the food here, love the service, but I'd love to see you do better on your wages or I'd love to see you get an award in this app.
But policy wise, you know, as Jenna mentioned and I said, we need one fair wage. We need it. It's such a reasonable request. Let women in this country be paid an actual wage from their employer rather than having to rely on the kindness of customers or tips. Let them have tips above wages as they were always intended to be, and let them keep their tips.
President Trump, let them keep their tips. And we can win that together working together as farm workers and restaurant workers and many other workers across, you know, all of us work. So all of us working together as women to fight for power, greater power and equality on the job.
We just want to close by asking each of us what brings us hope, you know, as we move forward in this work. Do you want to start?
JENNA WATANABE: Sure. I would say something that brings me hope is people that fight for the underdog and really advocate for people who are underrepresented. And then, you know, more importantly, conferences like these that are including voices from all different levels, all different backgrounds. Because let's be honest, it's not feminism unless it's intersectional.
MILY TREVINO-SAUCEDA: I want to read this. And it's short, so, OK. I wrote this. It says, bringing visibility to this issue has opened doors to hope and trust. The power of the collective-- that means that all us, of us working together-- has gone stronger as we work in solidarity to support each other.
We need to support each other. Not just say we're going to collaborate with each other. We will continue strong and we will succeed eradicating the issues that are creating so many problems against us. Let's work together. That's hope. Thank you.
SARU JAYARAMAN: Thank you.
MONICA RAMIREZ: For me, I, all, all of us in this room give me hope, and the fact that we're all here together listening to the issues that impact our lives. And I think certainly from what we saw with Time's Up and what happens at the Golden Globes, of us really looking across sector, across movements to figure out how we can both lean on each other as well as support each other. That gives me hope.
I think that I don't recall ever seeing something like this happen in the way that it's happened in the last couple of months. And I believe that it's by working together and by lifting each other up that we're going to be able to address some of these issues including ending sexual harassment and making sure that people are being paired, paid fair wages. But we have to keep meeting like this, and we have to keep having these conversations in order to make the changes that are required.
SARU JAYARAMAN: Totally. And I would just add what gives me hope is that I have a five and a seven year old, two little girls. And whether they choose to work on a farm and be a farm worker or work in a restaurant, both of which are highly dignified professions with a lot of skill and integrity and should be valued as the professions that they are.
Whatever they choose to do, I will be darned, I will be darned if by the time they grow up they experience what we've experienced or what the women in restaurants and farms experience. I will be darned if all of our daughters experience it because time is up for all of us and for our daughters as well. And I think we can express that power and unity through a unity clap. So Mily, will you lead us in a unity clap?
MILY TREVINO-SAUCEDA: OK. Let's all stand up. All right. The unity clap is that you start clapping slow and then you go quicker and quicker. But then when you do the max, then you go slower, slower, slower, slower. And then we're going to say, can we do it? And you say, yes, we can.
SARU JAYARAMAN: Si, se puede.
MILY TREVINO-SAUCEDA: And then I'll say it in Spanish, si, se puede. You're going to say, si, se puede. OK. Is that too much? OK. All right. OK. Let's start.
Can we do it?
AUDIENCE: Yes, we can!
MILY TREVINO-SAUCEDA: Can we do it?
AUDIENCE: Yes, we can!
MILY TREVINO-SAUCEDA: Se puede!
AUDIENCE: Si, se puede!
MILY TREVINO-SAUCEDA: Se puede!
AUDIENCE: Si, se puede!
MILY TREVINO-SAUCEDA: Thank you. Thank you.
- Ladies and gentlemen Lena Waithe and Liz Plank.
LENA WAITHE: Hey.
- Oh wow, wow, wow. Hey.
LENA WAITHE: Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
LIZ PLANK: I believe the exact subject line of the email that I received with your video from Makers was, "NO, YOU'RE CRYING! " in all caps.
LENA WAITHE: Got it.
LIZ PLANK: And, in fact this video is amazing. Your story is amazing. You are amazing.
LENA WAITHE: Thank you so much.
LIZ PLANK: I usually try and crowd source questions for interviews, and this is the first time I've not been able to do that, because every person who sent a question was, can I hang out with her?
LENA WAITHE: Oh! Yes, yes is the answer.
LIZ PLANK: So, obviously-- yeah. I mean, same. Yeah, you have a lot of fans out there.
LENA WAITHE: I see that.
LIZ PLANK: So how are you feeling right now? "The Chi" has been renewed another season, which is amazing.
LENA WAITHE: That's good, that's good, Thank you, thank you.
LIZ PLANK: How does it all feel?
LENA WAITHE: You know what? It feels normal. It feels like that's what's supposed to happen. I think I feel as though my life and my steps have been ordered. And so I think I continue to be obedient, and put my head down, and do the work, and just really try to be kind, try to be a good collaborator. And I think try to be as raw, as open, as vulnerable, as broken, as I can be. Like, own it, own all of it, and just try to work through it on the page. And then, hopefully, someone can see their brokenness in mine when they watch something I've made.
LIZ PLANK: What does it mean to own being broken for you?
LENA WAITHE: I think it means just to sort of look at all the flaws that you see in the mirror and zoom in on them. I think that's the thing. It's like this sort of thing I try to do when I'm writing is run toward the problem. If there's something bad happening to a character, say, OK, how can we get right up in that problem's face? Because that's the interesting part. Whatever people are bashful about or nervous about or ashamed of, that's the magic, that's your story, that's your testimony.
LIZ PLANK: Do you think people run away from those things?
LENA WAITHE: It's interesting, because I try to mentor as much as I possibly can, so I have these sort of I call them baby writers that I work with. And it's funny because they'll-- and I was very blessed. I got to go be a mentor for the Sundance Episodic Lab, which was phenomenal. It was an amazing-- it was really an amazing experience for me. I don't know if the Fellows were very excited. I was excited to see them. But the thing was I would read their material, and it was obviously really good and really strong, or else they wouldn't be there, but when I would talk to them they would give me these interesting stories. They would tell me these things, and I was like why is that not in here?
LIZ PLANK: Right.
LENA WAITHE: The story you just told me is a much better cold open than what you currently have. And they'd go, oh, well, I don't know. I mean, that was a sort of crazy thing that happened and I don't really talk about it much. I'm like, well the thing that you're afraid of is probably going to linger in an exec's mind long after they've read it. That's going to make them not just have a general with you, but want to call their boss into the room and say this is something we need to make. And that's the difference between writing pretty and writing naked.
LIZ PLANK: Right. And you had incredible mentors. You worked for Ava DuVernay. Everyone, when they talk about you, they just say your work ethic is incredible, no matter what level you worked at. What would be your advice for young people who are entering the industry?
LENA WAITHE: I mean, honestly? You have to be obsessed. You have to be obsessed. I think it's a thing of the trait of mine is I'm obsessive. I'll still-- I remember being a kid and watching episodes again and again and again. I'll still, much to my fiance's chagrin, I'll put on an episode of "Mary Tyler Moore" and just study it and look at it. Like The Lars Affair is a perfect episode of television. Or look at "A Different World," Mommy Dearest is one of my most favorite episodes.
And that's the thing. Looking at these episodes of television that are old but still looking at them now and finding things and saying, oh, that's interesting. They waited a beat before he comes in to deliver that, and that gets a bigger laugh. Things like that, I'm obsessed with it. And it's funny because I really relate a lot to athletes. There's this really great documentary that Kobe did about his sort of life, and it's true. He's aware that he's like, I know I'm not like everybody else. I know I'm not normal. Because he's like, even in my darkest hour, I'm shooting free throws. Because that's all he had, you know? So for me, it has to be everything to me, to be amazing at it. And the funny thing is, I don't look at the Emmy as like, oh OK, I've mastered the craft. It's like no, in that moment I was the best I could be in that moment, but I'm still very much a student. I'm still trying to perfect it. I think that's the goal, is to be as great at it as I can possibly be.
And it does feel like second nature, it does when I'm typing or it comes and the muse is there, I can feel it. But to me, it's a constant marathon. I'm always trying to figure out how can I be phenomenal?
LIZ PLANK: Right. I love that. Speaking of an Emmy award, your Emmy award, which is incredible and made amazing history. You were the first woman of color to win for comedy writing. There was only one other women of color who had ever been nominated.
LENA WAITHE: Mindy.
LIZ PLANK: Mindy Kaling, who's amazing as well. You know, I was at home watching that, and I was so excited and ecstatic, but at the same time it was like, how did it take so long? How do we ensure that the floodgates are open and the diversity of voices remains in Hollywood?
LENA WAITHE: Well here's the thing. Hollywood is a heightened version of society. So--
LIZ PLANK: Yep.
LENA WAITHE: The playing field is not leveled. It still isn't, and I think there's this element that we start to trick ourselves, because you say, oh well, we've got "The Chi," you've got "Insecure," you've got "Atlanta," aren't we doing better? Shouldn't we pat ourselves on the back?
But if you look at the numbers-- look at how many channels exist. Look at how many streaming services there are available. And then come tell me about how great we're doing in terms of shows created by people of color, run by people of color. It's still a white man's world.
The interesting thing is there's a shift happening where people want their entertainment to reflect the society in which they live. It still doesn't, but we're getting there. And I think to me it's not just about visibility, but it's about the quality of the content. So people say, oh I know we've come so far. It's like, well we still don't have a black "Handmaid's Tale." We still don't have a black "Mad men." We've got black folks doing black folk shit.
LIZ PLANK: Right.
LENA WAITHE: Which is comfortable, it makes people feel comfortable. It's interesting to me where you see certain shows where you have black people being athletes, being musicians, being drug kingpins. That's comfortable. It's a comfortable role for us to be in. My goal is even to make people-- I think that's interesting about "The Chi." The main character is a chef. That's his dream. I think to me it's, how do we make audiences uncomfortable when watching characters of color doing things that they do?
LIZ PLANK: And do you think-- you talk about the reflection, that Hollywood needs to reflect society, or it's reflecting a society that's not advanced enough. Do you think that Hollywood can change society as well?
LENA WAITHE: I think we can try. I think the most powerful pen is one held by an artist. I think the images that people see, that they take in every week-- I think more people watched "This is Us" than watched The State of the Union speech.
LIZ PLANK: Yeah. Clap. No? OK. Yeah, let's clap.
LENA WAITHE: But I think-- and I think the image-- because I recently watched the episode of "This is Us". It was a great episode after the Super Bowl. But I don't think people realize how revolutionary it is to see a black man tell his black daughter that she made his heart do a somersault. You know what I'm saying? That is extremely important, to see a caring father loving his daughter in the intimate, quiet way. Not unlike a white father would love his white daughter. I think that's really-- that simple scene is revolutionary. I think seeing people of color be human beings on television is revolutionary, because, again, we're trying to unlearn these things that we've been fed for so long. I mean, whether it be Stepin Fetchit, Mammy, you know, Sambo, these the piccaninnies, those were the early images in Hollywood. That's what people saw.
And so I think it's still-- what we're trying to do is sort of almost a therapy now, of showing a character like Essa on television. Showing a character like Brandon on television. Showing a character like Donald Glover's character on "Atlanta." I think this is a part of the chemo, and it's the early stages. We're still weak, we're still throwing up, we're losing our hair. And we are not in the clear yet. It'll be a while, but I think it is going to take not just those who are making the art, but also we need the execs, who may not look like me. Because oftentimes when I walk into a room, I'm pitching to folks that don't look like me, don't walk the world in the way I do, and don't live in the same neighborhood I do. But I have to do my best to explain to them why my story is important.
And I think that I'm very blessed. You know, I think the execs at Showtime, know they were like, yeah, this story needs to be told. That is an ally.
LIZ PLANK: So what do you do when you have to go into these rooms?
LENA WAITHE: I've got to go, you know, be amazing.
I love-- it's interesting, because it's like, you know, I think a lot of us, black people in the industry, can relate to Barack Obama. We know what it's like to have to be excellent just to get in the room. I really like-- I can't remember who said it, but I think Tom Hessy said it-- but in order for Barack Obama to be President, he had to be Harvard graduate, he had to be the first black president of Harvard Law, he had to be just this phenomenal, exceptional human being. All Donald Trump had to do is be white and rich.
LIZ PLANK: Right. Which is, you know. Is he rich?
LENA WAITHE: I think there's still an element of that in Hollywood. To be successful, there's fewer things you need when you're a white male. When you're a black woman that happens to be queer, you got to run a little bit faster, you've got to work a little bit harder, and you damn sure better be phenomenal on the page. Because they read me before they met me at Showtime, and then they met me. And they said, OK. And I'm grateful for the collaboration, I'm grateful for the marriage, and I look forward to a long relationship with those guys.
LIZ PLANK: Barbara Smith, said that instead of the word allies we should use the word co-conspirators. What would you like people in the industry, white men in particular, if you would like to tell them what to do, I would love to know what you think they should do to be-- because I would ask you how do we make Hollywood more diverse, but I think it's unfair to put that burden on people of color, on women. What would you like allies in the industry, or co-conspirators, to do?
LENA WAITHE: Honestly, to get out of the way.
Because the truth is, let us do our thing. Not let, I don't want to ask for permission. We're going to do it. I'm going to make art, whether I have a platform or not. But I think the biggest thing is there's an interesting thing about-- I've sort of realized about particularly people of color. Even though we're speaking English, we're speaking another language when we talk to each other. And I think sometimes that may bother those who are not people of color, to be standing near that conversation and not be fluent in it, and not be a part of that conversation. I think there needs to be a new day in which our white allies are grateful to witness that dialogue rather than needing to be it.
LIZ PLANK: It says, "Please wrap up." Now it says, "Time's up." Um, so--
LENA WAITHE: Time's up.
LIZ PLANK: Thank you so much, Lena.
LENA WAITHE: Thank you for having me.
LIZ PLANK: I wish we could do this for hours. And thank you all for listening. Thank you.
LENA WAITHE: Thank you all.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Nancy Lublin and Ann Miura-Ko.
NANCY LUBLIN: So, before we sit down, we want to bring out Gitanjali. Because this is kind of the tech startup panel. Come on. It's the tech startup panel. So, go ahead.
ANN MIURA-KO: So, you know, I loved the pitch that you gave. And as a venture capitalist, I invest in startup companies. And I noticed, though, one thing that was missing. And as a mom, I'm always going to look for that one thing that was missing and tell you what it was. What was it?
GITANJALI RAO: Funding.
ANN MIURA-KO: Funding. You have all these people here. You forgot to ask for funding. So take two, take two.
NANCY LUBLIN: So you've got--
ANN MIURA-KO: Tell them.
NANCY LUBLIN: So, you've got $25,000, right?
GITANJALI RAO: Yes.
ANN MIURA-KO: What else do you need?
NANCY LUBLIN: What do you need?
GITANJALI RAO: Another $25,000.
ANN MIURA-KO: OK, so she's got a prototype, what you saw. It's going to have to go through a lot of experimentation. We are not starting until this room raises $25,000. She has [? men-- ?] we have one taker.
NANCY LUBLIN: So we've got one--
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'll take the whole thing.
NANCY LUBLIN: You'll take the whole thing?
ANN MIURA-KO: Take the whole thing.
GITANJALI RAO: Thank you.
ANN MIURA-KO: And it's that easy.
NANCY LUBLIN: That's amazing.
ANN MIURA-KO: It's that easy. You've just got to ask.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you.
ANN MIURA-KO: You go get her email and get the check. That's how it works.
NANCY LUBLIN: That's how it happens.
ANN MIURA-KO: That's how it works, everyone.
NANCY LUBLIN: All right, we can start now. Thank you. Awesome.
ANN MIURA-KO: Thank you, so--
NANCY LUBLIN: That's just how it happens, right?
ANN MIURA-KO: That is-- that is the way Silicon Valley works. I know, I've been there a while. So Nancy, I wanted to get an update on-- on this Crisis Text Line. Because I actually looked at those numbers, and I was thinking those look impressive. But not nearly as impressive as reality today.
NANCY LUBLIN: Yeah, so all of those numbers are different. I'm about 20 pounds heavier. And we have now processed, at Crisis Text Line, almost $62 million messages.
ANN MIURA-KO: Amazing. How many volunteers?
NANCY LUBLIN: In the last-- Rachel's here, right? In the last 28 days, how many active volunteers? it's like 3,962 I think in just the last 28 days. So almost 4,000 active volunteers. And we've trained about 12,000 people to be crisis counselors. And we've trained them all online. But yeah, 62 million messages in just over four years because there's a lot of pain.
ANN MIURA-KO: But tell us a little bit more, though, about what Crisis Text Line does.
NANCY LUBLIN: So Crisis Text Line actually grew out of dosomething.org. Because Do Something became the largest organization for young people in America, because one, it's not homophobic. And two-- that was funny, OK-- and two-- and two because it texts with its members.
ANN MIURA-KO: Right.
NANCY LUBLIN: And that's how anybody here who has a young person, that's the only way you communicate with them. So that's how they communicate with each other. And so that's how they communicate with Do Something. And so we would text people campaign ideas, and they-- 200,000 kids for each campaign, I mean great open rates on text.
But we would get out-of-flow messages from kids saying things like I'm being bullied and I don't want to go to school, or my dad's hitting my mom, what should I do? And then we get a message from someone who said he won't stop raping me, it's my dad. He told me not to tell anyone. And the letters, r u there? Yeah, so we gave her a hotline number, for him, I don't know.
And the next day came in and-- did we hear from this person? No, we never heard back from that person. And within two weeks I was like look, if they're going to text us this stuff, let's start a hotline by text. My-- you follow the user, right? So, like, people wanted to share this stuff by text, so let's launch. So we launched in the end of 2013, and it's been 62 million messages since.
ANN MIURA-KO: Amazing. What great impact.
NANCY LUBLIN: Yeah, it's largely about suicide and depression, a lot of anxiety, family issues, I mean everything. We see the opioid addiction, we see all of it. And it's all handled by volunteers, people like you, over the age of 18 who apply online and go through a background check and about a 34-hour training, and then-- and then save lives 24/7.
ANN MIURA-KO: So Nancy, it just seems-- the thing that I'm struck by is the fact that you've done these incredible nonprofit organizations today. And each one, in and of itself, is a massive movement. It moves millions of people into action. And I'm just-- I'm just trying to understand from your perspective, you know, what moves you from one movement to the next?
NANCY LUBLIN: I like solving problems. I like solving problems for real people. So all three of these organizations were helping people be better people. So Dress for Success was helping women reclaim their destinies. I have to say, this is so weird to talk about, because Gloria Steinem was the original advisory board member to Dress for Success. And I'm eternally grateful for you. I was-- no one knew how to pronounce my last name, and I was nobody in New York. And I bought a ticket to a charitable event, and then I begged her to let me walk her home. Which now would be so creepy, and you should have called the police. And instead-- and instead, by the end of that walk home, I mean literally we were at the door and she was like, OK, OK then. And I asked--
ANN MIURA-KO: The startup life.
NANCY LUBLIN: And I asked her to be on the advisory board. Gitanjali, that's how it's done. You just-- you stalk people.
ANN MIURA-KO: That's how it's done. Stalk people.
NANCY LUBLIN: Yep.
ANN MIURA-KO: Follow them home.
NANCY LUBLIN: And so I'm super grateful to you. But yeah, from Dress for Success, to Do Something, to Crisis Text Line, it's about helping people be better people.
ANN MIURA-KO: So I have to ask, what's next?
NANCY LUBLIN: Well, you know what's next. So-- so Crisis Text Line, we have this incredible data corpus, right, like Fei-Fei was talking about earlier. It's 62 million messages, all sentiment, right? It's an unstructured data set. It's entirely sentiment, it's largely severe situations, and it's tagged by humans on both sides. So we've learned incredible things about moving people from hot moments to cool moments, and words we should use and not use, things to say.
ANN MIURA-KO: Can you give examples?
NANCY LUBLIN: Yeah, so here's two examples. So one example is the word overwhelmed. We've all felt, at some point in time, overwhelmed, or you've had someone in your world say overwhelmed. The counterweight to overwhelmed, you want to guess what the counterweight to overwhelmed is, to that word? Most people guess calm, content, control. It's strong. So you take a feeling word. It's actually balanced out best by a capabilities word, not another feeling word.
But my favorite way that we use data is we stack rank based on severity. So when messages come in, we take people by severity instead of chronologically. So instead of going in the queue just by order that you text in, if you're suicidal or homicidal, we take you first. The way that we figured that out was by using some of the fancy AI that Fei-Fei was describing earlier today.
So we built an algorithm. We originally put in words like die, suicide, overdose instead of those-- if those words show up, make those people first. And then we layered on machine learning to the corpus and said, well what really ends up with us calling 911? Which we do about 20 times a day, by the way. For people at imminent risk of suicide or homicide.
And it turns out there are thousands of engrams, bigrams, and trigrams. So words and word combinations that are more powerful than the word suicide. For example, the word military, twice as likely for us to call 911 than the word suicide. Fentanyl and other named drugs like ibuprofen, Advil, five to 16 times more likely for us to call 911. The unhappy face crying emoji, four times more likely for us to call 911 than the word suicide. And so we put all of that into the algorithm. And that's how we decide who comes first and who comes second. This is using science and technology to save lives. And-- thanks.
And so-- so you asked what's next. So I have to brag about you too. So you asked what's next. Companies started calling us and saying can you teach our employees the way you taught your crisis counselors? So can you use some of that data and those learnings like--
ANN MIURA-KO: That ju-ju.
NANCY LUBLIN: That's ju-ju, exactly. I am a Jew. Yes. So can you use some-- can you-- can you use some of that to teach our employees empathy and compassion? And I was like, well that's interesting. Would you pay us? So we, this morning--
ANN MIURA-KO: The nonprofit turned into--
NANCY LUBLIN: A for-profit subsidiary, exactly. So today's the birth of my first for-profit company. So, yeah. Except-- except classically, a Crisis Text Line gets all the equity. So everyone's clapping for my husband, but whatever. And-- and so, yeah.
So Crisis Text Line is the majority shareholder. And Ann is actually the lead funder. And there's other Silicon Valley and kind of iconic business leaders who funded this seed round of this company we called Loris, that's going to train people in companies to have hard conversations, like how to ask for a raise, like how to tell an employee that their performance isn't so great, like how to have a conversation with someone of a different gender. So the set of avoiding those conversations and leaving people out, you lean into them and you actually learn how to do this well. Because we're not taught how to communicate, we're taught--
ANN MIURA-KO: You're designing. You're designing the conversation.
NANCY LUBLIN: That's right. Conversational design.
ANN MIURA-KO: Which I always thought was so-- so fascinating because it's this one skill that we learn. We learn everything, right, we talk about in Silicon Valley. We design cell phones, we design the best software. But who's ever talked about designing a conversation?
NANCY LUBLIN: Right.
ANN MIURA-KO: And that's actually the fuel for everything. And so for me, like when you told me that story around why you are building this company, it felt like it was the most important thing at this time when we-- we've lost trust in so many things.
NANCY LUBLIN: Well, I'm grateful that you felt that way and feel that way. Because now this company can exist. And we started talking to companies, people are nominating companies that we should consider, to select, to bring into the beta. So if you know a company that is either really good at this, or really cares about this, or should really care about this and learn these skills, and have their employees learn, you know, customer service, talking to--
ANN MIURA-KO: Sales.
NANCY LUBLIN: --people who are angry and anxious about bills, or things like that, to learn what the right words are, right sentence structure. We'd like to help. And when [? Loris ?] makes lots of money, Crisis Text Line will make lots of money. And that's how the not-for-profit sector should roll.
ANN MIURA-KO: And tell me one more thing, why Loris?
NANCY LUBLIN: Oh, Loris because if you Google Loris, it is the most adorable, cuddly animal you will ever see. And if it bites you, it will fucking kill you.
ANN MIURA-KO: Kind of like a bad conversation.
NANCY LUBLIN: Kind of like a bad conversation. Like, you think this stuff is soft and sweet. People think, before they meet me, I'm soft and sweet. But actually, yeah, but I'm not. And so--
ANN MIURA-KO: I'm not either.
NANCY LUBLIN: Yeah, exactly. And so-- and if you get these conversations wrong, they kill careers they kill companies. So it's like that adorable-- like, it looks like an anime sloth. I don't know.
ANN MIURA-KO: I think it's incredible. Because it's it's probably very underestimated how important that data set is. But as Fei-Fei pointed out-- and I have a PhD in math modeling, so one thing I know is how important that data set is, how unique it is. And so being able to leverage that for something so meaningful is a really, really unique opportunity.
NANCY LUBLIN: We have 15 seconds left. And I'm going to get this in before we go, because there are so few venture capitalists like you. She's also on the board of Lyft. She was one of the original investors in Lyft. She helped build the team--
ANN MIURA-KO: Only take Lyft.
NANCY LUBLIN: There you go.
ANN MIURA-KO: Until the next [INAUDIBLE].
NANCY LUBLIN: Until [INAUDIBLE] speaks. Right, exactly. And Refinery, and it was really important for me to find an investor who was going to value, frankly, my not-for-profit background, and see it still as a proprietary advantage and lead. And see the possibility here. So--
ANN MIURA-KO: Absolutely.
NANCY LUBLIN: I'm just grateful. And shake and bake.
ANN MIURA-KO: I'm so excited. Shake and bake.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Nadia Bolz-Weber.
NADIA BOLZ-WEBER: Hi. All these presentations about like corporations and C-- I didn't know what a C-suite was till yesterday, and--
And STEM jobs. And these women are so cool. I'm like, should I do a career change? Like, every single one though, like they talk about what they do. And I'm like, maybe I should do that. And then I remember that I have a Masters of Divinity. I have-- and having a-- a degree from Seminary is like having a degree from Hogwarts. Basically--
--outside the wizarding world, nobody cares that you know all about the magic.
My-- my last book I wrote was called the "Accidental Saints: Finding God in all the Wrong People." And I called it "Accidental Science" because my publisher wouldn't let me call it purpose-driven sinners. And I--
--don't know why. But-- and do you guys know what a prayer labyrinth is? It's like sometimes, they're outside a church, or sometimes they're in a cathedral. And it's a labyrinth. And there's literally one way in and one way out. And you do it a lot of times as a group, as like a meditation.
OK, so as somebody who stumbles through life and faith in general and who has never managed to feel spiritual for any extended period of time-- which isn't actually a joke. I put up a Tweet not long ago that admitted I-- I get what only can be described as road rage when stuck behind someone walking slowly in a prayer labyrinth.
But I'm like, look, no one is impressed by how into this you are. Speed up. You know, like there are people trying to pray behind you.
So as someone like that, I only really feel connected to other people who are maybe also like that a little bit. And yet, so much of religion and spirituality feels like it's all a program to make ourselves into something less janky and like more pure-- like it's all designed to sand down our edges, to make us more smooth. And really be it evangelical purity culture-- was anybody raised in evangelic-- does anybody have a purity ring? Anybody made to-- raise them high.
You know what this is? It's where conservative churches have girls pledge to not have sex till they're married. And then, they put a little ring on, a purity ring. And I-- yesterday, I finished the revisions on my latest book, which is basically a book long take-down piece of the church's teachings around sex. And I basically want to instigate an art project in which girls-- women actually-- mail me their purity rings to be melted into a sculpture of a vagina.
I thought I-- I could give it to you, Gloria.
I-- I feel like-- as a thank you gift from us all. I might melt down purity rings into the sculpture of a vagina and give it to you as a thank you. OK. OK, so so much of religion and spirituality is about, like, smoothing down our rough edges, like making ourselves into something less janky and more pure. As if with enough yoga, or meditation, or Bible studies, or whatever it is, we can be less jagged and more smooth.
But as someone who has gone through a whole life trying to seem strong as hell, and who's realized my real power is in being vulnerable, I kind of have to call BS on all of that because I feel like it actually is the jagged edges of our humanity that connect us to God and to one another-- like our failings, and misconceptions, and all of that stuff, it creates enough texture on us that other people have something to hold on to.
OK, so there's one thing that I-- that I think is really good about having a Masters of Divinity, and that's this. For today, for my talk, I'm going to reclaim a few theological terms-- repentance, Satan, and apocalypse. Ready?
OK. The word "repentance," metanoia in Greek, actually kind of means to snap out of it. It means to think new thoughts. And so I was preaching a sermon recently where I asked my congregation what thought do you have about yourself to yourself the most often? Think about that for yourself. What do you say to yourself about yourself the most often? And I had them write them on Post-It notes. And they'd post them on the wall. And-- and the answers kind of destroyed me.
So they were things like, I'm fat and worthless. No one will ever love me for who I am. I'm a failure. I'll never be enough. These are the things that people carry with them. These are the jagged things that people leave unsaid. And in a way, it made me realize that so many of us are tormented by the distance between our ideal self and our actual self, between our ideal income and our actual income, our ideal personality and our actual personality-- like our ideal weight, like our driver's license weight and--
--and our actual weight.
I know that I have like this other version of Nadia in my head for some reason. She-- she doesn't get angry as often. She's totally fine in traffic. She-- she can get into yoga positions I can't get into. She's more patient. For some reason, she can recite whole poems.
And I think, like, if I commit myself to the right spiritual practices, I can become more her and less me. And it's almost like it's an emotional and spiritual Pinterest board that's always mocking me.
So repentance is the ability to think different thoughts. It's the ability to stop that voice in our head, which brings me to number 2, Satan. OK, so in the Book of Job, "hassatan" means the accuser, the one that repeats harmful things said to me as a child, that voice that makes us eat less than we should or more than we should, that voice that makes us spend more hours at work than we should. It makes us go to ridiculous lengths to prove it right or to prove it wrong-- the accuser, the accusing voice.
And sometimes, we try to shut up that voice with alcohol, or sex, or shopping, or carbohydrates, or success. But it doesn't always work. Those things don't always make it shut up. And our-- our culture colludes in this fantasy of self-perfection, this idea that you can shut up that voice, and you can somehow become the ideal version of yourself. But here's the thing, like, no one's ever become their ideal self. It's a-- it's a moving target.
It's like Sisyphus's rock. It's this mirage of water in a desert, and you just spend all your energy trying to get to it. And that just creates more thirst. And as a theologian, I just-- I believe we have to have people in our life that shut up the accuser. And I believe that the self that God has a relationship to-- now, don't let the language trip you up, I don't have a dog in this fight-- so it could be Buddha, it could be the universe, Beyonce, I don't care.
Whatever that is, whatever the origin is for you, that deep core, your actual center of gravity-- the self that God is in relationship with and that God loves is your actual self. God is not waiting for you to become more spiritual to love you, or more successful to love you, or to get better at yoga to love you. The universe, God, the spirit loves your actual self.
Now, we can strive in our professions. And this is the striving group of women. And there's nothing wrong with that. But what I wish for each of you is you have the space in your life where you are loved not for what you do, but for who you are-- like Barbara Smith said, home. OK, third-- I-- I'm running out of time. Third word, apocalypse-- the apocalypse, this is what that word means in Greek. It just means a revealing. It just means seeing what's underneath. So right now, we live in an apocalyptic time.
There's not an uptick in sexual harassment. It's just being revealed. So there is a spiritual warfare element to the patriarchy because the accuser lies to us. It tells you you have to apologize for who you are. That's a lie of the accuser. It tells you women are your competition. That is a lie of the patriarchy. It tells you that your value is in your fuckability. That is a lie of the accuser.
So here's what I wish for you. Shut up the accuser. Get to work, knowing that your value lies in your connection to the divine, and nothing else gets to tell you who you are-- ever. Just a note, when we took those Post-Its down at church, we took them outside, we made a bonfire. And then, someone said the most House for All Sinners and Saints thing I've ever heard someone say. They just said-- they looked at it burning all of our dark thoughts, and they said, oh, my God we really, really should have brought marshmallows.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Bozama Saint John.
BOZAMA SAINT JOHN: Oh, yeah. OK, I am really so honored to be here today in front of you. Those who know me will tell you that they've seen me on stages before and talking about things about women's empowerment, diversity in the workplace-- all kinds of topical conversations. But today I'm going to talk about something that is very personal to me, that is close to my heart. And I'm going to need your help because I am terrified. And I need you to send me love-- I hope you do that-- so that I can open up and be as free as I feel God is calling me to be.
So my story begins when I was about four years old. This picture was taken on my fourth birthday. You can see there that I thought was a bad ass then, too. But a year later, my father would be thrown into political detention. He was serving for a government in Ghana, which is where my parents are from. And the government was overthrown by the military in a coup d'etat.
Our faith journey began then. My mom escaped Ghana with myself, my two younger sisters. She was pregnant with my third sister. And my dad, while in prison, made a covenant with God because every day people were being executed, his colleagues were being tortured-- all kinds of inhumane things were happening, and he would sit and listen. And he made a covenant that said, if he got out alive and he was able to connect with his family again, that he would serve God for the rest of his life.
And so I became a PK after my dad was released. Does anybody know what a PK is? Preachers kid? OK, well, we got some PKs in here. PKs don't have great reputations, OK? The reason why is that we have the faith base, right? Which is what happened to me. I grew up going to church, going to Bible study, and the choir-- all those things. But I didn't have it in my spirit really.
It wasn't until much later on when I had gotten married-- I became pregnant about five years after we got married. And at 6 and 1/2 months, I became ill with severe pre-eclampsia and had to deliver our first daughter, who did not survive that day. And I was angry with God. I thought, I have done everything. I you've been faithful all this time. There is no reason why this should happen to me.
But what God showed me was that, if I made a covenant with him about what I needed in my life, that perhaps something new could happen. But I didn't really hear it. I got pregnant again about four months after Eve was born and delivered Lael in May of 2009. She's the delight of my life. Her name is Hebrew. It means belonging to God-- La el-- because I felt that, if God would allow me to have her, I would talk about her. I would talk about my covenant that day.
But I have to confess something. I was still angry. I was battling with depression. It destroyed my marriage. And it really wasn't until 2013 when, after being separated from my husband, we discovered that he had cancer. And in October of that year, we discovered that it was going to be terminal. For me, it changed how I looked at my connections with faith, with healing. What did it mean to be in a position in which I continuously ask God why me? Why did this happen to me?
I became fearful of life because my husband was 44 years old, almost 44. He died four days before his 44th birthday. My daughter was also four at the time. And it reconnected us because I saw his faith. He wasn't angry about what had been served to him. He was definitely disappointed. We talked a lot about what it meant, what it looked like on the other side. Because even though we'd both been raised in Christianity, we really didn't understand what it would mean.
Quite honestly, I was angry because I felt like perhaps he had it easier. I had to be here. I had to face this again. And as I held his hand on the last days and I laid my head on his chest, [CRYING] I made another covenant with God. And this time, it was in my spirit and I said, I do not want to be afraid. I do not want to be depressed. I want to walk in this life joyously. I want to be happy. I want to live every day that I am here on the earth as the most joyful and faithful person. And I need help to do that. I prayed it continuously. I prayed it in the dawn when I would wake up. I would pray in the middle of the afternoon at work. I would pray it in the evening.
There were many nights when I didn't sleep. And one night, I walked into the living room and I saw my daughter who was four. I don't know how she took her blankets into the living room, but she did. And she was bent over, and I was wondering what she was doing. I was about to interrupt when I realized that she was praying.
Now I don't know if my faithful journey and the prayers that I prayed every day are affecting her or not. But what I know is that I am looking at the world in a way that is so ethereal. It goes above and beyond the pain I have suffered. It makes me joyful and hopeful and confident. I find it funny when people ask me how did I get through it or how did I get over it. And the truth is that healing is an active word. It's happening all the time. It's happening right here. I can feel it happening as I receive the love from you, as I see some of you in empathy, that the healing is a constant.
And I hope that my daughter is looking at my faithful journey and understanding that this is a development, that this doesn't happen just at one time, or that anything that happens in your life, that I will not be able to stop for her does not need to stop her, that we all have the ability to stand in faith, regardless of religion and know that our purpose here is greater.
I turned 41 a few weeks ago. I celebrated it on the beach. My daughter took this photo. I was praying. And I was asking God yet again to help me look at this world and be faithful, to walk confidently, to not be afraid or encumbered by the tragedy, or by the fear of the unknown. In fact, one of my favorite psalms I saw that morning-- Psalm 45:6-- which says, God is in the midst of her. She will not be moved. God helps her in the dawn. I could not be prouder to stand here in front of you today, regardless of the things that I face or what has happened to me. And I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. But I'm not afraid because I know God is in the midst of me, and I will not be moved. Thank you so much.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Rachel Thomas.
RACHEL THOMAS: So my assignment today is cover the state of women in 10 minutes. That seems a little daunting, but I'm a fast talker. And we'll see how I do. So if you're gonna talk about the state of women, you need to look at the ugly and the bad head on, but you also need to realize there's a lot to celebrate. So with that in mind, I give you the state of women in 2017, the bad, the ugly, and the good.
It sounds weird to start with the bad rolling off the tongue, but let's start with the bad. As all of you know in this room, men still run the world. 11 of 195 countries are run by men, and the number's going down. Five years ago, it was 17.
The UN is supposed to represent all of the world's people. Not one woman has ever been Secretary General. Women hold just 23% of seats in parliaments around the world. There have been 113 Supreme Court justice of the United States. Only four have been women. Three sit on the bench today.
Women hold 20% of seats in the US Congress, and it's far worse for women of color. You are 19% of the population and hold only 17% of the seats. We have six states run by governors right now. Only one is a woman of color, Susana Martinez of New Mexico. And only one is an openly gay woman.
And it's not just who's running our countries. It's who's running our companies. Women hold 12% of board seats worldwide. In the C-suite in the US, only one in five women. One in 30 are women of color.
And get this. Adding insult to injury, 50% of men think women are well represented when one in 10 female-- one in 10 leaders is a woman. And sadly, 30% of women feel the same way. It is hard to imagine a groundswell of change when we're that satisfied with the status quo.
And this cuts across all industries, even industries that are dominated by women-- education, nonprofits. Women make up the majority of accountants and auditors in the United States, but very few are CFOs. In kitchens, more than half of food prep workers, only 19% of chefs.
Consider how this imbalance plays out in one industry that we're all close to, the media. One of the 10 largest movie studios is run by a woman. And largest here means largest market cap. Two out of 10 of the largest ad agencies and zero of the largest media companies. And the people in power shape our culture.
91% of women say advertising doesn't speak to them. Yet, we make 85% of consumer purchasing decisions. That is a really big gap.
Women's sports. More women are playing sports year over year, and men's sports still dominate on TV. Far more men report and therefore shape the news we watch. And all of this inequality is having an impact on our girls.
At 6, girls think they are less talented than boys. Almost 46, almost 50% of girls are afraid to speak up and to disagree with others for fear they'll be disliked. And one in three girls are afraid to lead.
And we know this. When women rise, our companies are stronger and safer. Sexual harassment is twice as prevalent in male-dominated organizations than in female ones. And when more women are in leadership, company profits are higher, and we have better policies for everyone.
As the great Shirley Chisholm said, and I've got to read this, "Tremendous amounts of talent are lost just because that talent wears a skirt." Now more than ever we need to tap the full talents of our population.
And I wish that were the worst, but it's not. So here's the ugly. Too many women and girls are poor and marginalized around the world. 70% of people living in extreme poverty are women and girls. We are the majority of the hungry in the world today.
Fewer than 20% landowners. Women are concentrated in lower-skilled, lower-paid jobs. That means they have less security, and they are more likely to be victimized at work.
Nearly 2/3 of wage workers in the United States are minimum-wage workers. And I want to stop on this for a second. The average woman in the United States with two children, if she works full time at minimum wage, she is living at or below the poverty line. On average, women are paid 23% less than men worldwide. In the United States, we all know it's 20%.
It's worse for black women. It's worse for Latinas. We used to be 86 years away from closing the pay gap. We are now 100. 130 million girls are not in school. On average, there are 15 million child marriages a year, and these are all girls.
Women have far too little control over our reproductive health and choices. Almost half of all abortions conducted in the world today are unsafe. It leads to one in 10 maternal deaths. 87-- I want to go slow here. 87% of counties in the United States do not have an abortion clinic. 87%.
Maternal mature-- maternal mortality is the leading cause of death in women-- is a leading cause of death of women reproductive age. And over 200 million women who do not want to get pregnant do not have access to modern contraception. In the United States-- the United States is one of only two countries that do not offer maternal leave. The other is Papua New Guinea.
Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and violence against women are pervasive. 60% of women in the United States have been sexually assaulted, and far too few feel like they have a voice to speak up. One in three women worldwide has been a victim of sexual assault or physical violence. 120 million girls have experienced rape or forced sex acts. That's 10% of our girls worldwide.
And women still lack fundamental rights in many countries. 46% of countries do not provide legal protection against domestic violence. In 30 countries, spousal rape is legal. In 18 countries, a husband can tell his wife, force his wife not to work.
And when you slow down and think about it, these are all critically, critically important human rights. And it takes me back to Hillary Clinton over 20 years ago. "Women's rights are human's rights-- are human rights."
So the good. A lot went wrong in 2017, but a lot went right. So let's look at it.
3 to 5 million people around the world marched for women's rights. It was the largest single day of protests in the United States history. And people took to Google, and searches for feminism and intersectional feminism were at an all-time high.
Kamala Harris passed multiple glass ceilings. Nevertheless, she persisted became a mantra for women everywhere. Crosswalks received a makeover in Australia. They turn heads, challenge gender bias.
For the first time ever, an all-female flight crew circled the globe thanks to Air India. And when I say all-female, I mean the pilots, the crew, people on the ground, and the people doing air control. The Fearless Girl stood on Wall Street and became an emblem for women's empowerment.
The US women's team earned a hard-earned and overdue pay bump. The UK became one of the first countries that requires companies to report compensation by gender, and we need more countries to do this. Larissa Waters breastfed in Australian Parliament, and mothers and women around the world cheered her on.
President Macron appointed women to half his cabinet posts. And in the US, 175 CEOs signed the largest ever commitment to diversity and inclusion. Serbia elected its first female and first openly gay prime minister. Kenya passed a law guaranteeing free sanitary pads for school girls. So now most girls can go to school most days, which has not always been the case.
Six teenage girls from Afghanistan, a country where it's been very hard for girls to get educated, they took the world stage at a robotics competition. And in the US, the Girl Scouts announced 20 new badges-- 23 new badges in STEM. Maxine Waters reclaimed her time.
Katie Sowers became the first openly gay LGBTQ NFL coach-- yes, I just said that-- and the second female coach in the NFL of all time. Lena Waithe became the first black woman to win an Emmy award for comedy writing. And she's here, and she's a badass. Women for the first time ever were able to get behind the wheel and drive in Saudi Arabia. Jess Bennett became the first gender editor at the New York Times.
Starting with Harvey Weinstein, brave women started to speak out. And more women followed, and more women followed. And it became a movement. And millions of people around the world said #MeToo.
So the Miss Peru Contest usually starts with the women getting up, and they share their body measurements. So this year, they were having none of that. All 23 contestants instead cited stats about sexual-- sexual violence and other types of violence that women in Peru face.
It was a big night for women on election night. The first female Olympian wore a headdress, and she inspired the first hijab-wearing Barbie. 98% of black women voted in Alabama for Doug Jones and against Roy Moore.
This year, the top three grossing films featured all women in lead roles. This was the Getty Images' top-selling image for women in 2017. Here it is from 2007. So pictures do speak louder than words sometimes. But worth noting, word of the year, feminism.
So far this year, Iceland made it illegal to pay men more than women. 150 female athletes bravely shared their stories abuse. And Larry Nassar has been-- he'll spend his lifetime in jail. Time's Up became a rallying cry thanks to so many of the women in this room.
Incoming women at Oxford outnumbered men for the first time in the university's 1,000-year history. Oprah Winfrey, of course, won the Cecil B. DeMille Award and wowed us with her speech. For the second year in a row, women marched for women's rights. And a record number of women are running for office, 390 in the House, almost 50 in the Senate. And that gives me hope.
So 2007 was a year where we faced a lot. But we rose together. We rose to the occasion. We took to the streets. We stood shoulder to shoulder. We were louder than we've been in years, maybe decades.
So when we look to 2018, we just have to keep going. We just have to keep pushing harder. And that's why gathering here at MAKERS is so important, 'cause it reminds us what we're doing. It gives us energy, a sense of solidarity to keep moving forward, because there is so much history, or should I say herstory, still left to be made. Thank you.
[MUSIC PLAYING] - Ladies and gentlemen, Sheryl Sandberg, Laphonza Butler, and David Smith.
DAVID SMITH: Well, I'm certainly delighted to be here, my first Makers Conference.
SHERYL SANDBERG: Welcome.
LAPHONZA BUTLER: Congratulations.
DAVID SMITH: There's two incredible Makers Here. And in our book, "Athena Rising," my co-author, Brad Johnson, and I talk a little bit about how a lot of the successful, talented women out there and their experiences with male mentorship, and the one skill set that they found to be most effective was listening, was really listening. Listening with gender humility and not making assumptions about what women need or what they want. And certainly not looking at them in a way that they were somehow some alien species that they couldn't relate to or identify with.
And that men who approached women and their mentoring relationships with a certain amount of gender humility, really had a learning orientation and that women said that it was really helpful because it made the relationship feel more collegial, more mutual, and more reciprocal. And so today, in the spirit of practicing what we preach and walking the talk here, I'm going to shut up and we're going to listen and learn from these two change makers who have really inspired a whole generation of people and really touched a lot of lives out there.
So with that, Sheryl, certainly you have been out there and you've applauded the Me Too movement and the long awaited visibility and accountability it's brought to the workplace. But also you've talked about the harmful and potential unintended consequences out there. And so what is some of that backlash that you're concerned with?
SHERYL SANDBERG: Well, I think everyone here knows that we have a real watershed moment here. This is a moment to get things right. The Me Too movement is critical because it's shown how much sexual harassment was there. A lot of people think there's a lot more out there, and the need to end it now forever in a really institutional way. And that means not just change for the moment, but long term institutional change. It means organizations of all sizes and all types need policies that take any report seriously, that do thorough investigations, that take swift action.
It means victims need to know there's no retaliation and they are going to have the services and the legal support, something you've worked so hard on, that they need. And it means we really have to end the culture of complicity, where someone looks away and it's not their problem. It's everyone's problem. We also have to make sure that we continue getting women into leadership roles. I mean, you just saw Rachel, the amazing head of Lean In, tell you the state of the world. And those numbers are bleak. 6% of the Fortune 500, 20% of the Congress, 11 countries in the world.
And one of the things that men have always had more of than women, and particularly than women of color, is mentorship. And mentorship is critical for getting into leadership roles in all industries. That's been proven over and over again. And so Lean In and Survey Monkey launched a survey. We reported it today. And today in the US, almost half of male managers are afraid to do basic work activities of the woman.
So if the reaction to what's going on in the workplace is going to be an excuse to not mentor women or to isolate women further, that is not the answer and that is unacceptable. Because-- yeah. Yes.
We need to end sexual harassment, now and forever. And we need to invest more in women, not less. And we believe this. We believe this very strongly.
DAVID SMITH: As you mentioned, we've certainly both spent a lot of time around the importance of mentorship and sponsorship and written about it and studied it for years. Tell us a little more about today's exciting day and the launch of a mentorship around Lean In.
SHERYL SANDBERG: We're launching Mentor Her, hashtag mentor her, because everything needs a hashtag these days. And we're calling on leaders to do two things. The first is to mentor women, both men and women. But importantly, men are going to have to be part of that mentorship because look at the numbers. Women can mentor women, and that's hugely important. But if men don't do it, we know what the data says, which is women won't get the leadership roles they deserve.
We also want and demand, really, that access is equal. Equal. Our survey shows that men, senior men right now, are 3.5 times more likely to hesitate to have dinner alone with a junior female colleague than a male colleague, five times more likely to not want to travel with a female colleague than a male colleague. If you're not going to have dinner with women, don't have dinner with men. Have breakfast and lunches with everyone.
I told this story in Lean In five years ago. There was a partner at Goldman Sachs who realized he didn't want to have dinner with men. And he announced and said-- sorry, didn't want to have dinner with women. He said, and I won't have dinner with men. I'm only having breakfast or lunches. Whatever people want to do, they have to be explicit and make access equal, because the only mentorship that happens, happens with real relationships and one on one conversations.
Those conversations need to happen. They need to happen in a workplace that is free of harassment, that is safe and secure for everyone. But those are critical to changing the dynamic. And by the way, it won't shock anyone, guess what organizations have lower levels of sexual harassment? More women in leadership. And so we know. We know more women in leadership is critical to ending sexual harassment long term. We know it's critical to how people are treated. We know organizations that are more diverse perform better and have better-- organizations with more women have better work life policies.
So this is in everyone's interests, but we're going to have to be explicit. It's going to have to be an explicit call to treat women equally and have equal access.
DAVID SMITH: Absolutely. Laphonza, we'd love to hear your perspective on the role of mentorship and women and some of the unique challenges that you're facing with the workers that you represent.
LAPHONZA BUTLER: Sure. You know, I said this to Sheryl earlier when we were just chatting. She wrote and dedicated an entire chapter of her book, Lean In, to mentorship. And there's one simple line where she says, if we want something to change, you have to do something. And to me, that's what this entire conversation is about. That is what Mentor Her is about. It is the responsibility that we all have to do something. We don't get to sit on the sideline anymore.
We don't get to sort of be passive in our engagement. We have to do something. And so I'm excited to be a part of the conversation and be here and to share a little bit about the workers that I work with. You know, there's a couple of numbers that I want the audience to appreciate. First, 10,000 people a day turn 65 in the United States of America. I represent women, women of color, who are caregivers to our elderly and disabled in our communities.
And the next number I want you to know, if you are a Californian, is 14,000. That is the average wage that caregivers earn in the state of California. The next number I want you to appreciate is 48%. All of these women go to work every single day, work full time, and 48% of them still qualify for public assistance. This is the moment where we all have to do something if we're going to create the kinds of communities that our children and grandchildren deserve. This is our time and this is our moment to do something about it.
DAVID SMITH: Great.
SHERYL SANDBERG: Yes.
DAVID SMITH: You know, there's been a lot of focus on sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, in corporate America broadly. What are the resources that the women need, in particular, as you think about the women in the caregiving industry to handle these issues? What are the resources that they need for that?
LAPHONZA BUTLER: I think Sheryl talked about a number of them. And I think it's important before we get to a solution, we just take the time to understand the problem. These are women whose job it is to love, where touch is inherent duty that they perform each and every day, whether it's bathing, providing medication, getting them up and dressed. Any touch that they offer is one that is intended to add value.
These are also women who exist in people's private homes, and often find themselves in very vulnerable positions, late at night. Some of their patients have mental disabilities, Alzheimer's, dementia, can be aggressive. And so it's understanding the problem that we can start to formulate solutions. So policies, policies are critical to protecting women in this industry where their touch every single day is one of good intentions. And we've got to demand those kinds of policies.
Second is courage. We all have to have the courage to support them, whether they are in our homes, providing care to our children, to our grandparents, to our parents. Let's have the courage to stand with them as they begin to raise their voices in joining women in media and entertainment. Let's encourage them to also join those voices. And lastly, I would I say, because I work for a labor union, collective action. Women are not standing alone anymore, whether they are home care workers or farm workers. I saw the panel earlier, women are choosing today that we're not standing alone anymore and that collective action has to be a part of whatever solution we come up with.
DAVID SMITH: Great. So it seems that we're still far from living in a world that, again, is inclusive and equal, and that part of that challenge and that problem is this power imbalance in the workplace. What would you tell someone who wants to be a more inclusive leader and an ally for any underrepresented group in the workplace.
LAPHONZA BUTLER: I would tell them what Sheryl said. Just do it.
SHERYL SANDBERG: Lean in.
LAPHONZA BUTLER: Lean in.
SHERYL SANDBERG: I mean, I think there's a lot to say here and it's super important. One of the things I deeply believe and I hear over and over is that if leadership at the top, particularly if it is white and male, which it often is, is going to speak that they want diversity. They're going to have to really show they mean it. And the best way to do that is to say that it's the right thing to do because I believe in it. But it's also the smart thing to do. I believe my company's performance will be better if we have more diversity at all levels, and especially in leadership levels. And the data shows that.
More diverse teams outperform. And so saying, I believe in this so that people believe you, which means it has to be tied to the results, the right thing and the smart thing is really important. And then you really have to recognize the biases. I think people sometimes are afraid to say, wow, there's bias we all feel. We all feel it. Ready? I'm going to prove it. Men, men only. Raise your hand if you were called bossy as a little boy.
LAPHONZA BUTLER: Two.
SHERYL SANDBERG: It's a man.
LAPHONZA BUTLER: Two.
SHERYL SANDBERG: There's usually one or two. OK, women, raise your hand if you were called bossy as a little girl. Right? Now what do we know? We know the data. We know that little girls are not any more assertive or aggressive than little boys. In fact, it's usually the opposite or equal. But look at that result, right? Men, raise your hand if you were told you're too aggressive in the workplace.
In your performance review, too aggressive. Women, too aggressive. Yes. That's the problem. But you know what? We can solve that. At Facebook, we're doing searches through performance reviews for the word aggressive, assertive. We know that when women get feedback, they're often given feedback even by the most well-meaning people, on their personal style. And when men get feedback in the work, it's more often the hard skills they need.
You can make sure that women, as you mentor them, as you sponsor them, as you work with them, get the same kind of feedback. Pay, every company should be scrubbing its pay cycles every time. We do it at Facebook. We make sure women, and people of color, and people of all ages are being promoted at the same rates, rated at the same rates, paid fairly. Every company can and should do that.
And you can also take the steps to stop the bias. There's nothing stronger than the most junior woman, junior man, senior woman, senior man saying, you just interrupted her. Can I hear what she had to say. Or actually, that was Dylan's idea. When it's attributed to the man, who's been through that?
Anyone else can say, actually, that was Dylan's idea. And we can stand up for and correct the biases. We also have to dig deep into the biases on women of color. Because there are all these biases on women, and then there are all these biases on race. If you have two identical, the same resume, you have a white sounding name and a black sounding name and you send those out, that white sounding name is worth 50% more callbacks, that's eight years of experience in the workplace.
The other major bias we have is on motherhood. Two identical resumes, one says PTA, just a mother, one doesn't. You see eight years of experience in the workplace differences. And so if you are a black working mother, you've got them all. Right? You've got the gender bias. You've got the race bias. And you've got the motherhood bias. So we need to pay a lot of attention to the gender bias, a lot of attention to the motherhood bias, and a lot of attention to women of color who are facing all of these multiple biases.
And we need to acknowledge we have them to fix it. Because pretending it's not happening and it's not happening in your company, in your organization, is often the root of the problem.
LAPHONZA BUTLER: The only thing that I would add is that these are biases that don't exist just within institutions, whether it's a company or an organization. These are biases that exist in our communities. And fundamentally, what our companies are, what our organizations are, are microcosms of our communities. And so we've got to take the individual responsibility as well. Each person in this room should leave here saying that I'm going to mentor a woman of color in some way, shape, or form. I am going to make a difference. I am going to make a contribution.
Because we don't come to these kinds of conferences just to build our network. I know women. We come to these kinds of conferences to build our communities. And so let's not just network together. Let's build our movement together. Let's start here building our movement and changing our communities because that's where these biases exist. And that's where the real change will come.
SHERYL SANDBERG: And we saw this today with a Mentor Her launch CEO. I know Tim Armstrong is here. Bob Iger of Disney, you know, from person to person to person, what we saw were men stepping out and saying, I am proudly going to mentor women. I'm not going to take this moment and shy away. I am not going to take this moment and do anything but make the investments we need to make to get to more equality at the top. And that's what I think everyone here is committed to doing.
DAVID SMITH: Someone asked the elephant in the room. So men are still in this majority of leadership positions across industries today.
SHERYL SANDBERG: The great majority, like more than the majority.
DAVID SMITH: Yeah, more than the majority.
SHERYL SANDBERG: Not like 51.
DAVID SMITH: Yeah, not like 51.
SHERYL SANDBERG: Like, a lot of the majority. All of Rachel's data she shared with you.
DAVID SMITH: And it's clear that if we're going to make advances and move forward into a safer and more equal workplace, that we need men's support. So for the men out there, what advice do you have for them? If they're men who really want to get it and they want to do the right thing in this very important moment of time?
LAPHONZA BUTLER: You know, again, it's not that complicated. Right? It is not--
SHERYL SANDBERG: Amen.
LAPHONZA BUTLER: I'm sorry. It just feels like we're studying for the LSATs or something. It's not that hard. My grandmother always-- I grew up in the South. My grandmother always told me, when you know better, you do better. And part of doing better and making sure that men are able to lean in as allies, is teaching them the data. Rachel just gave an incredible presentation. Every man in here should have been taking notes and making sure that they're going back, talking to their fellows at the barbershop. Hey, boys, we got to do better.
It's not that complicated. I would say, try to know something, learn something, and then do something.
SHERYL SANDBERG: Agreed. And know that it's-- and believe that it is not just good for the organization but good for you. If you are the most junior level man, or the most senior CEO, and you can work better with half the population as women, then put in people of color, you're more than half, you're going to outperform. That is a powerful reason to do it.
At home, real partnership. You cannot talk about real equality until we talk about real equality in the home. Women still bear the great majority of the responsibilities in the home. That is holding them back. And there's nothing more important than doing the work of being a parent. And it's so important that men should do it too. I'm going to ask a question of men here. How many men have been-- how many has someone said to you, should you be working? Anyone? Anyone? Women. Women. OK, 70% of mothers are working and they are breadwinners for their family, implying that that is a choice that they could make is absurd and insulting and doesn't recognize the reality.
And so we need equal partnership. Where there are heterosexual couples, if a daughter sees her father, sees her father, doing his share, not good enough to say, oh, dear, you can do anything you want. You actually have to do stuff. You have to help in the house. By 14, that girl will have broader career ambitions than someone who doesn't see her father doing some. Children with active fathers are happier, healthier. They do better in school. They do better professionally.
On anything you want to measure, that investment pays off for men at home and in the workforce. And I think, what was your grandma's thing? I love that.
LAPHONZA BUTLER: If you know better, do better.
SHERYL SANDBERG: If you know better, do better. If men clearly see the benefits to everyone of equality, they will know better and do better.
DAVID SMITH: Well, that's all of our time here today. And I just want to say that, again, trying to role model this, I listened and I learned. So I'm going to be better. And I commit to mentor her. Thank you both.
SHERYL SANDBERG: Yay.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Blake Irving.
BLAKE IRVING: The terrible thing about those commercials, they worked. They worked. I mean, it says a lot of things that are pretty nasty about our situation, I think. What happened after the first commercial at the Super Bowl? The company gained 20% market share in six weeks. Over the course of last 10 years it has 70% share of the domains marketplace in the United States, close to that globally. Because of GoDaddy girls. And I did have a lot of people say to me when I took the gig, WTF, dude? Are you kidding me? GoDaddy? That's like totally off brand for you. And I said, yeah, but, you're not gonna believe we're gonna be able to do here. You won't believe it. So let's just talk about transformation for a minute. Now besides this guy looking like probably my doppelganger about 30 years from now, he's a he's a presidential biographer, James burns, and transformational leadership is talked about a lot. And some of the very important tenants of transformational leadership versus transactional, is transactional leadership is this thing where you're focused on the bottom line. You change some processes, you change some systems, you do some things will actually make your numbers better. And god, it's really important because GE, Unilever, the General Motors of the world, they will not improve their bottom line. They will not have margin expansion if they don't do that. Transformational leadership is something completely different, and it's deeper. It's a little more difficult. Because you actually have to go into the underlying assumptions that exist in the company and say, you know something man, it's not just about the bottom line, bottom line looks fine. The company was growing great. But there's definitely something wrong. And, honestly, I'm almost talking to the wrong audience. You ought to be a bunch of dudes right now because that's who needs to hear the message. There was something seriously wrong. So the transformation, from my perspective, was about how do we make this a purpose-based company culturally. Change the culture, move it in a direction that makes people feel like, wow I'm proud of what we do and I don't have to be embarrassed when I tell folks that I work for GoDaddy, which did happen to a lot of employees that I talked to.
But the question, when you get into well how do you do transformation, what's that look like? For me it all starts with a thing I call a vision hypothesis. And a vision hypothesis is something that you can bounce off of people and people listen to it. And you say this is what I think this company can be. I believe five years, 10 years from now, this is what we represent. And, while you're bouncing it off of them, you're watching their language and you're seeing if they think you're smoking crack or they believe in you or yeah, I get it I think that's really interesting, maybe I'm willing to join.
I won't tell you what ours was yet, but I started recruiting people based on a hypothesis that said we're going to be a company that's inclusive. We're going to actually change the way we're perceived globally. We're going to become a global technology company. We're going to be a platform that small businesses and people that have side hustles use to make sure that they have somebody who's their backup if they lose their primary job. That's what we're going to do. That's our purpose in life. And I started recruiting people. I started bouncing it off of men, I started bouncing it off of women. And they said, god that's really cool. How do we show up? Because we don't show up like that now. We will. We will. But do you believe in that hypothesis? Is that something you think you can get behind? And folks start saying, yeah I think I can. So while you're bouncing it off of smart people and you're testing it, you're asking questions, simultaneously hearing from folks on whether they think you're right or you're wrong. The vision hypothesis that we ended up publishing in the company, this is after bouncing it off of a lot of folks way smarter than me. Pretty much everybody in the room way smarter than me. And I basically got this incredible amount of feedback that said we want to do something bigger than life. Everybody wants to work for a company that's successful, puts up good numbers, your stock goes up, great, that's fantastic. But developers and engineers don't spring out of bed in the morning because your stock went up $1.
They don't. Because they want to have a bigger purpose, a deeper calling, and it matters. Our vision hypothesis was radically shifting the global economy toward life fulfilling independent ventures. Whatever that happens to be. It doesn't matter. Now that's big. Now how do you measure that? How do you shift the global economy? Well you'd have to actually do a GDP check 10 years from now and see if life fulfilling ventures or tiny businesses or side hustles turn to a larger part of the economy than big businesses. It's shifting. You're seeing it shift. You're seeing people start to work for themselves. But it doesn't show up in the numbers yet. Because the problem is so doggone acute. So that is the vision that we started down the path of. Simultaneously, because this is what you start with, you get the big idea, you start assaulting the culture. You have to actually start, at the same time, working on culture inside the company. I have a process that I like to call disarm, and assail. What people will not do, and you see the Louvre here, right? This is what people do when they describe the culture of their company, they throw up a beautiful glass pyramid on a table and they say, that's our culture. We're tough, we're gritty, we throw our shoulders into it, we're the best.
We try hard, we work with each other, we're great with our customers. And then you start talking about, well, what about this weird thing like how does that make you feel? What about this? And people start going yeah, that's really screwed up. And so I started to assail cultural norms that I knew had been in the company over the last 10, 15 years. And it made it safe for them to. And so then they started to assail the cultural norms that they didn't feel good about. And if you know the way the Louvre works, underneath is where all the action happens. It's not in the IM Pei beautiful, glass pyramid on top. It's underneath it. And that's exactly what was happening with our culture. There was so much going on that people did not feel included, didn't feel like this was their company necessarily. And they wanted it to feel like their own. So I just started assailing. I started listening. Went on a listening tour. Talked to hundreds of employees personally, met with groups of 10 and 20, and just let them bombard me with stuff cause I'd assail something and then let's beat it up again. And they all came up with the company that they wanted to produce.
And that's what we've done. And so over the last five years, I feel like I was just doing their work trying to bring this company to a place where it honored the things that they honored. Which are the things that you honor. The biggest thing that we did obviously was juxtapose our previous position on women. You saw GoDaddy girls. I stood up in an all hands meeting pretty early in my tenure and said, hey, we don't have GoDaddy girls anymore. We have GoDaddy women. You're them you're never going to stand at a booth at South by Southwest, and have somebody walk up to you and go, hey are you a GoDaddy girl? You're not ever going to put up with that shit again. You're not going to have to. So we juxtapose the position extremely hard and flipped it in the other direction. Internally, like you saw a lot of things in the video that we did, I'll just give you a couple of shorthand in the couple of minutes I have left. Hey guess what, news flash, over 50% of small business is the United States are run by women. Makers, right. So our first Super Bowl commercial after I took the role, and we still did them because they're actually a pretty good vehicle. This is our model. This is Gwen Deane. She's an engineer at a water factory in New York, a public utility. And she built puppets on the side. She loved doing this. And she wanted to make it to her life's work. And we talked to a whole bunch of people, thought she was the best suited for the job, and she quit her job on the Super Bowl. She announced that she left with John Turturro on the Super Bowl and we had a camera on her boss who is sitting in a bar somewhere and threw up a beer. It's classic. But this is who we serve.
And so we just started showing who we serve. Not that big a deal. Danica Patrick. Everybody thinks about GoDaddy, they think about Danica Patrick. Unbelievably strong-willed woman incredibly capable. The best female open wheel race car driver in the world ever, of all time. Has won a race. We actually juxtaposed her and said you're going to represent strong women who are successful and have done things that are hard. That are fighting the good fight. And in this case we showed Danica with basically a 100 pound body suit on and she's running in front of a bunch of bodybuilders and shows up at a spray tan booth run by a woman. Now the commercials aren't as memorable as the ones that I showed you earlier, because that stuff is indelible, and turns out it takes a long time to get rid of them. But showing women as strong and successful leaders is what we did. And we didn't just do it outside, we built the internal capacities inside. So we did a bunch of systematic changes on how we review. Our review language, our promotion language. I'll go through some real quick stuff here. This is Gail Jacoby, she runs an ERG that we started called GoDaddy Women in Tech. You start with me at the top and then you get a bunch of grass roots happen at the bottom, and it meets in the middle. And the whole company ends up be becoming behind it. Which is incredibly important.
You build belief in folks outside the company. This is Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College. Who actually got wind of what we were doing. I had a long conversation with Maria. I had a long conversation with Kelly Whitney, and said look, this is what we're going to do. I'll put myself out there, I'll put myself at risk. I've had death threats about the stuff, it hasn't been super fun. But these women became advocates for us as well. To turn us into a company that actually represents one of those stories that says, if GoDaddy it can do it, dear god why can't anybody else do it?
Which is true. Finally, salary data. We published what we were paying women versus what we were paying men at every grade level and the company, made it public about three years ago. And published that in front of everybody. Not all good news right? We track it, some goes up, some goes down. There's no possible way women and men are being paid the same. And that's what we saw in the data. When I actually looked at the data, I said this can't be right. Let's go take a look at promotions trajectory and see what that looks like. Turns out, women don't ask for promotion as adamantly as guys do. Guys are 30% qualified. They're ready. Totally ready, women are 80% qualified, I got 20% more learning to do so I'm not ready to go ask. True?
BLAKE IRVING: We went and we audited our promotion trajectory. Lo and behold, they weren't being promoted. Because they're making more money in the position because they've been there longer. Duh. So we started a new practice. Every individual in the company gets reviewed, in their first three years, for promotion regardless of gender, regardless of station. What happened with promotion? Women's promotions went up 30%. Very similar to what we heard later. Review them separately. 30%. Did guys go down? No, they didn't go down. There's just room to do it. This stuff isn't hard. This was a five year transformation. I retired in December. It burned me out. I'm just saying. My wife is here with me and we're actually doing this because it's fun. This is us on the stand when we took our IPO about almost three years ago. Nine women, seven guys on the stand. Company was a billion dollar company. We're now well over double that. We're publicly traded. We have 17 million customers up from 10 million. 50% of our new college graduate hires, engineering hires, are women now. Almost 50% of our interns are women now. And those are engineers. And that's hard. You can do this. You just heard somebody say it's not that hard.
It's not that hard. And if this was a room full of dudes, and it's not. I would be saying, it's not that hard. Just do it, and be committed. And don't back off it. I think my sister, who would have really said to me, what the-- are you going to GoDaddy? Are you kidding me? Would be super proud of where we are today. Thank you.
PRESENTER: Ladies and gentlemen, Amy McGrath and Tim Armstrong.
TIM ARMSTRONG: So every year since Makers started-- my wife, Nancy, has been with Makers since it began, and she interviewed Tamika Catchings and Abby Wambach. And she came after she went out and interviewed Amy, and she said, I found the best person. I said, you say that every year. But she said, no, no, no, you're going to love Amy.
And I talked to Amy. I've been preparing for this. And I told her-- we spent a long time discussing a lot of different topics. And when I got off the phone with her, I was crying. And I'm going to try to get to that-- not me, but you guys-- today. And we're going to have an unusual interview because I'm going to go through as much stuff as fast as I possibly can with her, and we're going to get our whole discussion out in a limited amount of time. So hang with us as we go.
What does it feel like to drop a 40,000-pound $60-million, loaded-with-weapons F-18 jet in the middle of the ocean at night on an aircraft carrier?
AMY MCGRATH: Well, it's-- first of all, it's more like slamming it. That's how you do it. But the first time I did it, and after I qualified for the first time, you really just feel like King Kong, like there is nothing else-- you can do anything. If you can do that, you can do anything. And it's really amazing.
TIM ARMSTRONG: You also-- you flew in combat. And you it's not in the video, but I'm guessing you were many times on a life-death line overall. And I know you said this on the phone-- that you knew people who fell on both sides of that line. Give me one example of something, from a serious standpoint, that happened during combat.
AMY MCGRATH: Well, the times when my life was in danger-- first of all, flying fighter jets is an inherently dangerous job. So whether you're in peacetime or in combat, it's dangerous. I remember one time, we were coming back from a mission in Afghanistan going north into Kyrgyzstan, and there's a mountain range which is very, very tall.
And we got an indication that we'd lost our oxygen onboard generating system, that it wasn't functioning properly. And so we had to descend in the middle of the night to an altitude which was very high over the mountains. But you're still in an altitude where, if the oxygen doesn't work, you could get hypoxia and potentially pass out and die.
And so that was a very scary moment where we were flying, and it's a two-place cockpit, so it was somebody else in the cockpit with me. And we were both very worried. And I think that was probably the most worried because we had time to think about it. Most of the time when you're flying a fighter jet, you're pretty darn intense, and you don't have time to really sit back and think about it.
TIM ARMSTRONG: What does it take to be a great pilot? What are the attributes of someone who has the skill set to be a pilot?
AMY MCGRATH: I would say you have to multitask. You can't do everything, or really anything, perfectly. You have to do it. You have to do it all well, and you have to be able to think very, very quickly. So these are attributes that women have. And the other thing that you have to do, at least as a fighter pilot, is you have to be aggressive, and you have to be OK with being aggressive.
TIM ARMSTRONG: So the saying that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree-- when I saw your bio before we spoke, I thought, what the hell kind of tree did you grow up on. What was the tree like you grew up on, and what was that atmosphere like?
AMY MCGRATH: Well, I grew up in Kentucky, which is my home now. And the atmosphere that I grew up in was one where I had parents who really fostered-- they allowed me to be me. And at a time when I didn't want to wear a skirt, my mom said, it's OK. You don't have to wear a skirt to school.
And that allowed me to be who I was. And who I was was somebody who was aggressive, was an athlete, somebody who had this dream. And because my parents were the way they were, I feel like today, I was able to achieve that. And particularly my mother, who went through medical school in the 1960s and was one of the first women to graduate from the University of Kentucky Medical School-- when I said I had these dreams, what do you think, she was kind of like, you can do that. And that gave me the confidence to say, all right, yeah.
TIM ARMSTRONG: Your mom sounds like an amazing person. And we went more deeply on the phone about her. You also played a lot of athletics growing up. What did athletics do for you that translated to the Marines and to combat and to running for Congress?
AMY MCGRATH: Yeah. Well, for me, it was all about confidence. Look, I was beating the boys at age five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 at pretty much-- you know what I'm talking about-- at pretty much everything-- basketball, soccer, tennis, swimming. Bring it on. And I just loved it. And I got so much confidence out of that that when I went into the Marine Corps, it was like, bring it on. I can do this. I can compete. And I knew that I could. So there was no doubt.
TIM ARMSTRONG: From the outside, fighter jet pilot, athletics, aggressive, confident, all those things-- what do you think about taking risks? Are you a risk-seeker, out-of-control risk-seeker? We see you here calming onstage, and you're going bear shooting later today or something. How do you think about risk? What's your theory on risk?
AMY MCGRATH: Well, I think to be successful, you have to take risks. But they don't have to be crazy risks. So when you think about flying fighter jets, yes, it's risky. But you have to understand that we train for years, years. And we're trained by the best people. And they wouldn't put us and let us go to the aircraft carrier if we weren't ready. And so you get a lot of confidence because of that.
So yes, it's risky, but it's a controlled risk. With everything, you have a plan, and you execute that plan. And so by the time you get to the point where you might think, well, flying on an aircraft carrier-- I can't imagine doing that. It's just so far above or so hard-- folks, you train for it. And you get to that point. It's just like anything else.
TIM ARMSTRONG: So one element of your life that seems really important is being a Marine. And can you tell us what being a Marine-- why did you become a Marine? What does it mean to you? And how does it fit? If we were at the end of your life looking backwards for all the stuff you've been able to do during your life, what would the Marine piece be versus everything else? So what does it mean?
AMY MCGRATH: Well, number one, it was the challenge of my life to be a United States Marine. That was the hardest thing I could possibly do. But for me, it was about the ethos, the family, the idea that you are serving the country and that you stand for something greater than yourself. That's what the Marine Corps is all about. It's about stepping up. It's about being aggressive and being the one that says, pick me. I'm going to go. That's what I love about being a Marine.
TIM ARMSTRONG: And what-- are there any examples of the level of service, the depth you think about it in? You could be off drinking Mai Tais on the beach or doing anything else. Is there anything in life that you've seen examples of things that really made you think deeply about service and what it means to serve?
AMY MCGRATH: Well, that's one of the reasons I'm running for Congress-- because we need better leaders. And it's hard.
It's difficult. Politics is difficult, and it's tough. But you know what? It needs to be about service. And when I think about that, I think-- for me, I think about that scene in "Saving Private Ryan." That was a movie that came out many years ago where the older man goes to the cemetery at the end of his life, and he remembers back to what Tom Hanks' character told him, as Tom Hanks' character essentially saved his life, and many other soldiers saved this man's life. And he's remembering that at their gravesites in Normandy. And what Tom Hanks' character said to this man in the 1940s during the war, when he saved his life, was earn this. Earn your life.
That's what I think. I have been blessed. All these dreams-- my family, my background-- I grew up in Kentucky, the commonwealth, the home that I love. I feel like I've been blessed, and I have to give back. I have to earn it.
So serving my country in the past, going forward-- this is what we need. We need people that want to be public servants again and do these sort of things. That's why.
TIM ARMSTRONG: I'm going to ask you one fast question, and then we're going to do an interlude, because this story is actually about two Makers, not one. Raise Your Voice, Me Too is happening. You've probably worked, I'm guessing, in this audience, with more men than almost anyone has. How many female bosses have you had versus men?
AMY MCGRATH: I've had one female boss, and she was a member of Congress. She was not in the Marine Corps.
TIM ARMSTRONG: For 100% of the men that you've worked with, the men in the world, what percent of them do you think have the issues we're seeing in the world today and what percent don't?
AMY MCGRATH: I would say 90% don't have the issues-- I really think the vast majority of men, at least the ones that I've worked with in the Marine Corps. I'd say 5% really do. And there's a 5% to 10% in there that are complicit, that will sort of go with the bad actors because they don't really have the moral courage to stand up.
TIM ARMSTRONG: What about women?
AMY MCGRATH: I'd say it's about the same. And so the key is to be someone who isn't afraid to stand up. And I know that's hard. I've been in squadrons where they have all men when I was a young officer. And I did not have the ability. I did not feel like I had the ability to stand up when I should have.
You know what changes that? There's two things that change that in my mind, from what I've seen. One-- leadership. Leaders that set the tone for their units, for their companies, whatever, that matters. And two-- more women in positions of power. The culture does not change until women rise in the ranks, whether it's in the military or whether it's in a company, into positions where they are respected peers or the positions of power.
TIM ARMSTRONG: Now this story is going to turn into two Makers, which is the story we heard earlier today about you writing a letter to the Congresswoman. So when Amy was coming, we were hoping to get Pat Schroeder to come out. And fortunately, we did. Please welcome Pat Schroeder.
PRESENTER: Ladies and gentlemen, Pat Schroeder.
TIM ARMSTRONG: All right.
PAT SCHROEDER: How great.
TIM ARMSTRONG: We are--
PAT SCHROEDER: How fun.
TIM ARMSTRONG: So Pat, let me ask you one question, and then we're going to have a team huddle about winning the race. How did you decide to respond to letters like Amy's? And I'm sure you were getting hit in a million different directions when you were in office. How did you choose what you did as a leader?
PAT SCHROEDER: Well, I felt it was terribly important to do that, especially for young women. Because there really were no role models. I thought about when I grew up, what were my role models? Cinderella? No. I didn't fit that.
And so you really think any of these young women writing in, of course. And of course, I love these young lionesses. I just think it is so important. And I worked so hard to get women into the military and into these different crew things. They've done such a great job.
And as a pilot, I knew the secret that women hold up under G loads better than men, all these wonderful things that nobody wanted to hear. One of my favorite stories that you'll appreciate was trying to get women into the space program. And all these wonderful astronauts came and talked about-- you have to be a jock, and you have to do this, and you have to do that.
And I said, I'm a pilot, and I think it's more like milking a mouse. Grab a hold of one of those things and shake it to pieces. And they were like, oh, damn, somebody told them.
So it was just terribly important because everything was loaded against you, as you know, if you watch the visuals. And visuals are so important
AMY MCGRATH: I was 10, 11 years old in 1990, watching C-SPAN. And I was watching C-SPAN because the chiefs of the services got up in front of you, and the members of Congress, of the Armed Services Committee, and they would-- they were thinking about opening jobs to women, of opening up certain positions to women. And I watched that as a 10-year-old.
And it was very disheartening. Because you have the chiefs get up there and say things like, well, it will destroy morale if women come into this unit. Or women can't be the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. At the time, said he didn't want a woman as his wingman. And it was really tough.
But you were somebody who let them have it. And you said, hey-- you asked them the hard questions. And one of the things that you did, and what people ought to know, is that it's members of Congress. It's people, women in governments, that can make these changes. And this is why we need more women in government.
PAT SCHROEDER: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!
And one of the most interesting things that I ever had happen to me was I was on ABC in the morning to do the morning programs. And it was when I was talking about we really need women in combat missions. Come on. They're trained. They're ready. They can go. What is this?
And when I got done, the cameraman came from behind the camera and absolutely started beating on me. I was on the floor. It took five people to pull him off.
So the head of ABC got a hold of me and said, we don't know what made him do that. He's, like, six months away from retirement. Should we fire him? And I said, no, don't fire him. I don't want to be responsible for that.
But what was it that drove him so nuts? It's like we're letting girls into our treehouse. Oh, no. He just couldn't deal with it. And there were a lot of those. I think there's still some around.
AMY MCGRATH: There are, but it's less than you think. And what matters-- how the change happens is when you have women-- and there's a ton of them out there-- who have served our country.
And you know what? They don't-- they just do it, and they do it well. And that's what matters.
PAT SCHROEDER: But think about the wonderful women pilots in World War II, which we finally got paid. But they put them in uniform. They flew all the planes. And when it was over, they said, have a nice day, ladies and they didn't meet any of their commitments.
So women have been abused through all of that for a long time. You're right. It is now a different day. And what I was so happy to hear your talk about is sports, because I think that's made a huge difference. I think the sports has made a terrific difference.
AMY MCGRATH: I agree.
PAT SCHROEDER: I grew up in women's basketball-- two dribbles, and you had stop because they thought we'd faint.
TIM ARMSTRONG: If we-- we've heard about athletics, Marines, the work you've done, Pat, in Congress, which was incredible. If we were strategizing right now with Amy after she gets elected, and you said, look, here are two or three things to really focus in on, what makes a great-- someone who's going to serve in Congress, what would you say to Amy?
PAT SCHROEDER: First of all, I'm going to be very brash. OK? And I'm going to say, if you saw me bring an envelope in, it was cash. It was money.
TIM ARMSTRONG: I was going to ask about that.
PAT SCHROEDER: And what we've first got to do--
AMY MCGRATH: I know it.
PAT SCHROEDER: The first thing is to get her there. Because some of the old boys-- she's going to be too nice to say this, but some of the old boys in Washington are afraid of what's happening with this new movement of women getting elected. They don't mind having 10%, but thank you, they don't want anymore.
And they put up the mayor to run against her, which can self-fund. So he's going to spend a ton of money in a primary which she should not have to have, period. And so we've really got to support her. She supported us. We've got to support her. We've got to get her elected.
And I must tell you-- Saturday in my house, three fabulous women docs, two African-American women who were both cardiologists, one named number one in California and the other one a great breast cancer surgeon-- they called me and said, we're coming to Florida to see you. And I said, what? Come on down. I'd love to talk to you.
We spent the whole day talking. Here's what they talked about-- women's health. And they are terribly concerned about what's happening with CDC. They're terribly concerned that research on women's health is just being dropped like a stone.
And they wanted to know all the things that we had done to get NIH going. And they said, it's wonderful that people contribute money, but it's such a total little token compared to what the government research has been. It's, like, maybe a 4% or 5% add-on. And women's health is the first thing that dropped, because Congress tends to fund what they fear, and the majority of them don't fear the things that we fear in this room.
So there's a whole lot of things like that that have been dropped of late that young people are getting very, very frightened about, the younger people. They're obviously in their 40s, god love them. They're babies as far as I'm concerned. When you get to be my age, they're-- OK, but anyway, she's so needed, and she's so needed with her tenaciousness to pick up that. The things we thought we had won often turned out to be little beachheads. And they keep thinking they can take them away.
I could give you one thing after another that they've tried to take. Violence against women has become terrible. It's like, well, we voted for that once. Really? Well, it's still going on. So there's a list, and I know she knows them, and I'm not at all worried about her picking up the cudgel. I just need her to get there to pick it up. OK?
AMY MCGRATH: All right.
TIM ARMSTRONG: So I'll ask you one question, then we'll end with something. If you could change one thing in one sentence in the government, both of you, today-- I'm going to assume you're going to say more women. But what would you want to change other than that? Because you guys have established that. What would you change about the government?
PAT SCHROEDER: I would get rid of this incredible decision by the Supreme Court that has made money so difficult. It's made it so hard. And what's happened is-- not that I have anything against millionaires, but it's become a hobby for millionaires now because they can sell [INAUDIBLE]. And so somebody else has to go out with their tin can.
When I finally stopped running, I remember my brother being so excited he could come to my birthday without paying.
AMY MCGRATH: Well, I would agree. It's definitely money in politics. Post-Citizens United, it is absolutely corrupting our democracy. We have to tackle that. You can literally buy elections if you're on the side that agrees with special interests. And it's really sad.
And so today, we have to have leaders that, one, believe this is a public service again, and two, campaign on the backs of actual people. And that is so important. We have to get the money out of politics. Because right now, it's not allowing us to tackle any of these issues that we so care about and that the folks in Kentucky care about, too. Health care is the number one issue in my district.
TIM ARMSTRONG: So unfortunately, we're out of time. But before we leave, if someone wanted to donate to your campaign-- I don't know this is legal or not.
PRESENTER: And you do. You all do.
TIM ARMSTRONG: What would they do?
AMY MCGRATH: So you'd go to my website, amymcgrathforcongress.com. There are restrictions as to how much you can donate. A person can only donate $2,700 per person. For many people, that's way too much. But those are our laws.
And my campaign is-- I'm very proud of the fact that the vast majority of the folks who are donating to my campaign are small-dollar donors. That's how we make a difference.
PAT SCHROEDER: Gloria Steinem always said if every woman contributed-- what-- contributed to campaigns what she paid for her last outfit, we could change the world. So think about that.
TIM ARMSTRONG: So we'll end on that. But wanted to say a special thanks to two great Americans, two people who served. And I think all of us stand on the shoulders of what you guys have provided, and especially the military service that you have provided. So thank you very much, and thanks for coming to Makers and joining us.
[MUSIC PLAYING] - I'm trying to get in my feminist mode.
- Let's go.
SARAH SILVERMAN: Sometimes all you have to do is be brave.
CHELSEA HANDLER: I'm kind of a badass. [CHUCKLES] I can handle it.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Are you with me? You going to roll up your sleeves?
AMY POEHLER: We're going to talk about some serious stuff today. Are you ready? Feminism.
BARACK OBAMA: This team taught all America's children that playing like a girl means you're a badass.
- It's a little early for these girls, but I have indeed come to recruit them for our journey to Mars.
- Representation matters, and it's important to make sure that people can see themselves reflected.
LILLY SINGH: We are in the generation of literally changing the world.
- Whatever it is that you set your mind to that you want to do, you can do it.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Allie Kline.
ALLIE KLINE: Hey, guys. So, that-- every year, as you all may know, I think Mattel debuted the first Barbie for Abby Wambach, here, a few years ago. How many of you guys saw that?
Yes, it was so wonderful. Well today, that video was a really quick look at their latest campaign, which is "You Can Be Anything." And it's so fantastic, and Makers is such a proud partner of Barbie. You will all have, in your gift bag, a Barbie that has a very specific doll, outfitted for career, either in tech, or STEM, or any profession that would seem hard to break through that glass ceiling. And so please do us a favor, give that doll to a girl you love. Tell her, and inspire her, and help her understand that she can and should be anything that she aspires to be.
So with that, we have some very exciting Makers news. We always make an announcement at the conference, and this year, we are thrilled, thrilled, thrilled-- one of the things I'm most excited about to announce-- that, anyone want to guess? Right? Girls, Barbie, anything? No, OK. All right, nobody wants to guess, I come out, OK. The news is, we're here to announce that this fall, in October, in a partnership, which I'll mention in a second, Makers is going to bring the GRL PWR Awards to the United States. It is the first ever. We are going to celebrate girls like never before, and help them see and celebrate the women that are changing and paving the way for their future success.
So now, more than ever, deeply, deeply, deeply, we need to help these girls see that they can stand strong. We need to help them see that they should never have to live through a #MeToo moment, like so many of us are living through today. But we also need to help make sure that they understand, by seeing the example of all the women in this room, and seeing the example of having the opportunity to nominate and celebrate women that they believe in, that girls have more power than ever.
So with that, let me talk to you a little bit about our partner, and then we'll show you a clip of what we're building. So Maverick is this fantastic new content and creative partner that we are working with. You guys will hear so much more about them soon. We could not be more excited to partner with them on GRL PWR Awards, and you will hear a really steady drumbeat of the creative work they're going to do, not only with Makers, but with girls all around the country, to build GRL PWR into something that is irresistible and contagious.
So with that, take a look at the clip. And please join us for GRL PWR in October.
1 00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:02,380 [MUSIC PLAYING]
2 00:00:02,380 --> 00:00:09,520
3 00:00:09,520 --> 00:00:13,000 - We have lots of great role models out there.
4 00:00:13,000 --> 00:00:16,090 - But we really need more female scientists.
5 00:00:16,090 --> 00:00:17,080 More coders
6 00:00:17,080 --> 00:00:18,730 More civil engineers.
7 00:00:18,730 --> 00:00:22,050 And can you believe most head chefs are men?
8 00:00:22,050 --> 00:00:23,210 - Seriously?
9 00:00:23,210 --> 00:00:24,160 - Seriously.
10 00:00:24,160 --> 00:00:25,870 - I know.
11 00:00:25,870 --> 00:00:28,960 - If girls can't see women doing these jobs,
12 00:00:28,960 --> 00:00:32,409 how will we know we can?
13 00:00:32,409 --> 00:00:34,300 - You see, we really need more role
14 00:00:34,300 --> 00:00:37,660 models in positions of power.
15 00:00:37,660 --> 00:00:39,210 Boom.
16 00:00:39,210 --> 00:00:55,211
- Ladies and gentlemen, Zoe Novak.
ZOE NOVAK: [SINGING] La la la la la, la la la la la, un da da, un da. We are searchlights. We can see in the dark. We are rockets pointed up at the stars. We are billions of beautiful hearts. And you sold us down the river too far. What about us? What about all the times you said you had the answers? What about us? What about all the broken happy ever afters? What about us? What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
What about love? What about trust? What about us? We are problems that want to be solved. We are children that need to be loved. We are willing. We came when you called. But many fooled us. Enough is enough. Oh. What about us? What about all the times you said you had the answers? What about us? What about all the broken happy ever afters? What about us? What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
What about love? What about trust? What about us? Sticks and stones they may break these bones. But then I'll be ready. Are you ready? It's the start of us waking up. Come on. Are you ready? I'll be ready.
I don't want control. I want to let go. Now it's time to let them know. What about us? What about all the times you said you had the answers? What about us? What about all the broken happy ever afters? What about us? What about all the plans that ended in disaster? What about love? What about trust? What about us?
- Ladies and gentlemen, Zoe Novak!
I saw that voice on Instagram on her mom, Kelly Bush Novak's-- stage mom over there, other mom over here-- proud moms. And I said, that needs to be here. She is a girl with girl power.
I mean, I think she's a maker. So makers get interviewed, right?
- So I thought, let's do a couple of questions to get to know this maker, right?
OK, Zoe, are you ready?
ZOE NOVAK: Yes.
- Are you a feminist?
ZOE NOVAK: Of course, yes.
- OK, good. We're doing great. We're doing great. Best word to describe you?
ZOE NOVAK: Curious.
- Curious-- maker, check. OK. Instagram or Snapchat?
ZOE NOVAK: I have to say Instagram.
- OK, we don't ask any makers that question. But now we do. I agree. OK, favorite musician?
ZOE NOVAK: Adele.
- Adele-- nice. Favorite athlete?
ZOE NOVAK: Serena Williams.
- Oh. OK, latest binge watch?
ZOE NOVAK: "Stranger Things."
- Definitely with you on that. A woman who inspires you?
ZOE NOVAK: My sister, Ava.
- Aw. Wave your hand, Ava. A woman you'd like to be for a day?
ZOE NOVAK: I have to say Michelle Obama.
- Yeah. [CHUCKLES] Definitely. How do we make the world a better place?
ZOE NOVAK: Well, I think we should just all love each other and respect each other and all of our differences.
- Um, yes. Check. OK, final question-- how do you feel right now?
ZOE NOVAK: Relieved.
- All right, our newest maker, Zoe Novak.
- Ladies and gentlemen, The Lethal Ladies of BLSYW, Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women.
JAYLEN: 2018, I want you to get on your feet and say, raise your voice.
ALL: Raise your voice. Raise your voice. Raise your voice. Raise your voice. Raise your voice. Raise your voice. Raise your voice.
- What for?
ALL: Raise your voice.
JAYLEN: The revolution will be televised.
BLSYW: You need to stop look and listen. Cause you're about to witness something that is stupendous. Let's tell them who we are. We are the trailblazers, hits makers. We are the show takers, hip popper full rockers. We are the show stoppers. Once y'all over the city and still sitting pretty. Let's show them what we do. Let's go.
KAYLA WOOLFORD: L-L-O-B was founded in 2009 with only 16 steppers at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. The word lethal means, we go
KAYLA WOOLFORD: And we step with
KAYLA WOOLFORD: And most importantly, we have fun. We are ladies who always, and I do mean always, carry ourselves as such. So now that you know, enjoy the show. L-L-O-B
BLSYW: We are the lovely ladies of LLOB. All of the imitators we are soul do. We started out stepping just nine years ago and ever since then we've been rockin' the show.
- The lethal ladies came to shut it down to show y'all who the real steppers in town. The lethal ladies don't give no slack. If we come for you, be ready to clap back.
BLSYW: Ahh! Yeah!
BLSYW: You know they is us. They say our team is so tough. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show cause the real team to step is now ready to go. L-L-OB. We work hard so that we defeat. They know on and they say we are the best one. If you're going against us, go home.
- Oh my god! One second. Stay up, stay up. Stay up because you also need to cheer for Coach G. Come on out here, Coach G. Take a bow.
GARI MCINTYRE: Me?
- Take a bow.
GARI MCINTYRE: Ya'll take a bow. Y'all take a bow. Not me. They do all the hard work.
- You should've heard this woman backstage. She's like, slow, slow, oh, that's good. Oh, that's good.
GARI MCINTYRE: I try.
- All right, we're going to get to her in a second. But first, we gotta, you know, we learned about Zoe. Now we got to learn about you guys a little bit, right. All right I need two people.
Two of you come up here. Who's up? OK ready? What's been your favorite part of the Makers conference?
ANAYA GREEN: My favorite part of the Makers Conference was obviously meeting all of these beautiful women and handsome men in the audience. And, like, I just love how welcoming everyone was. I really felt like we were all together as one. And women empowerment is just awesome.
KAYLA WOOLFORD: My favorite part of the Makers Conference was how many empowerful women are in here. And how one issue can bring together a whole group of people when we can make an impact.
- Yes. Thank you. All right, two more, two more. I'm not done.
OK, what's your name? I forgot that. Wait, wait, who-- say your name.
ANAYA GREEN: I'm Anaya Green.
- And you're how old?
ANAYA GREEN: 16 years old. OK.
KAYLA WOOLFORD: I'm Kayla Woolford and I'm 16.
- OK great. All right, so say your name, how old you are, and how are you going to raise your voice in 2018.
JAYLEN: I'm Jaylen, 15 years old. I will raise my voice through music, cause that's how I know what I'm strong in and as of right now it's a trend. So like, where are my musicians out there who love music?
- All right, musicians. Your name.
ANIKA: Hi. I'm Anika, and I'm 17 year old. (Whispers off)
- Does that mean you're going to college?
- Where are you going to college?
ANIKA: I'll be attending Philander Smith College on a full ride.
- Full ride! What a lucky school. So how are you going to raise your voice?
WOMAN: Computer science.
ANIKA: Yeah, computer science. Yeah. I will raise my voice through photography.
I feel like you can capture anything through a picture. You can make a picture what you want it to be. And I feel like, you know, words don't always speak everything. Sometimes what you see is, so that's how I raise my voice.
- Awesome. All right, so Coach G, what's next? What's next for you? For the team.
GARI MCINTYRE: For us, we, one, are just so blessed and happy to be here, you guys. Thank you so much. And what we're going to continue to do is collaborate together so that people can understand important issues. Because when they're stepping people tend to listen.
So while their stepping, they're going to slide in all those important issues that people don't typically their age think about. And it's going to make their mothers and their grandmothers, and everyone think about it. So that's what we're going to do. Collaborate and make people listen. Because most powerful movements have started with youth being on the front lines so--
GARI MCINTYRE: We also are preparing for competitions. Our competition season is coming up and we are hoping to qualify for a national competition in Atlanta. We're raising money for that. So that's what's next. We have a citywide, a DMV-wide competition, and then nationals-- regional and then nationals, so--
- Well guess what?
GARI MCINTYRE: Yes.
- We want you to win.
GARI MCINTYRE: Yes. we want to win.
- So guess what? Makers is going to pay for it. Let's take you guys to Atlanta.
GARI MCINTYRE: What?
GARI MCINTYRE: Wait, time out. Is this a joke? Oh my god. Oh my god.
- But, in order for this to happen, you all need to step for them. So, Coach G, take it away.
GARI MCINTYRE: Woo! You shouldn't have dropped that-- bomb! OK. As I regroup. Sorry, this has never happened, believe it or not. Thank you. Thank you.
- Teach them how to step.
GARI MCINTYRE: OK, I'm sorry. Everyone on your feet. Stand on your feet. I want two volunteers and some girls to help me out down in the crowd.
I know that some of you are thinking like, I can't step. I promise you, men and women of all ages, of all sizes, you can step. So first move is going to be simple. A right foot stomp on eight. Well not on 8, after 8. 5, 6, 7, 8.
Look at that. Y'all got it already. But that's not it. OK, so the next move is going to be stomp over under stomp.
I know that seems hard, but if you think about it like this. Right foot stomp, clap, under, you gotta stomp. Stomp. Good.
Up there. I hear you. OK. I hear you. I see you.
All right, so let's try that. 5, 6, 7, 8. Stomp, over, under, stomp. And you all said y'all couldn't do it.
All right, one more, two more moves. So we're going, take it to the other side now. So I'm going to do it first, and then I'm going to demonstrate it with you. And then we're going to do it together.
5, 6, 7, and stomp, over, under, stomp, over, under, stomp. OK? So let's all do it together slowly. Slow, slow, slow. So right foot stomp.
All my coders, I know you're over here, like, yes I get it. Right, left, yes, yes. Smart, computers, yes.
5, 6, 7, and right stomp, over, under, left stomp, over, under, stomp. Ha! One last move. This is where you throw some swag on it, OK. So your left move is going to be a, what!
OK? But you can do like, what? Or you going do like, what? It's up to you. Throw your swag on it, your personality.
If you're quiet, what? It's up to you. So I'm going to demonstrate it and then we're gonna all do it together. I'ma demonstrate.
Stomp, over, under, stomp, over, under, stomp, what! OK? You're ready? Lethal ladies, y'all ready?
5, 6, 7, and stomp, over, under, stomp, over, under, stomp, what! Oh my gosh. Y'all got it. Everybody's a Lethal Lady and Gentleman. Lethal Ladies!
Good job, good job, good job.
- All right, should we send them? Yes! Thank you!
Ladies and gentlemen, Elaine Welteroth, Jessica Biel, and Saundra Pelletier.
JESSICA BIEL: Hi, that was the best walking-onto-a-stage music of all time.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: It was.
JESSICA BIEL: It felt so good.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: That was sexy. Are you guys ready to have the sexiest conversation at Makers 2018?
JESSICA BIEL: I am.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: I didn't really get enough energy on that. That was supposed to, like, be exciting, right?
Hopefully, all of you have had a dream, and you're ready to really go there. Because we're going to be talking about sex. We're going to be talking about vaginas, and masturbation, and all kinds of juicy things. So get ready.
So, I'm a millennial. And I'm going to use my phone. Wow, was it really that funny? They liked it. You guys have had some drinks. This is the right-- this is my kind of audience. OK, settle down. Settle down.
So I am honored to be joined by two fantastic women who are doing really important work in the space of reproductive health and women's health. And you are breaking down stigmas that need to be broken down. So I just want to quickly introduce you.
We have Saundra Pelletier, who is the founding CEO and board chair of WomanCare Global, a nonprofit health care organization. Please give her a warm welcome to the stage.
And, of course, we have Jessica Biel, who is an actress and an advocate for women's reproductive health. And, together, you have formed Tryst.
We can do that too. We can have dance breaks. I'm OK with that. And Tryst, so you guys can tell us all about Tryst. But, obviously, that video is a product of what the important work is that you're doing. And, ultimately, the mission is to use humor to educate women about their bodies and about how to talk about sex with their partners. So tell me a little bit more about the aims and the intentions of these videos and really what the mission is behind Tryst.
JESSICA BIEL: Thank you. We're really happy to be here. No one has ever seen that video before. And you guys laughed.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: It was hilarious.
JESSICA BIEL: So thank you. We're thrilled. I mean, we put this content together. And there's only so many times you can make a vagina joke. And you're like, is that even funny? I don't even know. Is it, even? You can't even tell anymore. So thank goodness.
So Tryst, Tryst Network, it's a sex-positive, body-positive resource. It's a place we want to drive traffic for questions, interest, help, breaking down-- like you said-- stigmas and myths. And anything that you're confused about, we want to help you find the right place to find the answers that you're looking for.
And we created this thing because I myself didn't know a lot of stuff, which sounds crazy. And I don't know if any of you feel that same way. But when I was thinking about starting a family, I mean, obviously, I know how to do it. But I didn't quite know how to do it. Do you know what I'm saying?
Like, what was my ovulation cycle? When does it happen? How and when and-- if it doesn't happen, what does that mean? And I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that I didn't know this answer. I was shocked. I just was embarrassed and like, wow-- this is not possible that I don't know what to do here.
So, for, me, that's kind of where this started. Saundra and I met. And we just had this cool meeting-of-the-minds moment where she was doing all this amazing work overseas and with WCG, WomanCare Global. And we thought, man, there's a lot to do in this country.
And it starts with sex-ed. It starts when you're young, and you're just trying to figure it out. And there's nowhere to really get the information in a cool, funny, relatable, easy way. And, honestly, we really want to talk. Yes, we want to talk to women, 100%. But we want to talk to men.
This is for men and women. This is to create equal partners in relationships where it's not just-- the pressure isn't all just on young women to make sure that they're either ready to start a family or not start a family. This is like you've got to do it together.
So men, we need you. We want you. And we know you never got an opportunity to learn. We're going to tell you all about periods. It's going to be good.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: So how do you-- you raise good point. I mean, I've gotten the cultural education of working at "Teen Vogue" for the last six years. So I am now comfortable with the word vagina in public settings, but not everyone is. And particularly men are usually very uncomfortable when we use that language.
But it's the most natural thing. It's a part of our bodies. We all came from one. But because there is this stigma, a very real stigma, and shame associated with our bodies and our sexuality, how do you broach these conversations with people who may not yet be comfortable going all the way there? How do you reel them in?
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Well, to Jessica's point, right? We do want to start with humor. But the reality is is that there is far, far, far too few sources of information around sexual pleasure, particularly for women. It's socially accepted that men should get sexual pleasure out of intercourse and orgasm, but it's not so socially accepted that it should be pleasurable for women.
And when you think about pleasure, it's a really important component of our physical and our mental health. And so what we really are trying to do with this Tryst Network is to really provide information about how our bodies work but also really encourage women to know themselves, to please themselves, and then to express themselves. And if you know how your body works and you understand it, you can communicate about that with your partner in a way that is more open, and more normal, and more natural.
And we're really hoping that conversations that are happening at home, that you're talking about sexuality more. And there's a lot of parents that tell us that they weren't taught how their bodies work, so they don't even know what to tell their children and how to teach their children. And they don't want to teach them the wrong thing. So we want to give different levels of information.
So people want to start out slow. And with a little bit, you're going to have access to that. And you're going to know the right words, so you don't have to give these cutesy little names. You can talk about vulva, and vagina, and clitoris. And we think it's really important. But we want to do it in a fun, in a humorous, way so that we're not turning people off. We want to turn people on to the network.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: No pun intended. But there is a very vitriolic reaction from a lot of people, especially in this country, when you start talking about sexual education in schools. And as a result, there's a lot that many of us didn't learn in sex-ed. Hopefully, tonight is your unfiltered sex-ed that you didn't get in school.
But I have a little bit of a funny story to tell. You talk about female masturbation. And I love that your messaging is that it's not dirty. It is normal. And it is a part of learning your body before you share it with someone else. And at "Teen Vogue"-- when people ask me like, what was the highlight of your career at "Teen Vogue?" I always talk about things about getting Hillary Clinton to talk to the next generation of young girls.
But the truth is-- in this safe environment, I will say. Just keep it woman to woman. We'll keep it in the room. But I remember that the scariest and the greatest highlight of my career so far was talking to Anna Wintour about female masturbation, and pitching a story, and saying it's important. And I have to say that-- can you imagine saying the words "female masturbation" to Anna freaking Wintour, by the way?
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: No, actually.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Let's just let that sink in for a minute.
JESSICA BIEL: Question-- glasses or no glasses?
ELAINE WELTEROTH: No glasses-- so, dead in her eyes, I had to say those words. And I was scared to death. I'm like, today's the day I lose my job. But she looked at me, and she said, I don't see why not. Boys do it all the time. And they talk about it way too much.
JESSICA BIEL: She's cool, man. She's the coolest.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: She doesn't get enough credit.
JESSICA BIEL: No, she doesn't.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: She doesn't get enough credit. But that being said, there are very few people who are that forward thinking. And so how do you, how do parents, how do girlfriends, pick up where sex education-- excuse me-- leaves off in the school system?
JESSICA BIEL: For me and my household, I have a 2-and-1/2-year-old, and we're starting now.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Oh, wow.
JESSICA BIEL: Well, just in terms of we're talking-- we're using technical terms. And we're talking about, when we shower together, and this is what I've got. This is what you've got. And we just talk about it.
I know he's really young. But I really believe that if you start it this early that there's no shame. I don't want to tell him, keep your private parts and this and that. Like, no, it's a beautiful thing. You have it, and mine's different. And it's cool, man. And we have to respect ourselves and respect each other. So I believe it starts really young.
I think I still go back to this idea that it doesn't have to be so serious. If you want to laugh and say vagina, and laugh or say penis, or whatever, well, do it. Laugh and get it out. Get the giggles out and then ask the real question that you know you have, right? Because I think that's always what happened to me when I was young. It's like you could barely get past the giggles to ask the real question, which was a really probably important question that as a young person you needed to know.
We don't have all the answers. I think that's another thing about Tryst Network is we will send you to places. We want to help-- what's the word I'm looking for?
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Convene-- we want to be a convener for a lot of the right information too.
JESSICA BIEL: And then if we don't have the answers, we're gonna say, well, check this out. Go here. Read that. Go look at this blog. Look at this post or whatever. So we're not trying to be the experts, necessarily. We just want to be the conduit. So we're learning too. We're learning, but I think it's through humor. I think it's through fun. I think it's through relatability.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Well, and when people get really-- the people who are upset, or they suggest that they're concerned, when you talk about some of the facts that exist today-- so right now there are 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections every year. It really is almost an epidemic.
There's 3.4 million unintended pregnancies. So we really say, look, abstinence is not working, right? It's not working. And so we really want to be able to say the information is out there. And we want to give it to people in a way that they can relate to but that it's accurate. So that's what we're really hoping with the network.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: To your point, there is a lot of misinformation out there. And with the lack of sex education in schools, so many people are really learning about sex and their bodies on the internet.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: It's true. That's true.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: But, Saundra, I love, you've said-- I love this quote, "There is power and dignity in understanding your body." I love that.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Thank you.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: So I want to ask this question, what should we all know about our vaginas that we probably don't? Like, what are-- and that's a very specific question. It's kind of joking, kind of not joking. But, really, what are some of the-- what's some of the misinformation that's out there? And what do you think women in this room, even, maybe don't know about their bodies that they should?
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Well, I guess I would say, I think one of the most significant things that we've found, in people talking to us, is what does a normal vagina look like? There's a lot of young women that reach out to us. And they are talking about things like having vaginal reconstructive surgery because they've seen these visuals on the internet.
And so we really care a lot about saying that it is incredibly unique. And they are all so different, as you are. And that there is not one-vagina-fits-all and really, seriously talking about the fact that sometimes one side is lower than the other. And sometimes it looks like Burt Reynolds, and sometimes-- and I say that and, no, really-- it's about pubic hair and no pubic hair.
And we really are going to talk about the things, too, that are a little bit spicy and saucy. Because that's what people are really talking about, or that's what they want to know about, and so the whole idea of we want to normalize sex conversation. But we also want to be very mindful to not say that there is a normal vagina. This is what it's supposed to be like.
Because the one thing that it really does break your heart, and it's really sad, when it's sort of a secret that these young girls are very concerned about what their body looks like. And so we care a lot about making sure that we're talking about those things.
But the other point, too, is this video-- the first in the series-- was really to show you need a benchmark. How do you know-- maybe you have discharge, and it's normal. But how are you going to know if you don't examine yourself? You need to have your benchmark of your own body. What is really existing now? Do you have discharge? Do you not? Do you have-- what's going on with your own with your breasts, everything.
And so we really want to encourage that self exploration. And we also want to encourage masturbation as well. But, yes, just to understand not just how your body works but what pleases you and what doesn't.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: So, Jessica, you mentioned that there was a lot you did not know as you decided to move into motherhood. And I'm curious to know what were some of the things that shocked you, that you wished someone told you before you got pregnant and before you delivered your child.
JESSICA BIEL: That, actually, that's such a bigger conversation in terms of maternal health care. And no one tells you what happens. You prepare for this day in terms of having a baby. And you have this baby. And then everyone's like, bye, see you later, good luck.
And there's no care. There's no understanding of, well, how should I eat to prepare my body to produce milk and continue producing milk. And this idea of I need to lose weight as fast as I possibly can, and be skinny again, and look fabulous again, for there's so much pressure on the outside. And it's kind of like this mom competition of how fast you can be skinny.
And that is actually the worst thing you can possibly do. You can't produce to feed your baby. That, for me, was a real shocker, like, whoa. I wasn't really taught how to eat properly-- beforehand, I mean. I had amazing help at the time. And I found amazing help. So that was a shock.
But I think, honestly-- talking about discharge, actually-- I didn't really realize that you could really tell. You could tell when your body was going through different parts of its cycle through cervical fluid. And I really prefer using that term, which is totally technical. And it doesn't have a weird stigma to it. You know, the word discharge makes people super uncomfortable.
But that your body has so many different types of cervical fluid as you go through the month, and you can tell when you're actually ovulating if you know what to look for-- if you touch it, grab it, do this with it, and do all this crazy stuff, it's amazing. I knew nothing about this.
I felt so empowered that I felt like-- I feel like-- now I know my body well enough that I can tell that, you know what? If I'm not ready to have more kids, I'm not going to have sex on these days because I checked myself out. And I know. And that, to me--
ELAINE WELTEROTH: It is empowering.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: It is empowering.
JESSICA BIEL: --makes me feel amazing because I don't have to take the pill anymore, which I took for about-- I don't know-- 13 or 15 years or something crazy like that.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Well, it's empowering too-- but your hormones. You're right. It is empowering to know what's happening to your body with your hormones.
JESSICA BIEL: Yes, and I think also because you feel like, oh I'm disgusting. I have this thing. It's in my underwear. Gross, what is this?
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Those are clues.
JESSICA BIEL: I must go to the doctor. I must have an infection. You're perfect. You think you're like this disgusting thing, and you are perfect. You know? It's wild. But nobody tells you. Why is that not being taught?
ELAINE WELTEROTH: I want to see the men clapping at that part, please. But you're absolutely right. It is so incredibly empowering to understand why your body is doing what it's doing. And sometimes these are clues that are letting you know something's wrong.
Or one thing that I have actually heard and I'd love for you to fact-check me, tell me if this is true or false. There is so much misinformation out there. But I hope this is true.
I have heard that you can actually sort of mine your PMS and your menstrual cycle for life hacks and work hacks, meaning there are certain times in the month that you are more creative. There are certain times of the month that you have more energy. And it's all linked back to your hormones. And it's all cyclical. And if you're paying close enough attention, you can actually sort of tap into little superpowers that we all have as women.
Can you speak to this? Is there any truth to this? Or am I just spreading the misinformation?
JESSICA BIEL: If it's false, I'd like to continue spreading that. Because I think that is amazing.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: So the real truth is, honestly, and it really is individual. And I'm not trying to punt, but what I'm really saying is that all of our hormones are incredibly different. But you have different levels of hormones based on your whole body chemistry. But it is true if you figure out what's happening in your own body, in your own cycle.
Because some women, by the way, have a two-day cycle, some have a seven-day cycle. You bleed heavier and lighter. And sometimes you don't bleed at all. And it also depends, too, what are you doing for your contraceptive choices? Are you taking a hormone? Are you using a different method?
And then you think to yourself-- because we've heard so many stories too that women feel depressed, or they have headaches, or they-- and then all of a sudden, oh my goodness, they're no longer taking their contraception. And they feel like a different person. And then they wonder, oh my goodness, all those years was I making those choices not really, fully in my own personal power.
So I would say to you that one of the reasons we care about this so much is that we want women to get in touch with their own system, own cycle, own body. So it's body positive. That this really becomes this positive network and information source so that-- to your point-- that we're going to talk about cervical fluid. We're going to talk about all of it, so you evaluate for yourself.
So you can say, you know what? I know this is when I'm going to have my period. I know this is how my cycle is and how heavy I bleed. And I know that, you know what? If I want to do this really important thing, I should plan it for two weeks after. Because, women, it is amazing to see that if we have the confidence and control of what's going on with ourselves, everything we do is better impacted, every experience we have.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: What would you say is sort of one tactical piece of advice that every woman in the room tonight can go home and apply, in terms of taking a first step towards understanding your body.
JESSICA BIEL: I've got one. Get a hand mirror.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Seriously.
JESSICA BIEL: And take a look. That's the first step.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: You have your homework.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: I mean a real look, a real look. And a look and, actually, a feel-- I mean a look and a feel, really.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: And what is the-- like talk us through this. This might be uncomfortable for some people. What is the goal of this? What should you be-- what should you do as you go through this exercise? How do you walk away from that and it's actually be a productive exercise that actually helps you understand your body better.
JESSICA BIEL: I guess I would say if you can have a base level of healthy, normal, when you're feeling-- you know, you feel good. You're feeling healthy. And you see what it looks like, what it feels like. And when you're not well, you will know the difference. But if you don't know and you really don't look, and you don't feel, you don't check it out, and you don't-- like I said-- really check it out, then--
ELAINE WELTEROTH: So it's about acceptance.
JESSICA BIEL: --how do you know? You just don't know. So I think it won't give you the confidence to say, I might be having something that looks strange, but actually this is normal. This happens every month. Even if you start to maybe make a note about it, this is where I am in my cycle. This is when my first day of my period was. This is what day I'm on now. This is what my underwear looks like.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: So check in regularly--
JESSICA BIEL: Yeah.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: --with the mirror, downstairs. OK, got it. So there is a term that you both use that I love. And it's, you guys say, educated sexual beings, ESB. You use it a lot. Talk about what that actually means. And you also talk about sexual IQ. What is that? We've all heard about emotional intelligence, your emotional IQ. But how do you strengthen your sexual IQ?
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: So it's really about where you are today. So what access to information and education you've been given by whoever it is-- yourself, through the school system, where you start today. And it is perfectly fine, by the way. It's perfectly fine if you don't feel that you're an educated sexual being.
But the goal of this network is to really increase people's sexual IQ. We wanted to have it ESBN, but we didn't quite get to pull that off, ESBN. That would be a way to attract men, more men, into the network. But it was a really interesting way to say, OK, look. Educated sexual beings really know how their own bodies work. And then they're able to really communicate with their partner in a way that's more connected, communicate themselves in a way that's more connected.
So that's what it is. It's an educated sexual being based on the level of knowledge you have today. And then really your desire to not just create acceptance but to educate yourself more, and learn all the things about yourself and your body, and-- by the way-- your partner's, as well, that you'd want to know, so you can be more connected.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Yeah, communication is key, as you say, Jessica, in your relationship. I'm curious. How have you applied some of what you've learned as you've gotten deeper into this work? Has it improved your sex life? Has it helped with your relationship? Talk about how you've applied all of this education that you've picked up.
JESSICA BIEL: Well, I'm still learning too, by the way, obviously. I don't have all the answers. And I'm always trying to have a higher sexual IQ, as well. But, honestly, it's just made everything better because I feel more confident to just tell the truth. I feel confident to say, you know what? I'm not feeling it, or this doesn't feel good, or I like this. And I think that takes a long time.
And we're not trying to say, come on, do it fast. Just, you know, you can do it. We're not trying to say that. We're just saying maybe we'd like to help you just feel better internally. Because when women, specifically women, when we are empowered, and we feel confident, and we understand ourselves, and we feel like we have control of our bodies and our lives, it permeates the community. It permeates our country, our world, economically it changes things. That's a fact.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Absolutely. OK, I have to ask this question. I asked some friends. I was telling them I was doing this today. And the number one piece of advice that I got to ask you is-- or the number-one thing people wanted to know from you, rather, is what's the best sexual advice that both of you have ever been given?
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Wow. OK, do you want to start? Or do you want me to start? OK, so--
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Don't get shy now, Jessica.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Yeah, exactly. So my sexual advice was two different things. Well, the first was that it doesn't have to be a burden-- that it doesn't have to be a burden, and that it really doesn't have to just be the woman's responsibility.
And so the whole idea of a burden is that you really-- if you can't be in a place where you feel like this is pleasurable, and you want it, and you desire it, then you should evaluate that-- that perhaps that's not the place to be. And so sex as a burden is really not the sex you should be having. So that was, I think, a good piece of advice.
JESSICA BIEL: Don't do it in the ocean, ever. It's not good.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: You're crushing fantasies right now. I'll take that off my bucket list.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Take that off the bucket list.
JESSICA BIEL: It's salty.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Sand.
JESSICA BIEL: I think another, honestly, another good piece of advice-- maybe it's kind of what you're saying. But I think a lot of people-- maybe more specifically, young women-- we grow up with a lot of pressure about when you have sex for the first time. Or not even first time, but just whenever you are having sex and how important it is to think about who that's with, and when, and all these kinds of big, important things that are weighing you down.
And that's totally important. And we are not against abstinence or against making smart decisions for you as a human. But you should, and are able, and should always be able to say no. And that should be respected. But you should absolutely be able to just say yes, as well, and not feel anything about it. And maybe that's kind of what you're saying.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Yeah, and not feel shame about it.
JESSICA BIEL: But I feel like it's hard to just go, you know what? Yes, I want to do that. And I don't want to have any connection after it. That's OK too. So there is shame on both sides-- saying no, saying yes. And we really want to talk about what it really means to say no. But we also want to talk about what it means to say yes, like a big exclamation point, you know?
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Absolutely. I think one of the most important aspects of sex education is consent-- talking about consent, educating both men and women about consent and what it really means. You, Saundra, are raising an 8-year-old son. You're a single mother. How do you start this dialogue with your son, even at age 8? It's never too early, as you've just illustrated. Your son is two. But how do you speak to your son about this, even at such a young age?
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Yes, well, so he's 10.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Oh, 10, I'm sorry.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: No, it's OK. So I start already. Look, I say, look, he's a captive audience. And I take that responsibility really seriously being a single mother. And if you don't teach the respect-- and I talk about respect from a sexual standpoint.
And so we have real conversations about real things. And I have conver-- already, I mean, there's a lot of sexuality that he already knows about, right? Maybe he doesn't understand it. And so we have conversations about his body, and about my body, and about women's bodies, and boys bodies, and girls and boys, but a whole variety of different topics.
But we talk about the right terms. And we talk about pubic hair and masturbation. He was devastated to learn that he would have pubic hair. He was very-- he was like, why? Why? Why? Because he said to me-- because he saw me naked-- and I said, well, you know, you're actually going to have that. And he's like, oh, like in shock.
But I take it very ser-- why I say this, I take it very seriously, is that, look, I feel like it's my responsibility to make sure that I am raising a new kind of man. In my opin-- a new kind of man. My mother says that the reason that I had a son is so that I would really learn these lessons about the kindness and pureness.
We're born sexual beings. We die sexual beings. And the sooner you can get this education and information out there, the difference they're going to feel about respect. So I'm pretty intense about it. So I can tell you right now, yes.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Lucky, lucky son.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Let's hope. I hope so.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Well, and with that, I just want to say thank you so much. And thank you to Makers.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Thank you.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Because it is very rare at a women's empowerment conference--
JESSICA BIEL: Thank you, Makers.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: --with a sea of sweet women, to be able to talk about their romantic lives and this intimate side of our life. So thank you to Makers. And thank you to both of you for joining us for this conversation.
SAUNDRA PELLETIER: Thank you.
JESSICA BIEL: Thank you.
ELAINE WELTEROTH: Have a great night.
- So, just quickly, Esther-- most of you know who she is-- she's a Belgian psychotherapist from New York, a "New York Times" best selling author of the "State of Affairs" and "Mating in Capitivity"-- sounds so fun. Her celebrated TED talks have garnered 20 million views and she's also the host of the popular Audible original podcast, "Where Should We Begin?"
So where should we begin? By bringing our on up! Esther Perel!
[MUSIC - CAMILA CABELLO, "HAVANA"]
ESTHER PEREL: OK. So let me ask you very-- can I get a little bit more light in the room. And tell me, just very briefly, how many of you would say that you are currently in a relationship, in a primary relationship? Just raise your hand. And how many of you would like to be in a relationship? And how many of you would like to be out of the relationship you're in? At least once a month, let's be honest.
So you see we all live in networks of relationships. We all live in network of connections and the bonds and the connections that we make with others provide us the greatest source of happiness, of joy, of well-being, and of meaning. And so what I would like for us to have this evening is a conversation about one of our relationships, which is our intimate, our romantic relationship.
It's not the only one that we are in, by far, but it is the one that has undergone the most extreme makeover in the last 100 years. Friendship hasn't particularly changed too much. Sibling relationship hasn't altered too much, but the couple is undergoing such a rapid shift. The norms are literally changing under our feet.
And for so long, things were rather clear-- relationships were regulated by duty and obligation. And we knew how we had to talk to each other, what was expected from every gender, how the husband talked to the wife, the wife to the husband, and the others didn't have a chance to marry.
But now we have more choice and more freedom than ever and we also have a lot more uncertainty and a lot more self-doubt. And for the first time since we are not ruled by the rules, the only thing we have available to us are meaningful and brave conversations.
So I would like to invite Glennon Doyle, and Abby Wambach, and Tamika Catchings, and Parnell Smith to join me for a conversation about relationships.
[MUSIC - EMOTIONS, "BEST OF MY LOVE"]
ABBY WAMBACH: Hey everybody.
ESTHER PEREL: You know, I thought I would give you first a basic question, just to kind of get us in the groove. But the rule is going to be this, everything can be said and nothing must be said. So this is the way it is in my office. I'm a couple's therapist, I'm a practicing therapist. I ask all kinds of questions and sometimes people say, that's a weird question and I say, let me ask another one.
So, you know, but my mind runs wild. And the classic question in light of what we talked about today would be to say, how do you balance between your work lives and your relationships, between the personal time and the time for the couple, or maybe there are other members of the family. What's the balancing dance? And between your other endeavors that you may be involved in. So that's the basic question.
And here's what we're going to do-- we're going to do it short, because on all of these things one can tell a long story and we live in our stories, right? So on occasion I may just say, I got it. When I say I got it, it just means you made your point. Sometimes we repeat ourselves three times--
ABBY WAMBACH: Oh man, I am in trouble.
ESTHER PEREL: I'm right next to you, I'll help you. So how do you balance? We have this whole day of people doing all these amazing things, they all have a home life of some sort-- some of them with others at home. What's the balance?
ABBY WAMBACH: That's a good question. Glennon and I, we've been married since May and we have three children, Glennon had three children before I came into the family, and I think that the balance thing is something that I'm now learning with family. I was always on the road playing on the national team. I played soccer and traveled the world and now that I'm more grounded-- you know, we still do a lot of work on the road-- but having the family is been something for me that I've had to really continually train myself to remember that I have to be home and when I'm home, I have to be completely present. And that's definitely something that's a value of our family, a foundation that we're trying to shape.
GLENNON DOYLE: Yeah, and we have an amazing situation because I'm divorced, so we have three parents-- like, I don't know how the hell anyone does it with two parents anymore. We have this situation where we get to be really on an amazing parents with the kids and then they leave, right? And I feel like I'm supposed to be really upset about it but sometimes I'm just like, bye.
I feel like Macauley Caulkin, you know, I'm like, I made my family disappear. I made my family disappear. Too much information. Go ahead.
ESTHER PEREL: Got it.
PARNELL SMITH: Tamika and I have been married for going on two years tomorrow.
PARNELL SMITH: So she travels a lot with her job and I'm pretty busy with mine as well, so I believe the balance that we have comes at night whenever she gets home and when I get home as well to spend that time together. But it's pretty tough, but I think we do a good job of making it work, so--
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: And I would agree. I think the biggest thing-- can you hear me? Yeah, I think the biggest thing is when I get home, finally like being able to put my computer away, which is very, very hard for me and I'm always on and I got like 10 jobs right now. So trying to keep up with everything, trying to keep up with email, but then also making sure that I spend time with them and that I'm available and care for him, because I think that's really important too.
ESTHER PEREL: Knowing what you know about you, Tamika, what would you say is something that makes it hard to live with you?
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: I expect a lot.
ESTHER PEREL: So let me frame it a little more. It's not what he would say. It's not what Parnell would say. It's what you who knows yourself. What do you know would make it hard on occasion, let's say on occasion.
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: I expect a lot. I think I'm a higher achiever in every single thing and I think just Abby, that's what you as an athlete, as an elite athlete, every single day from the time that I was, I don't know, sixth grade, seventh grade, I made the goal to be a professional athlete--
ESTHER PEREL: Yeah, but that doesn't mean you're hard to live with because you expect a lot. You're hard to live with if you expect too much from others who don't do as much as you. You're hard to live with if when they do it, it's not good enough, not because you yourself expect a lot. So is it hard to live with that? Or is it--
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: Interesting.
ESTHER PEREL: I'll be back.
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: Let me think about that.
ESTHER PEREL: And you can all think about that question too.
PARNELL SMITH: Yeah, I'll defer.
GLENNON DOYLE: She's deferring, that's amazing. I think that in my previous relationships that I have been-- I thought I was just being like a really good leader of my family, but I've come to understand that it might be a little bit controlling. I feel like I have really good ideas about how everyone should behave.
ESTHER PEREL: And you let them know.
GLENNON DOYLE: I do and it's always worked out for me and it suddenly has stopped. And I'm not the boss of Abby. And it's been really interesting because-- and she knows all of the things that I do when I don't think other people know that I'm manipulating the situation to control it-- she knows all the things.
And so it's been an interesting experience for me to try to take control out of love, which has made me realize that I don't think I've ever really loved before because I've been shaping things. I actually have considered that maybe love is just the opposite of control.
So it is a huge journey for me. My sister actually was saying that she's noticed it in other parts of my life, that I'm like letting other people be the boss of themselves too. So I find it a beautiful exercise and I also just exhausting to let things be. But I love you.
ABBY WAMBACH: I love you too.
GLENNON DOYLE: So much. And you have good ideas.
ABBY WAMBACH: Well, a little bit different--
ESTHER PEREL: And she's the expert on those ideas, too.
ABBY WAMBACH: Yes.
GLENNON DOYLE: Apparently.
ESTHER PEREL: But that's not the definition of letting other people know.
GLENNON DOYLE: Wait, what?
ESTHER PEREL: If you are the one who tells them when they have a good idea, that is not exactly the definition of letting them know.
GLENNON DOYLE: OK, well I'm sorry. I'm just doing the best I can, a little bit at a time. I'm not trying to be the GOAT of not being in control. Not trying to be an Olympian about it, just trying to be sweet.
ABBY WAMBACH: That's good. I think something really small that has come up for Glennon and I, that I am finding myself really frustrated with myself about, you know, I think that whenever we talk about higher love, Glennon and I want to try to, we're always trying to attain a different way. We've both come from previous marriages and having this sense of higher love is really important to us and cultivating that feels almost impossible in moments.
But I am a totally non-confrontational person and so sometimes I have a way of trying to get my information across to her by teasing her and making jokes in front of other people. I mean, it's not funny, right? Because first of all, sarcasm is just like a mean way of trying to tell the way you really feel about something.
And I found this really interesting that she's kind of pointed it out to me that that's a way that I've kind of lived in the sport world. It's how I was able to get information that might be a little bit hard for people to hear across the table or across the field or whatever because it's faster, it's a little harder, a little harsher. But that's something that I'm really trying to work on not doing. I want to have this higher love with Glennon and that's something that I find myself doing too often. And for me, it's like a moment of uncomfort, like a silent moment usually when I'm trying to fill a space.
ESTHER PEREL: But you know, I was teasing you Glennon, but there's two things I was thinking when you were talking. What is initially attractive, because it is different, is often the source of conflict later because it is different. But even when you look at the thing that may make us harder or difficult to live with, it is often also from that same place.
If I was to ask you what is a resource about relationships that you bring with you, I could imagine you talking about that careful attention to detail as to how things are done, to how other people are feeling, and you would not call it control, you would call it attunement and care and attention.
GLENNON DOYLE: That's all I'm saying.
ESTHER PEREL: You understand?
GLENNON DOYLE: I agree, 100%.
ESTHER PEREL: If I ask the question as a resource, you answer the same data with a different affect. If I answer the question as it's hard to live with, you're turning it into an issue of control. Context makes all the difference. This is for all of you. They're just here to facilitate your session.
ABBY WAMBACH: You're welcome. You're welcome.
ESTHER PEREL: But you know, but that is a question I'd love to ask. You know, and maybe even Parnell for you to start. What's a resource about relationships that you bring with you?
PARNELL SMITH: Well, let me start by one thing that I need to work on, which is communication. I get in trouble every now and again because she'll be overly detailed, you know, in something as simple as a text message, and I don't give enough information in mine and I get in trouble for that.
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: Not in trouble, just communication.
PARNELL SMITH: Yeah, but as far as what I think I bring is the love aspect. I think I really do a good job of supporting her with, you know, whatever it is she's trying to do and, you know, just be that rock for her. And I think that's the biggest thing that I bring to the table.
ESTHER PEREL: They say that what doesn't kill you strengthens you. What would be a challenge, if any, that you have gone through in your relationship?
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: Challenge?
ESTHER PEREL: Yeah.
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: I think challenge for me is sometimes being vulnerable. You know? Being able to express everything that I feel and, you know, the likes and the dislikes and being superficial, I can communicate, but when I really get to like topics that really matter, I shy away and kind of like Abby, you know, sarcasm. Yeah, I think just being more, being able to talk about deeper stuff and not shy away from it.
ESTHER PEREL: Any challenge, you would say?
GLENNON DOYLE: Yeah, I'll go. I feel like just getting to each other was a huge challenge because I had to get through a divorce to get to Abby and I had this narrative in my head that divorce was going to be the worst thing in the world and should be avoided at all costs that would screw up my kids forever. And so I didn't do it because I thought it would break my middle daughter.
And I just remember one day looking at her and thinking, OK, I'm staying in this marriage for her but would I want this marriage for her? Which just kind of shifted everything for me and I thought--
ESTHER PEREL: Sorry, can I repeat that? I'm staying in this marriage for her, but would I want this marriage for her? I think that's a beautiful nuance.
GLENNON DOYLE: Thank you. And so, you know, I just decided, OK, so it's not my job to like show her how to slowly die. You know, it's my job to live for her. What? What happened? Did I say something wrong? Am I being controlling?
ESTHER PEREL: No, you just spoke truth.
GLENNON DOYLE: Oh, OK.
ABBY WAMBACH: Am I being controlling.
GLENNON DOYLE: So, anyway, the wild part about that challenge is that this little girl that I thought would be broken by this, I walked her through it and it was as hard and traumatic as you would imagine it would be for a little one and she's come across the other side just this like fierce little thing. Just this challenge that I thought would break her has made her. You know, she's a kid who now doesn't have to avoid every fire of life because she is fireproof.
ESTHER PEREL: But you know, it's interesting because you everybody laughed, but I said you speak truth when you say it's not my job to teach her to die slowly. I have always thought when I see couples that there are couples who are not dead and there are couples who are alive. And to not be dead doesn't yet mean the same as to experience a sense of vitality or aliveness in your relationship, which is kind of what I've devoted my life's work to.
So that notion led me to think of a question that I want to try it out with you, because it's a question that I find is very dear to me when I try to understand relationships. I find that often in a couple there is one person that is more in touch with the fear of losing the other and one person that is more in touch with the fear of losing themselves.
GLENNON DOYLE: Damn, Esther.
ESTHER PEREL: Let me continue. Meaning, that often there is one person who is more in touch with the fear of abandonment and one person who is more in touch with the fear of obliteration. Or one person came out of their childhood needing more space and one person came out of their childhood needing more protection.
Of course, these people find each other, right? We all have both, but we sometimes farm out the harder part to the other person.
ABBY WAMBACH: That's good.
ESTHER PEREL: So we often we partner with someone whose proclivities will match our vulnerabilities. Which one would you say you are if this applies to you?
ABBY WAMBACH: I'm clearly-- I am very overt in saying this, I'm fine saying this aloud-- I have a total fear of abandonment. I grew up in a massive family, I'm the youngest of seven kids. And I feel sorry for Glennon at times, because whenever we get into some sort of fight, she's taking care of maybe the issue, but she's also having to worry about my deep, deep, deep, stuff that I'm so afraid that she's going to leave me, so she can't really ever be super mad at me. So I feel bad for her a little bit. So that's for sure mine.
GLENNON DOYLE: It's a good strategy for her. Well, I think it's interesting-- I have a little bit of fear of losing myself, but that's because the second I married Abby I became Abby Wambach's wife, so actually did lose a little bit of myself. I don't know, I mean, I think that we do have that moment in every fight or argument where I have to say this is not about this-- no one's leaving anyone ever. You know, yeah, I don't know. Do you think I have a fear of losing myself? I'd get lost a lot.
ABBY WAMBACH: I don't know. We'll have to-- what did you say? Mine that?
GLENNON DOYLE: Yeah. We'll mine that. How about you guys? Little quiet over there. So just wondering.
PARNELL SMITH: I would say that I have more of a feeling of losing myself more so because I'm the type of person that I like to have my space. So when I get home from a long day at work or whatever, I just need some time to clear my head and, you know, go to the basement, just hang out.
But often times--
ESTHER PEREL: How long do you stay in the basement?
PARNELL SMITH: No comment. I would say roughly an hour or two hours.
GLENNON DOYLE: Two hours.
PARNELL SMITH: But I'll get in trouble for that. So I think I've done a good job. But I would say myself.
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: I would say for me, it's losing myself too. I think a lot of it is because we come from a divorced family and so, you know, one of the things, and looking at my mom. It's weird because when we did the people's supper yesterday, we talked about it at our table, but our mom and dad were divorced. My sister is here as well. And so I think just watching her, you know, my dad was a professional basketball player and so, she literally stopped her life to cater to him.
And so, you know, when you think about female role models and you think about your parents, you know, it was really like she cooked and cleaned and took care of us. And so it wasn't really that she put herself out there and so I think for we have grown up as strong women, but more than that, more than that, we will never rely on a man.
And so you know, trying to find that balance-- so like he is an amazing guy. And, you know, I'm so lucky to be his wife and that he chose me, but also being conscious of, you know like I have always been like, oh, I'm superior, and I can do this and I can do it all by myself. But really trying to take a little bit off of that of being able to lose myself for him.
ESTHER PEREL: I'm aware of time. So I'm going to as you one last one. In the previous session, they were talking about sex and at one point they kept talking about, you know, what you do, what you do. And by the way, for the pleasure thing for the women, the CDC took the word pleasure out of the definition of sexual health in the past three years, which WHO still has.
But I was thinking, I actually think that it would help us if we didn't think so much about sex as something that we do, but more about sex as a place where we go. And where we go inside ourselves and where we go with another or others, i.e., it's a language, and so the question is, where do we go? Where do you go in sex? What parts of you do you connect with there? Is it tenderness? Is it surrender? Is it aggression? Is it power? Is it spirituality? Is it a transendence? Is it naughtiness? It's like, what's the language for you?
ABBY WAMBACH: I think that for me, I've never been uncomfortable or insecure talking or talking about body parts or sex, I think for me and Glennon, I find myself recreating a whole world in and around the subject. It's not about what we're doing in the bedroom, it's like what's happening throughout the entire 24 hours of our day. You know, she brings me coffee every morning, like, that is sex to me. I'm serious and I value that. And that's the kind of thing that's like foreplay, whatever you want to call it, that will lead into something at some point.
So I feel like sex for me is just the world that is continually a creation with every action, with every decision, with every moment.
ESTHER PEREL: I typically say that foreplay starts at the end of the previous orgasm.
ABBY WAMBACH: That's good.
ESTHER PEREL: Are you OK if we let other people into the conversation?
ABBY WAMBACH: Sure. Are you guys OK?
ESTHER PEREL: And maybe we can add a little bit more light so we will see each other as we speak.
ABBY WAMBACH: I don't know how they all got off from answering that question.
GLENNON DOYLE: I know. I was so excited to talk about sex. I just figured it out like a hot minute ago. That's OK.
ESTHER PEREL: Do it, do it. I just-- go ahead.
GLENNON DOYLE: Oh no, I'm just really excited about sex in general. I didn't understand it my whole life and I just figured it out like a year ago. So like I've been thinking something was wrong with me my whole life because I hated sex, but I think that there was just something wrong. There wasn't anything wrong with me. I just had the wrong outer circumstances.
ESTHER PEREL: But before a woman thinks there's something wrong with her, I typically would say start first by trying out a different partner.
GLENNON DOYLE: That's what I did.
ESTHER PEREL: Then we'd say--
GLENNON DOYLE: All fixed. No more therapy needed.
ESTHER PEREL: With a different partner, comes a different story.
GLENNON DOYLE: Just marry a girl, it will be fine.
ESTHER PEREL: Ladies and gentlemen, join us, your questions and keep them as questions. Yes? I suppose I have to come to you.
ABBY WAMBACH: Who is going to brave this?
ESTHER PEREL: All right. Yes?
ABBY WAMBACH: Anybody have a question? This is now awkward. I'll give you an autograph. Oh, god. Sophia!
- I'll take one for the team. These are my friends. OK, wow, there's a lot of people here. Hi guys. Yeah?
ESTHER PEREL: Here's what we're going to do, we're going to take four or five. And then we'll have a theme. We'll see what are the themes. We're not just going to do one one. So--
- So you mentioned that the CDC took pleasure out of the definition of sexual health. And as everybody's talking about it, you come to your definition of pleasure as you age, as you go through experiences, as you eventually find the right partner. How do you think that we start to distill some of the hard won wisdom that we've gained with age and start figuring out how to weave it more into our societal fabric so that girls aren't feeling so ashamed and so embarrassed in their teens in their 20s. It's not taking them until they're 35 or 45 to figure it out.
ABBY WAMBACH: Good question.
- You know, what are the ways that we support this simple yes of sexual pleasure because I think that's what's really tied into the relationship health and romantic safety as well.
GLENNON DOYLE: Thank you, Sister Sophia.
- Glennon, first and foremost, you should know I too was confused and figured it out much later in life. That my wife. We got married in October.
GLENNON DOYLE: We once were blind, but now we see.
- And for Abby, she brings me coffee every morning. I'm completely in line with you. I would love to just hear from you guys. It took me a long time to figure out what intimacy meant for me, which had a lot to do with actually holding hands with my wife and just random things like that. Would love to just hear from you guys, from your perspective, how you guys define intimacy and how you guys stay intimate because you're all so busy with your careers and what not, so would love to just hear that from you from all of you.
ESTHER PEREL: One more.
- How do you know that you found the one?
ESTHER PEREL: OK, so we have a question about how do we come into our own before we without having to wait 50 years about it and develop a different confidence that is maturation and developmental, but start earlier on. How do you define intimacy for you and how do you sustain it? And how did you know that you were the ones, if you ever thought about each other as the ones? Which or a one? Or the one for now?
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: We can answer any of them?
ESTHER PEREL: Yes.
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: All right, I think for us even thinking about intimacy, you know, because I'm so busy and he's busy too, but really it's just I like to touch him and like he's probably more touchy feely, but even if we're like laying on the couch, you know, just like our legs will touch or our arms will touch, or something will be touching. Like I enjoy that, of course, that kind of leads into other things down the road, but sometimes, but I think, you know, for me it's really about feeling him and him being around or even if I'm on the computer, like I still want him to be right there and not downstairs in the basement. I don't want to go in the basement for two hours.
ESTHER PEREL: That basement will never be the same.
PARNELL SMITH: That's true.
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: We should've never got it done.
PARNELL SMITH: I agree. We do have different love languages, which can be a little bit difficult sometimes. I am more of a touchy feely type person and she's more, she likes to hear words of affirmation and something else, but-- It's the little things for me. You know, guys are more visual, so things throughout the day can, you know, make me feel a bit more intimate, which leads to more things down the road, so.
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: So I'm not doing a good job, basically. So this is a great conversation.
PARNELL SMITH: No, not at all. You're doing a great job.
GLENNON DOYLE: So sweet. Do you want to answer one? What do you think?
ABBY WAMBACH: Go ahead.
GLENNON DOYLE: Well, I mean, I think of intimacy as attention, like any time when we're actually paying close attention to each other and not phones, not kids, not TV, whatever. But the one, how do you know it's the one, the way that I knew that Abby was the one was I think like the year before we met, I went through this really hard time in my previous marriage where there was infidelity and a lot of things that went on and it happened all very publicly.
And so everyone had an idea of what I should do, you know, what I should do, what I should do. And in order to stay sane I had to like get really still and for the first time hear my own voice and stop looking outward for other people to tell me what I wanted and what I should do but to start hearing from myself for the first time.
And so I practiced that every day for a year to decide how to walk through my infidelity and divorce. And so I just practiced it and I started actually hearing from this voice inside myself for the first time and trusting that voice and doing whatever the hell that voice wanted to do without explaining myself or asking permission first.
And I started trusting myself so much that, you know, when Abby walked into a room I had never, ever kissed a girl before and I had never even considered that this would be a possibility in my life and she walked into the room and that voice, I heard in my body, my soul, everything, there she is. It's just there she is.
And I was like, OK. I just trusted-- it made no sense-- and I just trusted that voice because it hadn't led me wrong yet. And so I've-- I didn't even believe in love, much less love at first sight, right-- but I knew from the first, I don't know, maybe minute that I met her that we would be together forever.
So good luck, I don't know, find an Olympian and just get divorced and--
ABBY WAMBACH: Yeah, I mean just to answer Sophia's question a little bit, a little story. We actually, when I first got into our family unit, you know, we have these three children, Chase is 15, Tish is 11, and Ammon's 9, and as a biological parent you have like your way of parenting and I just kind of got thrown in, I was like insta-mom. This is intense. And I remember having this conversation with Chase one day on the couch, and the word dildo came up.
GLENNON DOYLE: Oh god, I remember that. Jesus.
ABBY WAMBACH: And the look on her face was like, oh no. And I was like, well, am I not supposed to talk about this stuff?
GLENNON DOYLE: The word dildo came up because you said the word dildo. Somebody was yelling dildo in our house.
ABBY WAMBACH: Here's the deal, what I said to her, I said would you rather have him learn this stuff here at home and be educated on it and know what's to come whether it's from him or his friends, so that he has the information to make the decisions that he wants to make. I mean, it's a lot like what Jessica and Sandra were saying earlier, the more you can talk about your bodies, the more you can talk about the actual acts of sex or the way you're living your sexual lives, the less shame it will have. And that is the most important thing because we all have the same stuff, essentially, and we're trying to figure out how to co-exist and sex is a part of that. And I think that the shame is what, you know, what Glennon always says, is what takes us out of the game.
ESTHER PEREL: So I'm going to take a quick stab at those three as well. I was thinking Sophia when you asked the question, but now when Tamika was saying, you know, and I touch there is an intimacy in that touch and sometimes that touch leads to more and you were all laughing.
And I thought, the day that confidence that you're talking about is there, there won't be that kind of laughter. It's a laughter that is uncomfortable. It's says, oh, what's happening afterwards. You know, and there is a that transgressive quality of the forbiddenness of it all that you want but can't really admit that you want and yet in long term relationships, the only thing that will preserve sexuality is that it is willful and intentional and premeditated. It doesn't just happen. Whatever's going to just happen already has.
So intimacy, I think one of the very interesting things about this word in the recent years, is that it really has taken on a whole new meaning and it's kind of into-me-see, is what intimacy has become. Intimacy was what--
And the reason why it's so important is because this is the first time in the history of human kind that the survival of the family depends only on the emotional quality of the couple. That's it. There's nothing else holding a family together than how well is the couple doing. And so this into-me-see has become a central feature of communication, of reflection, of presence, of attention, what you're talking about.
You know, for many people, especially makers and doers, that quality of attention is often given to your critics and your clients and people bring the leftovers home.
GLENNON DOYLE: That's good. Say that, Esther. Retweet.
ESTHER PEREL: I'll be back. You know where to find me. You know, but seriously, I think we all know it. We all know when we are giving half attention to the people at home, when we're with our phones in hands, when the phone is the alarm clock, when you can bring the coffee and actually really sit and sip the coffee together and check in and say hi, how's your day, what's your plan? And you can take the coffee and in the other hand hold your phone and just still say thank you and then be half already somewhere else.
And you know, if people treated their partners like they treat their clients, marriages would do a lot better because you respond immediately and with charm and wit and a lot of other things to your clients. You know, the way that we don't necessarily put the effort in in the home.
And the thing about the one and only, I think it's such an important question to do because we call our one and only these days, the soul mate, and for most of history when people talked about the soul mate it meant god, not another person. And romantic love has really replaced in our secularized society, that which we used to live to look for in religion-- transcendence, and meaning, and ecstasy, and wholeness-- all these things that we want to find with the one. You know, the one which we're looking for in a society where we've got 1,000 people at our fingertips.
So the one is the one who's going to make me delete my apps. You know, that becomes the one. You know, the one for whom I'm going to cure my case of FOMO, the one for whom I'm going to stop looking. And maybe for some people there is the one and for other people there is a one.
And a one that you can make a life with and the people that you make a life with are not always the same ones as the ones that you can love. There's a lot more people we can love than people we can make a life with. It's two separate programs. That doesn't mean we don't love the ones we make a life with, but we can have plenty of beautiful love stories with people we would never make a life with. We've all had them.
You know and so that moment of recognition after a year of deep friendship, it's not a discovery, it's an affirmation. it's a very different thing, you know?
Any other questions now that we're a little bit more warmed up? OK. I'm coming.
- You are phenomenal. You are phenomenal. Erayna, Erayna. Hi, from New York. I just want to ask you about how to acquire that level of intimacy with so much emphasis on social media. And I see it as a barrier. I see it as a very destructive I think is that it's keeping us apart. And I want to know how you feel about how we might acquire that level of intimacy given that how we meet each other now has gone to technology.
ESTHER PEREL: Anybody else since I'm on the floor? So look, I think that in the past, pretty much you knew what was going on in every couple because the walls were porous and you could hear every fight. Today, your friends can pretty much break up and you didn't know it was coming. So there's very- there's an attack on the truth of what happens in relationships on every level. Social media, people curate fictitious lives and you don't have any idea what is true. And then when it comes to sex people lie, and when it comes to forbidden sex they lie even more. So who knows the stories?
And at some point when there is too much noise, I think you need the courage to basically get offline, just get offline. This notion that people are sitting in a bar but instead of talking to each other they're like on their phone is really bizarre. We were in the airport, Lindsay and I, my partner here, business partner here, and we saw two people sitting at the bar literally was like in the morning, we were flying back from Amsterdam. And the man was basically saying to the woman, hi, and where are you flying to and what's your name? And then she shook his hand and she said you're so polite, like as in you still relate. You know? You actually talk and you-- It was so moving because of its rareness. I mean, not because it was unusual, because it should be unusual.
So when you start to feel like you become too digitalized in your life, get off. Get off, you won't miss much. You won't miss much. And then connect for real and do things with people, doesn't have to be long stories. Just connect with people. Go do things and in movement, in movement is the best way to connect with them. That's the nutshell. You know? And go to the people who know you and who respect and admire you and have them kind of shower you a little bit with the dose of a mirror that you like to see yourself reflected in because after a while, you kind of don't know him.
Or you know part of the social media is that it has really the media, the whole digitalized communication is that it has created a situation by which there is less and less relationship accountability. I think that's actually the biggest price we pay. You know, there is a whole new system of dealing with people. Those people that you ice and those people that you simmer and those people that you ghost and those people with whom you live in a kind of a stable ambiguity, which means that you have just enough so that you have some connection with them, but not too much so that you don't lose your freedom. You know? Stable ambiguity is what social media allows you to have. It's like a bunch of people laid out with whom you have enough so you don't have to feel completely alone, but you don't have too much so that you haven't forgotten your options.
Bad landscape. I think in the end it drains a lot of us. But that requires a bigger movement that just at some point says, OK, next. We've done this one. Onwards. This too shall pass. Don't worry. That's my conclusion. But I don't want to be the first one that closes so seven verbs to ask, to give, to take, to receive, to share, to play, and to refuse. Which is your favorite one in the world of relationships?
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: To give.
ESTHER PEREL: To give.
PARNELL SMITH: To give.
ESTHER PEREL: To give.
GLENNON DOYLE: To play.
ESTHER PEREL: To play.
ABBY WAMBACH: To give.
ESTHER PEREL: To thank you.
- Ladies and gentlemen Ja'Nay Hawkins.
JA'NAY HAWKINS: OK, come on. Come on. Good morning, everyone. Oh, no. It's day three of the Makers Conference. Good morning, everyone.
- Good morning.
JA'NAY HAWKINS: OK, great, great.
Last night was amazing, wasn't it? It was good, right? We talked about sex. Well, actually we talked about a lot of sex. And relationships.
But today is the moment we've been waiting for. I am very, very proud to stand here and introduce our dynamic and badass 2018 Makers@ Board of Directors.
Are you ready?
JA'NAY HAWKINS: Are you ready?
JA'NAY HAWKINS: Livestream, are you ready? All right, let's bring them out.
LAUREN CRAMPSIE: Hi, I'm Lauren Crampsie. I'm the Global Chief marketing officer of Ogilvy Worldwide. I pledge to publicly disclose our gender statistics across all levels in the US by June.
OLIVIA DOUGLAS: Hi, I'm Olivia Douglas from BBDO. I'm an EVP there, and I pledge to develop a peer mentoring program designed to boost presentation skills, business and strategic acumen, and exposure to senior leadership.
ALLISON ALLEN: I'm Alison Allen. I'm a VP at Oath, a Verizon company. And we pledge to make mobility matter for women. That includes career development, career advancement, internal mobility. And more specifically, we pledge to increase our investment in STEM and STEAM for Girls.
NICKY BELL: I'm Nicky Bell, SVP Managing Director RGA. RGA is going to raise retention of women of color 50% by creating a culture of true belonging.
LISA MCKNIGHT: Hi, everyone. I'm Lisa McKnight. I'm the senior Vice President and General Manager of Barbie. And the Barbie team pledges to launch at least 10 new role model dolls each year, featuring under-represented careers, real-life heroes, and important women in history. Because imagining that she can be anything is just the beginning, but actually seeing that she can makes all the difference.
GAUDE PAEZ: Hi, I'm Gaude Paez, VP of Corporate Communications at Hulu. And we pledge to double the resources dedicated to our internal women's group, Hula, so it can provide more education and leadership building opportunities in 2018. We also pledge to establish a diversity liaison to further our efforts related to the overall diversity of our workforce.
AMY EMMERICH: Hi, good morning. I'm Amy Emmerich, Chief Content Officer of Refinery 29. This is an organization that is already 85% female, with 79% of leadership roles filled by women. But we do pledge to implement training and education focused on fostering empathy, and to create true intersectionality across the whole company.
KATIE JURAN: Hi, I'm Katie Juran, Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Adobe. We pledge this year to reach global pay parity between women and men.
GAYLE TROBERMAN: I'm Gayle Troberman, the CMO at iHeartMedia, and I pledge along with my amazing peers at iHeart, to expand our women's network with an actual road show to 32 of our iHeartMedia regional offices. Were going to help mentor, understand, and support women in the company through the simple yet transformative power of conversation and connection.
KATE O'SULLIVAN: Hi, my name is Kate O'Sullivan. I'm with Microsoft in External Affairs, and I pledge three things. First, to help my department audit all of our external consultants, agencies, and lobbyists and others to ensure that we have 50/50 representation. Two, I personally pledge to join the Electing Women Alliance and the Bay Area Giving Circle, to elect women to elected office around the country. And three, to fund a woman entrepreneur on Kiva.org.
TRACY KEIM: Hi, I'm Tracy Keim, with 23andme, the genetics company. I'm VP of Brand there. At a company that already has a CEO that's female-- and we are over 50% female --we pledge to increase our female representation in Product and Engineering teams to reflect overall diversity.
IJE-ENU NWOSU: I am Ije-Enu Nwosu, Chief of Staff to the Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. And we pledge to establish gender equity as a strategic objective for the entire enterprise, which is more than 230,000 people. And we'll do this by launching a program focused on promoting and elevating our female executive population. And by 2023, we'll have increased the rate of retention and recruitment for female executives.
JA'NAY HAWKINS: Ooh. That one.
ANNIE BLOOMQUIST: Morning. Annie Bloomquist, Chief Product Officer for Sleep Number. At Sleep Number, we will have gender parity in our stores by 2017.
KIM BOZZELLA: Kim Bozzella, Head of Technology in the Americas and Technology Risk Management at UBS. We pledge to have 30% women representation in senior management positions by 2020.
DEIRDRE BIGLEY: Hi, I'm Deirdre Bigley, I'm the CMO of Bloomberg
- Fan club, yes.
DEIRDRE BIGLEY: We have a lot of people here.
This year, more than 250 women are expected to run for office in the midterm elections, including a record number of female candidates for governor. In the coming months, Bloomberg will launch the definitive data visualization on the female candidates for governorships and Congress across the country. We will map the key races, detail the people, and provide a visual assessment on the changing landscape for women, leadership, and national politics.
LYNN LEWIS: Hi, I'm Lynn Lewis, from UM, the global CMO and East Coast President. And at UM, we pledge that we will double the number of women in color-- of color across our organization, at every single level.
DONIEL SUTTON: Good morning, Doniel Sutton, SVP of People for PayPal. PayPal pledges to maintain global pay parity between men and women, and continue to share our results annually. But we also pledge to conduct unconscious bias and awareness training across the entire company, through this year and next year, and potentially, after yesterday's session, it might include conversational design.
MARTI WOLFE: Marti Wolfe, Chief Culture Officer at MailChimp. MailChimp is committed to elevating women's voices through sponsorship. Our senior leadership team pledges to support our employee-led women's empowerment group through mentorship and full funding, and our corporate citizenship team has committed half of its sponsorship budget to women-focused and women-founded events, and we will only consider funding and presenting at events where there are over 40% women speakers, as well as-- as well as a code of conduct.
COURTNEY MONROE: Hi everybody, I'm Courtney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Television Networks, and I-- and I pledge that, by the end of 2020, the number of female-led companies with whom we partner-- be it production companies, marketing agencies, PR firms --the number of female companies will equal the number of male-led companies.
MICHELLE HULST: Hi, everyone, I'm Michelle Hulst. I'm GVP of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships for Oracle Data Cloud. And I pledge to launch a company initiative focused on gender equality inclusion that is focused on action, so that we're not just talking about issues, but we're moving toward activating change as well.
JENNIFER FRASER: Hi, I'm Jennifer Fraser. I'm a Senior Director of Engineering at Twitter. And Twitter has pledged to build a more inclusive and diverse Twitter by increasing their percentage of women to 38%, and increasing the percentage of women in leadership roles to 31%.
NICOLE QUINN: Hi, I'm Nicole Quinn, a Consumer Investing Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. We are a VC firm that believe that the most successful teams benefit from having employees, executives, and board members from diverse backgrounds and experiences. And to that end, this week we are publicly announcing our initiative to work with our portfolio companies, and asking the CEOs to build teams at every level of the organization of a diverse nature.
CELESTE BURGOYNE: I'm Celeste Burgoyne. I'm the EVP of Americas for Lululemon. We are here today to announce that, by April 2018, we will have a 100% pay equity-- equal pay for equal work --across our entire organization. And this is just the beginning of our journey to create a environment of diversity and inclusion for all.
- That's great.
DONNA TUTHS: Hi, I'm Donna Tuths, Senior Vice President at Cognizant. And we pledge to help close the gender gap in tech by continuing our programs to get more young girls into STEM. But this year, adding a very specific program targeting 12,000 women in North America with deep digital skills training so that they can advance their careers at all levels at the firm.
KAREN WEINSEISS: Hi. Good morning, I'm Karen Weinseiss. I'm an SVP of International Health Care at Aetna. And we pledge that all Aetna executives will mentor or sponsor at least one high-potential woman. #MentorHer.
YOKO MIYASHITA: Hi, I'm Yoko Miyashita, SVP and General Counsel of Getty Images. We pledge to develop and launch a sponsorship program for our women and diverse employees, leveraging the reach and influence of our amazing makers and attendees, and our senior leadership team.
SHELLEY ZALIS: I'm Shelley Zalis, the CEO of the Female Quotient, and I pledge, first of all, to help each and every one of you with whatever your goals are to achieve. Because it is all achievable. So I commit to breaking all the rules in Fortune 500 companies that make no sense, and rewriting the rules so that we can truly advance equality in the workplace. And make it a culture of safety, security, belonging, make leadership conscious of their unconscious, be better because we can be if we choose to be, and most importantly, put women in every single equation, from mainstage to boardroom. And that's how we will start achieving equality. Equal pay for equal opportunity. Thank you.
- Awesome. All right, so I have two pledges that I'm going to read from a couple of our board members that couldn't be with us this morning, but are watching live.
Roxanne Taylor, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Accenture. I am committed to ending gender bias and cultural stereotypes in marketing, communications, and advertising. The goal is to eliminate bias in everything we create at Accenture, and to partner with others in the industry to do the same by establishing industry benchmarks and metrics. Our attitude: you see it, you eliminate it.
All right. Fiona Carter, Chief Brand Officer, AT&T. As the first to include GEM as an integral part of our copy testing, AT&T pledges to improve the portrayal of women in our ads by 20% by the end of this year. That accelerates the AMA industry initiative See Her goal by two years.
That's it. Wow. That's it. Thank you all for sharing and bringing back incredible impact to your companies. Everyone, give it up for the 2018 Makers board of directors.
[DANCE MUSIC PLAYING]
- Ladies and gentlemen, Katrina Lake and Molly Wood.
MOLLY WOOD: Welcome. Hi, everybody. It's so nice to have even the women backstage cheering for us when we walk out. What a great place to be.
KATRINA LAKE: Amazing.
MOLLY WOOD: So we are, Katrina, here in the middle of Hollywood, so it is a little hard to say that Silicon Valley is the worst when it comes to the treatment or representation of women. But I think we can agree we have our own special level of hell. For example, in 2017, I wrote this on my hotel note pad, 17% of startups had female founders. That number has been flat for five years. McKinsey, I think, yesterday, showed some research that said that 4.4% of venture capital deals go to women, 2.2% of those deals go to all women teams.
And yet, in this landscape you conceived, got funding for, and eventually had a successful IPO of a $1 billion unicorn company, Stitch Fix. Katrina, start at the beginning. I mean, when you look back on that journey and those meetings with venture capitalists, like, the number of no's, are we talking, it can fill a bath tub or like an Olympic sized swimming pool?
KATRINA LAKE: It was-- I mean, actually, I can't tell you how many people said yes. And it's the three people that were investors in Stitch Fix. And I have a Google spreadsheet of all the no's and all of the why's, and yeah, it's probably more in the swimming pool range than a bath tub, it's 50 plus.
MOLLY WOOD: Yeah, because not only were you a woman founder, you were also pitching a company for women, so double whammy, one assumes. But what were the why's that they would give you?
KATRINA LAKE: There were, you know, there were a lot of-- I think one of the things that was a blessing to me in starting a company was that in some ways, like, I was, I don't know, I was naive. I had never managed another person in my life when I started Stitch Fix. I had been like, an associate at two different companies, like, producing investment memos. I really hadn't done this before and so I could look at everything with a fresh set of eyes of just like, how should this be done? And who should I be working with? And what-- you know, how should this all go?
And so in some sense, I was a little bit insulated from like, the odds are so stacked against you and all of the kind of negative things that you can tell yourself when you're starting a company. But the no's were all kinds of no's. It was no, like, I just don't believe this can-- I don't know, I just don't believe that many women will shop this way.
There was no where it was like, I would come in and I would have a box that was a fix, and like, a guy looked at it and was like, I just don't understand why anybody would ever want something like this. And like, I appreciate the honesty, I'm like, OK, great, this doesn't seem like a fit. I'll move on and find somebody who is excited about this. But there were-- trying to think what some of the other no's were.
I mean, the harder no's were the ones that were like towards-- there are seeds-- there are seed stage no's which are really around like, this is a good idea, are you the right person to execute it? I don't know. There are-- the later stage no's are the harder ones. And so the Series B no's of like, I have a business that is generating millions of dollars, people are waiting 60 or 90 days to get a Fix because like, we don't have the infrastructure to serve like the millions of people that this is an attractive proposition for.
And I have an amazing team, I have the COO of walmart.com who's my COO. And the guy who ran all of the algorithms at Netflix, like runs all of algorithms at Stitch Fix. I have an amazing team, the business is working, clients love it, and they're waiting to get the service, and yet, people were like, I just-- I just can't get excited about it.
MOLLY WOOD: Yeah.
KATRINA LAKE: And like, those were really hard because it was like, I knew that I was pitching a female-oriented product to a very male-oriented audience. And so I really like-- and there are some VCs out there that you can ask, and they will tell you that I was the entrepreneur, more than anybody they've ever met, that knew my numbers inside and out.
MOLLY WOOD: Yeah.
KATRINA LAKE: I knew every number inside and out. I knew every single metric. I knew all-- I knew all of this stuff. And so even if I couldn't appeal to like, somebody gutturally loving the concept of it. I wanted to appeal to like the capitalist part, and like, you can make a lot of money doing this. And like, it was hard.
MOLLY WOOD: Yeah, and even then sometimes-- Well, and there was a great Bloomberg headline that basically said, Stitch Fix has had to do more with less. On top of all of that, you got a little less money, right?
KATRINA LAKE: A lot less money.
MOLLY WOOD: A lot less money.
KATRINA LAKE: This is a company that's doing basically a billion in sales in the last 12 months and we did that with less than $50 million in capital.
MOLLY WOOD: Wow. Wow, right? And then, I also feel like this would be a great time to point out that when you had your initial public offering, your public photo of the IPO was you with your baby. Not for nothing, there are also babies in this story. And you were on stage with your one-year-old.
KATRINA LAKE: It's-- you know, it's amazing-- it's like a very odd time in your life to start a company when you're a start-- I started a company-- I started this when I was in my late 20s. In the seven years since I started Stitch Fix, I met my husband, I got married, I had a baby, I took a full 16 week maternity leave, like-- you know, there's never a good time to do anything. And you could argue this wasn't really a good time to do it. And that picture ended up meaning, I mean, so much to me, and I think, so much to many people. And it was totally unplanned.
I mean, the story with the IPO was like, the two weeks leading up to it you do like, a road show and you meet all these investors, and like, it wasn't going well. And like, we were going to price below the range of where we thought we should be able to price. And it wasn't-- we had this moment where it was like, this isn't going as planned and you know what? This feels comfortable, we've been here before. Things have not gone as planned before, and we actually found strength in that and found empowerment in that.
And so, it was really, to me, feeling like, F- it, this is our IPO, we're going to do it our way. And I had my son, who, at the time, was just over a year, was in New York to be there for it. And he had-- I head held him during the dress rehearsal and he was super chill and happy to be there, so I was like, let's just do this. And he was up there with me the whole time. And it wasn't-- it wasn't like, thoughtfully, strategically planned but it ended up being important.
I have a workforce that is-- we have almost-- we have over 5,000 employees, many of whom are women, many of our stylists are prioritizing their families to be able to do a more flexible job. It's important because-- it's important, of course, there's a lot of-- there's some themes yesterday around if you can't see it, you can't be it. And it is important because my mom is an immigrant, I'm mixed race, it's important because I have a child up there. It's important for little girls and boys to be able to see other examples of what somebody going public looks like.
But it's also actually important for the white venture capitalists males, who are going to encounter an entrepreneur who's pregnant or an entrepreneur who's 30 and just got married, and he might think to himself, maybe she's going to have a baby. It's important, even for them, to be able to see the example of like, these are achievements that you can have, and at the same time, live the life that you want to live.
MOLLY WOOD: Yeah. And now, Katrina, along the way you, unfortunately, encountered what, I think, so many female and would be female founders, encounter, which is sexual harassment in the VC community that you can't talk about. Which is, sort of, also part of that whole problem, right? That whole toxic ecosystem. But I would like you to talk to us about the choice that becomes part of that. Like, as a founder, the company is the baby too, and so how do you make that-- walk that line about how sometimes you have to get through?
KATRINA LAKE: Yeah, and I mean like you said, you know, there's nothing specific that I can talk about with that. But my journey as an entrepreneur was not easy. And I'm so grateful for Time's Up and for Me Too and for the media and for so much that has happened to create a safer environment for entrepreneurs. And an environment that's more inclusive for entrepreneurs.
MOLLY WOOD: Has it? Do you think that's happening?
KATRINA LAKE: You know, I think that at least the worst situations are out there. I think-- one of my fears is that I think there are probably a lot of managers who are doing things that aren't great. And, you know, that there's still-- I absolutely don't think that it's eliminated everything. But like, I don't know, I think that it's net/net we're better off.
MOLLY WOOD: Yeah.
KATRINA LAKE: It's hard to imagine we could be worse off.
MOLLY WOOD: Well, and one of the things we've been talking about a lot, and that has really been a theme in this conference, is using your power once you get it. You know, and how do you become not just a successful CEO, but someone who is influencing the people around you. And sometimes saying things that they have never heard before. Like, tell us your hot tub story. I mean, this is just-- you know, when you think about culture and how deep some of this stuff goes, you've got sort of a perfect example of being the only woman in the room.
KATRINA LAKE: I mean-- I couldn't have been the only woman in the room. But I was at a conference, that was actually kind of like this size, it wasn't a huge conference. And there was a VC who was being interviewed who-- well, Chris Sako was being interviewed up there, I've already outed his name on there.
But Chris Sako is being interviewed, and he was like-- he was saying like, I have a very untraditional approach to VC, like, I don't even live in the city, I don't even have an office, I live up in Tahoe. And like, you know, I invite entrepreneurs up to my place in Tahoe and I have them tell me about their company over beers in the hot tub. And I can get to know them more as humans that way.
And I was sitting in the audience like, literally pregnant. I was like so-- I am-- you're asking people to come pitch to you in a swimsuit and I'm literally pregnant, and I actually can't come into your hot tub, and I actually can't drink your beers.
MOLLY WOOD: Yeah.
KATRINA LAKE: And like, you know-- and you're-- I was in a room with like, hundreds of people, and maybe they were all thinking the same thing. I don't know if they were or they weren't. But like, it was just it was stated out loud. It wasn't tweeted, it wasn't controversial, and this was two years ago. So I think that things like--
MOLLY WOOD: But you said something.
KATRINA LAKE: I didn't say something at the time.
MOLLY WOOD: No, but later to people who were like, oh, I didn't think of it that way.
KATRINA LAKE: But I did-- and at that time, it was so funny because I remember talking to the woman who was doing PR at Stitch Fix. And I was like, I'm so offended, I feel like I should light him up on Twitter. And I literally went through the whole thought process in my head. And I was like, there's no downside to lighting him up on Twitter. He's going to tweet storm me, like, what is the upside in doing this? And I'm embarrassed that that was true, and that I-- and I didn't do anything at that moment. But it-- I do think this is where I think change actually has happened. Because I do think now it's a little bit of a different time.
MOLLY WOOD: Yeah. Well, now, when given your opportunity, you did go after some of your colleagues over their-- over Uber, right? And that toxic culture.
KATRINA LAKE: Yeah, and so as we segue into the now what? And where do we go? Like, I think there are a couple-- what would I say? So I'll bucket my-- should I just segue there?
MOLLY WOOD: Yeah. You're doing great. You're totally segueing, it's happening.
KATRINA LAKE: [LAUGHING] There are-- I think there's like-- there's two things that I think are big things that we can all-- or that some of us can do. And then there's a bunch of little things that every single one of us can do every single day. On the two big things-- and I'll talk about the Uber thing also, but I think one thing is around I'm using a market-based pay approach. And so, that's one thing that we did at Stitch Fix, where it's not perfect, it's still-- there's still imperfections in it, there's still challenges with it.
But if you use a market-based pay approach and you're looking at people blindly based on their years of experience and their responsibilities, and you're not looking at who is the squeakiest wheel and who yells the loudest, it's a much better place to start from. So if you're in a position where you can implement that at your company or you can push for it, I would encourage that.
There's one other thing as-- we'll talk about the Uber thing, I might have to come back. But so the other-- I have another thing-- well, so in the use your voice and your influence topic, I'm in a place now where I am able to have a direct line to more people, and so I'll have a big and small way to talk about this. But I think in a big way-- Bill Gurley is an investor in Stitch Fix, he was on the board Uber for a very long time. And when the whole Uber culture stuff started coming out, I was just kind of appalled and horrified, and like many of you probably were too. Like, I can't believe this company culture exists today, in 2017.
And so I wrote Bill a strongly worded email. And in that moment, and what I've realized, is there are all these decisions that you can make where, like, what's the worst thing that can happen? Like the worst thing that can happen is that Bill says, thank you I respect your opinion but I'm good. The worst thing that can happen is nothing. And the best thing that can happen.
And I wrote him this strongly worded email about how he and I both have this responsibility in the world to create the future, not just as companies, but also of company cultures, and where people work and what those companies stand for. And the best thing that could happen was that I could have been the straw that broke the camel's back, that that caused Benchmark to do something. And they did something. And Benchmark deserves a lot of credit for what happened from there.
And even if you don't have Bill Gurley's ear, there are other small examples of things that I can do. And so for example, when I was pitching to-- during the roadshows. I was meeting hedge funds and fund managers, and meeting all these 12 investors at once. And I was in a meeting where it was like six people on this side, and there's a young woman who was leading the meeting, and then the partner or whatever was sitting next to her. And he was like, at the very beginning of the meeting, he was like, all right, sweetie, why don't we get started.
And like, I'm kind of like, did that really happened? Are you her dad? And he wasn't.
KATRINA LAKE: And--
MOLLY WOOD: Right. Just to be clear.
KATRINA LAKE: Just to be clear. And look, like, I wasn't in a position where I was going to be able to light him up, and I shouldn't have lit him up. But what I did is after that meeting, I sent her an email. And I was like, it was such a pleasure to meet you, you are a bad ass. And what's the worst that can happen? Nothing. What's the best that can happen? That she reminds herself, I'm a badass and no one's going to call me sweetie at work. Or like, I'm going to start my own hedge fund and I'm going to make my own billion dollars. There are potentially good things that can happen if you just nudge it a little bit. And I think there are little things that we could all be doing every day.
I just remember my second thing too. My second thing, so--
MOLLY WOOD: We're at zero. Like, is Dillon going to run out? OK go.
KATRINA LAKE: OK.
MOLLY WOOD: I'm going to give you like, 15 seconds. Go.
KATRINA LAKE: So there's market-based pay. The other thing, we can all do this. So you know when you RFP? You're like, OK, I need a new ad agency, or I need an investment bank, or I need a law firm. Many of us are influencers and decision makers in this room, and you send our RFPs. And you say, tell me a little bit about like what your capabilities are, what would your strategy be? Ask about gender and diversity metrics. So I ask--
KATRINA LAKE: I asked-- when we worked with investment banks, I asked them, what percent of your-- can you share your gender diversity metrics for your VP and above people in your investment banking division? And, look, to be honest, that wasn't the main decision criteria, but people had to go and talk to their boss, talk to the head of investment banking, they had to go get the data. Then they had to explain the data and say, why is this not what we would hope it is? And what are we doing about it? And so if nothing else, I created conversations in all of these places that maybe would not have happened. And that's something that I think all of us can do in our day to day as the decision makers that we are.
MOLLY WOOD: Katrina Lake, CEO of Stich Fix, everybody. Thank you.
KATRINA LAKE: Thank you.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Safiya Noble and Willow Bay.
WILLOW BAY: Hi, everyone. Great to see you. I was sitting there yesterday, and there the night before, and it's been just an incredible experience. So I want to start by-- before Safiya and I talk, and she shares some of her work with you, I wanted to start by sharing this note that I got from a girlfriend. I don't do slides. I do props. And the note says this. It's a quote from George Bernard Shaw.
"The reasonable woman adapts herself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to herself. Therefore, all progress depends upon the unreasonable woman." The note then said, "Let's all be unreasonable in 2018."
You know, I was really struck by this quote and surprised that I'd never heard it before. And then I did a little fact checking, and I realize that my friend, my girlfriend, had intervened just slightly with a little tweak, and changed the original wording of the quote, in which it said "man" to "woman." And it's interesting how much more cultural resonance it has now that she has done that.
She wrote women into the story, right? She wrote women into the narrative of progress, and I'd like to thank Megan Smith, who was here on this stage yesterday. She did a story write. As Megan explained to us yesterday.
And one of the reasons that that quote resonated so much with me is that at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, we like to think of ourselves as being in the business of teaching, training, and inspiring unreasonable women. We're a 70% women student body. And men, we want them to be unreasonable. We want them to change the world, to adapt the world to them.
And one of the ways we think about that in-- in communications is we teach them to be more than power users of all these communication technologies, but instead, to be critically conscious consumers, and accurate and ethical producers of content.
And I'd like to share some exciting news with you, and I'd like to thank-- huge thanks to Tim Armstrong, and to MAKERS, and Dyllan McGee because they're creating something incredibly unique for us to help us in their mission.
The USC Annenberg MAKERS fellowship, in which they are going to offer one of our students after graduation a unique professional experience where they get to spend the year at MAKERS working either with their editorial team or with their video production team. So a huge thank you to MAKERS and Oath for offering us that incredible experience, and for helping us in our mission.
And now, to the women that I'm really excited to introduce you to and for you to hear from. Dr. Safiya Noble, she's a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication. She cares deeply about the knowledge and information that is available to the public. And as you all know, we mostly get that information today online from digital technologies and from search engines.
She's also-- I have another prop. She's also the author of the just published "Algorithms of Oppression, How Search Engines Reinforce Racism," which already, just before publication, has already caused a dust-up, which we'll tell you about it in a minute. But you know, she-- in it, she challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an even playing field for our identities and our activities. So Safiya, thanks for being here.
SAFIYA NOBLE: Thanks for having me. I'm excited.
WILLOW BAY: So I should point out that Safiya starts all of her lectures, particularly when you first meet-- when she first meets new students, with a warning about her you're never going to think about digital technologies and the information that you receive in the same way again. What do you say to them?
SAFIYA NOBLE: It's true. If you are a lover of Google, you are not going to like me after this talk.
So just bear with us. It's only 11 more minutes. I guess that's what I've got for you. But I think that you will find that if we just scratch the surface just a little bit with some of the technologies and the platforms that we're using, we'll think about them differently, and we can engage with them differently. And that's one of the things that I'm here to kind of talk about with you today.
WILLOW BAY: Well, you got started by scratching the surface.
SAFIYA NOBLE: I did.
WILLOW BAY: Tell us how that began.
SAFIYA NOBLE: I did. So years ago, kind of what prompted those this work was I-- I spent my whole first career for the first 15 years out of college in marketing and advertising.
And as I was leaving marketing and advertising and going back to graduate school, I-- Google was really emerging powerfully, and we were starting to shift a lot of our advertising budgets from kind of additional media to online media buying. And so as I left the industry, I was thinking about Google as an advertising platform, because that was the way that we were using it.
And then I got to graduate school, and everyone was talking about Google as, you know, this kind of public library online. And I was so surprised that people were engaging with it on those terms, knowing it in a different context. And so I-- I started looking into kind of the kinds of identities and ways that Google was representing-- representing different forms of knowledge.
And this kind of prompted the first really big explosion for me, which was I did a search on the keywords, "black girls." At the time, you know, my daughter was-- my stepdaughter was a tween, and I was a black girl at one point in my life. And I was stunned to find that almost all of the content on the first page was pornography.
WILLOW BAY: Go ahead and try it, if you want. Seriously.
SAFIYA NOBLE: Yeah. I mean, now, you know, it's been interesting to see over time--
WILLOW BAY: We can pull it up, right?
SAFIYA NOBLE: Everybody's like reaching for their phone on this slide. They're like, I got to actually check that out. But over time, you know, I've been a big public critic about the ways in which women are stereotyped and misrepresented in search engines. And so black girls really haven't been as maligned. I mean, the algorithm has changed.
WILLOW BAY: It's interesting. Google changed as a-- changed their search.
SAFIYA NOBLE: I can't take credit for that. But I will say that our voices collectively talking about what's happening in search engines has certainly been impacting the way the industry at large has been starting to think about women.
WILLOW BAY: So we have that slide. Can you pull that up?
SAFIYA NOBLE: OK. So here's the-- you know, this is, like, I started this in 2009. By 2011, you can see, for those of you in the back, sugaryblackpussy.com is the first hit when you do a keyword search on "black girls." You know, this is just, you know, with the default settings. And as you go down, I won't read it for you. But you know, this is mostly porn sites that represent black women and girls.
And of course, these are not-- these sites or night children or adolescents. These are women who are doing pornography, or porn companies featuring women over 18. And I thought about this in terms of the implications for children and adolescents, and how would they ever be able to recover their identities online?
Because as we know, when you think about Google as an advertising platform versus an information retrieval platform, you realize that those who can buy keywords have a lot of influence. And of course, the porn industry has pretty much more money than anybody.
WILLOW BAY: Walk us through another couple of examples.
SAFIYA NOBLE: OK, all right. So then we have-- here's another concept. So in the book, I have many, many examples, but here's another one that I thought was interesting. I started thinking about concepts like beautiful. What does it mean that when you look for-- and this is a couple of years ago, '14-- the key word "beautiful" brings back these kind of hegemonic white beauty standards of women.
Now, I have to say when I did this search-- and you know, my team collect searches from around the country-- we thought we would get nature. I thought, like, the beach, or an ocean scene, because that's beautiful. And also, I thought of that as a more kind of universal concept that people would attribute to beautiful. I am happy to say that I've-- I've said that in a lot of talks. And now, if you do a search on beautiful, you do get nature.
So I don't know if there's, like, a direct pipeline from my words to-- my lips to Google search engineers. I don't think so, but it is interesting to see the-- the shift over time. There you have it, from just a couple of days ago. All right. It's fine.
WILLOW BAY: Good. Progress.
SAFIYA NOBLE: Now, this is one that I think is really fun. This is-- I was watching the Grammys one night with a girlfriend on the phone. It's professor nerd-- nerddom. And-- and I thought, oh, I wonder what university professors look like in image search. And of course, here you have the guys. And you know, this is, again-- what does it mean for young women, for all women to think about these different kinds of occupations?
I think about teachers all the time. I always tell them, stop telling your students to just Google it, because this is the kind of thing. And what does it mean when they don't see themselves reflected back in these kinds of occupations? And you can do this on a number of occupations and be deeply disturbed. University Dean Willow's not fairing much better for you. Sorry. We got to get Willow up here on the first page.
WILLOW BAY: And so here's the thing. If I'm doing my job right-- as you all know, this is what a dean and a professor looks like. But if I'm really good, that's what a dean looks like next.
SAFIYA NOBLE: Oh, thanks.
WILLOW BAY: So we-- we're now in a different era where we have a sense of urgency, right?
SAFIYA NOBLE: Yes.
WILLOW BAY: About when we look at what's gone on online, right? Russian bots--
SAFIYA NOBLE: Right.
WILLOW BAY: Taking over our election, interfering with our democracy. So there's a fair sense of urgency around questioning the accuracy of what we see online. But should we also be questioning its neutrality?
SAFIYA NOBLE: Absolutely. It's a farce to think that we're going to find neutral and objective information. I don't think it exists. I think there are many perspectives. And what we want to try to surface are perspectives that are based on evidence, that are based on knowledge, that are based on inquiry, not that are kind of a gamification with misinformation and disinformation. And that is certainly the kind of thing that we're seeing.
And you know, I'm sympathetic to tech companies and the people who work there, because I used to work in corporate America for a long time. Really good people work in these companies, and these are very complex, difficult problems to solve.
But when we see the divestment in public information and education, we see the erosion of funding for public schools, for public libraries. People are reliant upon these private companies in the tech sector, and they have an obligation back to the public, in my opinion. Or we have to demand greater investment in public noncommercial information spaces.
WILLOW BAY: So the name of this conference is "Raise Your Voice." You're sitting in front of this room filled with executives, technologists, creators, and MAKERS. What is our collective social responsibility at ensuring that our public information is what we want it to be? What can-- what's our call to action? What should we be doing?
SAFIYA NOBLE: I think that we should keep a partnership and pressure on tech corridors, Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach, and so forth. I think that we can also have greater investment in public alternatives. And that might mean that the corporate sector is donating and investing in--
I mean, I'm certainly working with my collaborators on thinking about what a public interest noncommercial search engine would look like, and how that might be curated by, say, academic librarians, and public librarians, and people who are kind of in the knowledge business, so to speak.
Everybody who clapped, you should just-- just call me. So the idea that we-- we don't have to have either/or. I mean, I use Google. I used it this morning to get-- find directions to get here. For kind of banal information, it's fantastic. It really does help us sort through the-- the-- the trash that's online.
But for more nuanced kinds of information that are about concepts-- some knowledge, of course, we know. We work in the university. There-- there, knowledge is contested all the time. This is why we do research. This is why we try to have deep study. There are some questions that can't be answered in 0.03 seconds. And so this is why we need to think about other kinds of-- of arenas for knowledge.
And I think it's fundamental to democracy. It's certainly fundamental to people who are already living in the margin. For women, I mean, you see at very basic levels, we're misrepresented. Imagine what happens when you start thinking about women's knowledge and-- and the other kinds of things that we're creating.
WILLOW BAY: We have a quick minute left. You sort of made news. Safiya's book comes out. And immediately, somebody from the Association of Electrical Engineers the IEEE, reads a marketing blurb and sends out a critique, shall we say, in a tweet without-- without-- without having read the book. And what happens next?
SAFIYA NOBLE: So I got to tell you, I love women, because the Twitterati came. It's interesting. I mean, they came for him. And you know, you can't just take down women's knowledge, and our scholarship, and our labor that's in the service of women with, you know, a flippant kind of tweet. And so he apologized publicly on Twitter, and lots of people are ordering the book in solidarity, and I'm grateful for that. And of course, you can find me online at Safiya Noble, and you can follow the drama as it unfolds.
WILLOW BAY: Great. Safiya, thank you very much.
SAFIYA NOBLE: Thank you so much.
WILLOW BAY: Thank you all.
SAFIYA NOBLE: Nice to meet you all.
WILLOW BAY: [INAUDIBLE]
- Ladies and gentlemen, Sallie Krawcheck.
SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Good morning. Good morning. How are you? All right. I want to let you in on a secret. Money is power. Money is confidence. Money is independence. Money is taking care of our families. Money is starting our businesses. Money is take this job and shove it. Money is time's up.
Recently at Ellevest, my digital investing platform for women, we talk to 1,000 women and 1,000 men and ask the women, what is the thing that makes you feel most confident about achieving your goals in life? It was not what some of the media would make us think.
It's not our shiny hair. It's not the fact that we're wearing this season's new boots, though we are. It's actually not a lot of things we would think. It's not what's going on in Washington. It's not the support we get from our families. It's not even the salary we're earning at work or the esteem with which our boss holds us.
The number one thing that gives us confidence in reaching our goals in life is how much money we have saved, how much money we have invested, and the very act of investing in saving. Conversely, the number one source of stress for women today is money. And women can lose up to two weeks a year in productivity at work through presenteeism, worrying about money.
Now, the truth is, the guys have more money than we do by some good measure. And we've heard a lot over the course of the past couple of days. We've heard about the gender pay gap, which is a cause of it. We've heard a little bit about the gender work achievement gap, the gender unpaid labor gap. There's a gender debt gap.
And a couple that we don't talk enough about, but which is why I founded Ellevest and which is my life's mission, we have a gender savings gap and a gender investing gap, and these can cost us a ton. All right. Now, the good news is that society-- and by society, I mean the patriarchy-- lets us know why it's our fault that we're not saving and investing enough. So they're very helpful to us.
One thing they tell us-- super helpful-- is society lets us know that just men are just better at math than women are. Not true. First of all, we get better grades than the guys in every subject at school. And in math, sometimes we get the same. But it's not that they're better at math and math-like things or tech and tech-like things than we are.
Society tells us they're better investors than we are. Um, not true. When women invest, we tend to outperform the guys. Be that as a professional hedge fund manager, mutual fund manager, or individual investor. You know the articles you read about how individuals, people investors, fall in love with their winners way too long to sell the losers, pay too much in fees, panic during the up and down markets of the past few days. Right?
How investors do that. We need to change the title of all of those articles to not mistakes investors make, but mistakes male investors make. Because the mistake we tend to make is we don't invest enough. Women are more risk averse than men. You've heard that before, right? There's something about having a uterus inside our body that does not allow us to take on risk. So we don't invest. It's perfectly clear.
Wrong. Wrong. We're not more risk averse, we're more risk aware. And so while the men in our lives, whom we adore, will hear alpha and they're like, I want some of that. And standard deviation, I want some of that, too, don't I? We women-- because I know everybody here got their A's at school-- want to understand more about investing, want to understand those terms before we do. Once we invest, we don't take on any less risk than the guys do.
Not investing is more certain. Sort of. You know what's certain? If you keep your money in cash, you lose ground every day to inflation. But that if you invest even with the markets of the past few days, even back to the '20s, '30s-- from the 1920s, the annual return in investing in the equity markets is 9.5% annually. A diversified investment portfolio is 6%. These are life changing numbers.
The other. Women love everything about Wall Street. It must work for them. That outperforming thing, the buying the winners, the winning, right? That feels like us, right? CNBC, we love them. They're like ESPN. That feels like us, right? The fact that financial advisors 86% male? Mostly white men? That feels like us, right?
Now, I have nothing against middle aged white guys. I've been married to a couple of them. They are amazing creatures. My, my husband's the whitest man I know. Amazing creatures. But it doesn't look like us. And the industry symbol is an anatomically correct bull. It's a phallic symbol. All right? Not a woman I know says, that bull just speaks to me. It hasn't been built for us.
All right. Let's move from a little myth busting to a little call. I'm going to ask you, I'm going to give you an answer and you're going to give me the question. OK. So a little game just to liven things up. First one. Let's see who can get this. Six to eight years and 80%.
Y'all are not very good at this. Here is the answer. How much longer do women live than men, and what percent of women die single? We live six to eight years longer than our male friends, and 80% of us die single. Look at any nursing home.
Two thirds. OK. I'll give you the answer again. Two thirds is the percent of wealth versus men that we retire with. Put another way, we retire with two thirds the money of men. Less, and quite a bit less, if you're a woman of color. We live longer, we retire with less.
90%. The percent of women who manage their money on their own at some point in their lives, whether they want to or not. A decade. Y'all are the worst. A decade. This is how much sooner our salaries peak than men's do. Our salaries on average peak in our 40s, and for men it's in their 50s.
More than $1 million. This is how much the gender investing gap can cost the women in this room. For those who are watching, for some of you, it's hundreds of thousands of dollars. For some of you, it's millions of dollars. It's a fortune. It's a life changing amount of money.
$100 a day. For those of you who don't like big numbers, I'm sharing with you a small number. This is the amount of money we lose a day. If we're making, let's call it $85,000 a year, putting aside 20% as the experts tell you to annually. We put it in a bank account rather than invest it. We wait 10 years to invest, which isn't off by much. We can lose $100 a day.
Let me ask you a question, ma'am. If you were to have a hole in your purse and you were to leave here today and a $100 fell out of it, and the next day another $100, and the next day another $100, how many days would it take you to fix your purse? Probably one day.
Sex. Come on, you've got to have the answer for this one. Sex. The thing we talk to our girlfriends about more than we talk about money. The thing we have with a potential partner well before we ever talk to them about money. Society has allowed us to talk about sex, but not about money.
By the way, imagine-- on what date do you have sex these days? I've been married for so long. Like second, third? Third, sir? Second? All right. Thanks. All right. That guy's like [INAUDIBLE], right? Imagine if on the second or third date, rather than getting cozy all of a sudden we were to say, let's take out our balance sheets. There would not be a next date.
So society tells us, the patriarchy tells us almost as if they meant to keep us away from money that talking about money is crass and unattractive. This is like 1950s June and Beaver Cleaver. Don't talk about money. Well, guys, how do we know what raise to ask for? How do we know how to invest if society tells us not to talk about money?
And so what you saw before is we're working to change that. We're working to break through the myths. We're working to drop some truth bombs. We're working to give advice. And I promise, we're working to make it interesting, and fun, and engaging.
I'm partnering, Ellevest is partnering with our friends here at MAKERS, with our friends at Yahoo Finance, to bring you MAKERS Money. And in MAKERS Money, we're going to have some bad ass guests. Luvvie Ajayi being one of them. So bad ass. And we're going to be talking about how we can have more money.
It starts tomorrow. It's going to be Thursdays 3:00 PM Pacific time, 6:00 PM Eastern time, and every Thursday from here on. And I would ask all of you please to pour yourself a wine. We're doing it in the early evening on the East Coast time. Bring a friend, start the conversation about money, and continue the conversation about money.
Share the episodes with other women because it's going to be targeted to women and our unique needs with younger women in your life. And send any questions you have to me at email@example.com. And share using the hashtag, #makersmoney.
The other thing I would say, Ellevest, it is my life's mission to close the gender investing gap. If you are not investing enough, please go to ellevest.com/makers where I've got a little present for you, including a free investment plan, but an even other good present to give you back some of those days where you haven't been investing.
We are super excited because, ladies, money is power and it's time to level the playing field. Thank you.
- How cute is Sarah's baby?
JULIE: Oh, adorable. Those tiny toes. How cute is she going to be with a pedicure? With itty bitty little dots of nail polish? You know what makes me jealous? Babies don't give a fuck, literally. They have zero fucks to give. They will take a shit anywhere. In a restaurant, with a hot guy in the room, in a new place. I wish I could be that free.
- OK, don't judge me for saying this, but doesn't it feel like babies are a little holier than thou? Like, I met one the other day, in the 98th percentile for height, and it had really gone to her head.
JULIE: I love babies. I mean, don't get me wrong.
- No, they're totally in it for themselves.
JULIE: Yes. It does feel a little one-sided.
- I know, it's like I'm making sure that you're getting your Cheerios every morning, and it just doesn't go both ways.
JULIE: No, I could be wearing an amazing necklace, and the baby will just straight up shove it in his mouth.
- I know. It's like, have some respect. As adults, we're always treating them to stuff. And I know, you don't have an income or fully developed neck muscles.
JULIE: But it's the thought that counts. You could, you know, you could at least reach for the check.
JULIE: And every time we take them to a restaurant, they are so loud. I'm like, "Babies, you are making a spectacle. Look around you. Be conscious.
- It's like, "I know you only know two words, but that doesn't mean we can't have an intelligent discussion about feminism." Right?
JULIE: Let's just say it, babies can't dance. They're waving themselves around. I say, "Baby, you can't dance, you're a fat little drunk."
JULIE: I love my babies. It's just they're so full of shit. I mean, literally, shit. They poop a lot.
- And they can go through up to 12 diapers a day.
JULIE: I'm kind of jealous of how regular they are.
- And it's not like you can pawn them off to a daycare and let them diaper them up for you.
JULIE: Oh hell, no. They turn you away at daycare if you don't BYOD.
- Julie, it's BYOB.
JULIE: No, no, no, no. Daycare's like a bad house party. BYOD, bring your own diapers.
- And, diapers are expensive. They cost 70 to 80 bucks per month, and it's not like the government is helping you out with that.
JULIE: You're not going to get assistance from babies, either.
- I know. It's like, "Oh, let me guess. You forgot your wallet, babies." You don't have a Venmo account? It's like, "Why don't you just say you're not going to pay me back to my face?"
JULIE: Right. Baby, you don't understand the concept of money? It's called capitalism. Get with it. Yeah. Get it together, babies.
JULIE: You're embarrassing yourselves.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Nicole Richie, Kelly Sawyer Patricof, and Norah Weinstein.
NICOLE RICHIE: Hey, everybody. Hi. I'm Nicole Richie, and I am a Baby2Baby board member. Baby2Baby is a nonprofit that provides low-income children ages 0 through 12 with diapers, clothing, and all of the basic necessities that every child deserves.
Over the past six years, we've distributed 34 million items to children in need, including more than 20 million diapers. Can you believe that mothers are choosing between diapers and food? Diapers are literally causing a cycle of poverty, and that's why we're talking about diapers today.
So let me turn it over to these two diaper queens-- Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein, and they're going to tell you why it's #morethanadiaper.
NORAH WEINSTEIN: Sure. So Baby2Baby distributes everything a child needs, from cribs to car seats, strollers, blankets, bottles, backpacks, school supplies-- but when we ask a mom, a dad, or a social worker what they need most, there's one item that tops every list, every time, and it's diapers. They are truly like gold to the families we serve.
NICOLE RICHIE: Gold-- and why is that so important, Kelly?
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: It's because babies need so many of them-- up to 12 per day. It's because they're expensive-- $70 to $80 per month, per baby. Think about that math when you have multiple kids.
NORAH WEINSTEIN: It's also because poor families are paying two times as much as wealthier families for diapers. When you're living paycheck-to-paycheck, they just don't have the extra funds to buy in bulk.
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: A study last year actually showed that the four things low-income families are spending the most money on each month are food, heat, rent, and diapers.
NICOLE RICHIE: So we keep talking about how families don't have enough diapers. So what are families doing about that?
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: Families are literally emptying out their baby's diaper, hanging it to dry, and then putting it back on their baby. That's how bad it is.
NICOLE RICHIE: It's unfathomable.
NORAH WEINSTEIN: You might be asking why these families don't just use cloth diapers, but we want to put that suggestion to rest today.
The low-income families who Baby2Baby work with do not have washing machines in their homes, and that's if they have homes at all, and laundromats are certainly not particularly welcoming to women coming with bags of dirty diapers to wash them there.
NICOLE RICHIE: So is that BYOD thing really true?
NORAH WEINSTEIN: It's shockingly true. Parents have to bring a full day's supply of diapers, which is about six to eight, in order to drop off their child at daycare or preschool. If you don't have that requisite number of diapers, your child cannot stay.
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: It's even worse than that. Not only does the child lose that opportunity to jumpstart their early education, but the parents can't go back to work, they can't go to a job interview, because they can't drop off their kids. So let's face it-- we know the overwhelming majority are the moms.
NICOLE RICHIE: So these low-income parents are forced to stay at home instead of working. It might look like just a diaper, but it's more than a diaper. Diapers translate into opportunities.
So let's talk about government assistance. Is there any at all for the diapers?
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: No. Food stamps don't even cover diapers, and even worse than that, there are still 38 states that charge sales tax on diapers. They are taxing diapers the same way they're taxing a luxury item, and I don't-- and I know everyone in this room doesn't think there's anything luxurious about a diaper.
NICOLE RICHIE: So diapers have the same tax as tequila?
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: Exactly.
NICOLE RICHIE: Mm-hmm.
NORAH WEINSTEIN: We've personally testified in Sacramento to remove sales tax from diapers, and we lost-- two times.
NICOLE RICHIE: That's unbelievable. So how can we change that?
NORAH WEINSTEIN: We're going to try again this year.
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: We'll be back.
NICOLE RICHIE: OK, let me switch subjects for a second. Kelly, can you tell us about how Baby2Baby has been involved with the disaster relief efforts over the past year?
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: Yes. When Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, the first thing we did was we sent over a million diapers to the relief efforts, because when your baby doesn't have diapers, you can't do anything else.
You can't go to work, you can't take your child to daycare, and you certainly can't file an insurance claim to rebuild your house. You first need to help your baby with their most basic needs.
NORAH WEINSTEIN: We flew to Houston and spent time in the shelters and can tell you firsthand, these families were desperate for diapers, and it was the same story when the hurricane then hit Florida, and then Puerto Rico, and then just this last month with the terrible fires across California. The families come to us for diapers first.
NICOLE RICHIE: I'm so proud that Baby2Baby has sent over four million basic essentials to the children affected by all of the recent disasters. Let's talk about some people who've helped make this happen.
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: We have this great group of women behind Baby2Baby. We call them our angels. There's you, of course.
NICOLE RICHIE: That's right.
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: And Julie Bowen, Kerry Washington, Jessica Alba, Kelly Rowland, Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow-- the list goes on and on.
NORAH WEINSTEIN: And our angels are how we get donations of diapers. We've tried to flip corporate sponsorships on their head a little bit. So when Huggies calls us and asks if they can get a celebrity host for an event, we ask, well, that depends how many diapers you can give us.
NICOLE RICHIE: So that's why you're always making me pose with Huggies diapers?
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: Yes.
NICOLE RICHIE: OK. I thought you were trying to give me a hint.
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: No. To date, because of you and this phenomenal group of women we have behind us, Huggies has donated over 11.6 million diapers to the low-income families in our program.
NORAH WEINSTEIN: And another great day at Baby2Baby was when the Honest Company's strawberry toothpaste accidentally came out tasting too much like raspberry. They donated 23,000 tubes of it to us. They couldn't sell it, and of course our families were delighted to have it, so it was a win-win.
NICOLE RICHIE: And yes, and even though the conversation is about diapers, we can actually do the same thing with sneakers, backpacks, hygiene products, cribs, toys, and warm coats, right?
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: Yeah. So this is what we're going to ask of you today-- if you run a company, work at a company that makes diapers or other basic essentials, please consider donating product to us. If you have an e-commerce site, please offer free shipping or discounted pricing to nonprofits.
Also for us, Baby2Baby social media is how we garner diaper donations and donations of the other items that we give to our low-income families, so follow us on social media, like our photos, re-tweet our tweets. We do a lot of social media campaigns around diapers and other basic essentials.
NORAH WEINSTEIN: And let's insist that diapers are always available to new moms. As female business leaders in this room, we want to make sure that there's not a single low-income woman missing work because of diapers.
NICOLE RICHIE: So today we're asking all of you who leave here to leave here and do something about it. This is a serious crisis in our country. It truly is #morethanadiaper. Thank you.
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: Thank you.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Lisa McCarthy.
LISA MCCARTHY: Good morning. I am pinching myself to be here. It's my second year at Makers, and if you're anything like me, on day three, you're saying to yourself, I'm so moved and inspired by women as young as 12 and as old as 96, and men-- so thrilled to have men at Makers this year. But all of the people taking a stand for equality and safety in our workplace and in our world.
And also you may be daunted and slightly intimidated. Anyone? How am I going to apply this to my life? I have the privilege of being here. I have the privilege of watching. How am I going to raise my voice? How am I going to drive change and take a stand? And for some of you, how am I going to change my circumstances and fuel my own happiness? Anyone thinking that?
So that's why I'm here, because the exercise I'm going to share with you today has changed, for over 10,000 people, how they work, live, lead, and love. And it will require vulnerability, which I know is a major theme of the conference. And it will require courage. So don't anyone leave.
Before I give you the exercise, I'm going to share my story. 12 years ago, even though I look 40, I was 38. And I was living in Long Island, where I live with my husband, Sean, who is the police chief. And we had three young children, and I had a big job at a media company. And I registered for a leadership program, because I was feeling like I needed to ignite myself. And the pre-work for the leadership program was to write your eulogy. So they told us to interview people at work, interview people at home, interview our friends.
And it was a life-changing and extremely disturbing experience. The reason for that is that I had to own up to-- I was known for being really busy. And the reason I was known for being really busy is that I walked about 100 miles an hour through the hallway at work. If I asked someone how they were, I didn't stop and kept moving. And if someone asked me, "Lisa, how are you?" I would say, in an extremely intense, high-strung way, "I'm really busy." And for some of those lucky people-- and this is embarrassing to admit-- I would actually tell them everything I was really busy with, as if it was remotely interesting to anyone except my sister. Maybe my sister.
OK. So here I am in this seminar, and I'm thinking, like, "This is not OK. I cannot have this as my tombstone." And I took time, and I wrote my eulogy. And as you know, with the eulogy, it's already happened. So I literally imagined my children at my funeral getting up and saying, my mother was present, connected. She was the glue of our family. She took care of us. She was our greatest fan and a meaningful coach.
As a wife, she was present, she was loving, she was connected. As a friend, she was amazing, always there. And in the workplace, she made a difference. She led change, and she took a stand for helping people have cultures where their whole lives are ignited, where you can produce extraordinary results at work and anything you're committed to.
And that was the easy part. The hard part was sharing it. So I went home. I shared it with my family. My husband, who loves me, said, we'll see. And my kids were very young at that time. And I shared it with my team at work. And the reason I shared it with my team at work and with my family is because I knew that this would require radical change in behavior. So I needed to come out and tell people so that they would hold me accountable and let me know when I was not being that.
Now who can relate to what I'm saying, by the way? Who's running around saying you're busy, tired, stressed? Stop doing that. So I go back into my real life. And I just practiced. All I did was practice. I was intentional and I practiced being the person that was in my eulogy. And I am still practicing. Some days go better than others. But I'm living that life, that future that I'm committed to, so that my kids actually say that at my funeral. And today, I'm proud to share that when people say, "Lisa, how are you?" I say, "I'm overly fulfilled."
Fast-forward. Fast-forward. Feel free to use that. Fast-forward.
I'm 45 years old, and I'm at a crossroads in my career. I am leaving the media company that I'm at, and I can either go to another big media company and run a team, huge opportunity, or I can pursue my dream to create a company that helps other leaders experience what I did and get conscious of how they show up and how they lead and how they coach and creating a culture where people can win and succeed in all areas of their life. And with a ton of excitement, but more fear, I chose the dream.
I reached out to my childhood friend, Wendy Leshgold, who's here with me in the audience. We met in camp. She has other qualifications. But I reached out to her, and I said, Wendy, I know if I do this myself, it will be done in 90 days, because I need energy. I need people. I need discipline.
And together, we wrote down a vision for the Fast Forward Group. And we wrote it as if it had already happened. I mean, it was vivid. It was specific. It was, this is our mission. This is the impact we're having. These are our clients. This is what they're saying. This is how it feels coming to work every day.
And we had no idea how to do it. But we wrote it down. We believed it. We could see it. And we started sharing it with people. And guess what? People got excited. Jacki Kelley from Bloomberg said, I'm going to give you my conference room, and you can beta Fast Forward with all your industry friends, and we'll give you feedback. Carolyn Everson from Facebook said, we're going to be your first client. And she subsequently scaled it to her entire organization or 3,000 people, and now is bringing it to our clients.
And then we have a ton of Makers companies. Just a big shoutout to all the Makers companies that are investing in people and culture, men and women, because we all want the same thing. We all want the same kind of life.
So now I'm going to share a piece of our work, so that you leave here in action, that you leave here with an actionable way to apply all this inspiration to your life. Everybody ready? Because this is going to be interactive. We always, like, create work.
OK. So you're fast-forwarding a year from today. And you are going to look in your own life at this question. What does extraordinary success look like for you? The first question you're going to ask-- and you're going to write this down in a moment-- is write down one important and unpredictable outcome. And write it as if you already accomplished it.
Let me say what we mean by unpredictable. You could fail. You don't know how to do it or you don't know the full plan. Or it's going to require people and factors outside of your control.
Let me share some examples. Number one-- and you need to say it, when you say it, with conviction. I took on a new leadership role at my company, increased my comp by 20%, and I am lit up by work. Two, we have an inclusive company culture. This year was a game-changer. We have improved leadership numbers by 20% for women and people of color. Three, I feel healthy for the first time in years. I am taking care of my mental and physical well-being. And four, I am in a fulfilling, loving relationship. This is for those of you that are single and those of you that have a partner but stopped paying attention.
OK. 30 seconds, you need to write down-- everybody, let's go. OK? You have to write down, or you can type it in your phone, but nobody sell out. I'm giving you 30 seconds to write down one important and unpredictable outcome, and write it as if it's already happened. Please begin.
Make it specific. If you can, make it measurable.
OK. So here comes the courageous part. You are going to turn to the person next to you. I told you, vulnerability, courageousness. Don't insert something else now, OK? You are going to share with the person next to you. It's February, 2019. Here's what happened. And then say why it's important.
And this is about 30 seconds each. It's going to get extremely loud. And then I'm going to ring a yoga chime. Everybody ready? Let's go. Please begin. Share with one other person.
OK. That time it worked. OK, who is inspired? Raise your hand by saying it out loud. Who's uncomfortable? This exercise is about bringing intention and choosing to be uncomfortable in all areas of your life. I consider that a good thing, because for any of you that have chosen comfort, what is the cost? Stagnation and it's boring. It's boring. If you want to be lit up, you've got to be uncomfortable. So I consider that a good thing.
OK, next question. Everybody ready? One year from today-- I'm giving you a whole year. Hope it will happen sooner. What are you known for? OK, here are some examples, and then you're going to write it down for yourself. One, I am a present and interested parent and partner. Two, I am an inspiring leader who drives growth and cares about people. Three, I speak my voice and I have the hard conversations. Four, I am taking a stand for what I believe in.
Now it's your turn. 30 seconds, write it down, and write it down as if it's already happened. Happening-- "I am." Pick the one that's going to require change or courage.
OK. Next step. You know what it is. You're going to share with the same person. Say it with confidence and conviction. You do not need to know how. You will figure it out. Please begin.
Is that good? You want all three.
Shh. Who's inspired? Yeah. So now your job is to go home and tell the people that surround you, so you can be supported and hold yourself accountable. Anything is possible if you set an intention and then you practice. You are all ordinary people that can make an extraordinary difference. And we can be who we want to be, if we set an intention and practice.
OK. Last thing. You now have a taste of our Fast Forward vision exercise. In order to get coaching to do the entire exercise, go to our website. When you get home, go to our website. And we're going to get everything you need. And you can email us to get vision samples. Over 10,000 people have done this exercise. It is making an extraordinary difference. And it could be that for you.
Make this your year. Raise your voice. Raise your voice. And if you have an area of your life or your company, and you're thinking to yourself, this is so not right, somebody needs to do something-- be that somebody. Be change, make the difference, set an intention, write it in your vision, share it out loud. You will figure it out. It will compel you to find a way, get support, galvanize people, and have this be your year.
Last thing. We have a workshop today, 12:00 to 1:00 in the screening room. So for any of you that are interested in getting help managing your inner critic, which is often the thing that gets in the way of bold visions, join Wendy and I in the screening room from 12:00 to 1:00. Thank you. Do this. And it was a privilege.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Marcia Clark and Nancy Armstrong.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. Every time I watch it it makes me cry. I mean, I produced it and I usually tailor them to make people cry and feel something. But I'm so glad you're here, because your story is so critical to the discussion that we've been having over the last 36 hours at this conference. And you're coming into a pretty incredible third act, which was ignited in part by a resurgent interest in the Simpson trial.
And more specifically, in your role in it. The FX series from 2016, "The People Versus O.J. Simpson" won a Golden Globe and shed light on aspects of this trial that kind of went over our head in the 90s. You know, didn't really penetrate the American consciousness. So it's been wonderful to reframe this. But I have to ask, you had nothing to do with the series. What was your reaction when you found out that this whole saga was going to play out on national television again?
MARCIA CLARK: I was miserable. I was miserable. Well first of all, actually, my initial feeling was when I heard about it, the rumblings they were going to do this, I thought, never going to happen. Then I heard Ryan Murphy's making it. Oh, shit. It's going to happen. And then, I heard Sarah Paulson was going to play me. I said, wow. You know, I mean, that is an honor. I think she's a genius.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: She did an incredible job.
MARCIA CLARK: She's amazing. So I thought, OK, whoa, at least somebody-- but what I never expected-- so then, of course, I predicted no one would watch. So obviously, if you want to know how a show is going to do and how to predict the ratings, don't ask me, because I said no one's going to care about that. And then, of course, it was a huge hit. And then, the most surprising thing of all was that Ryan Murphy chose to shine a spotlight on the sexism in the case, which no one had ever commented on and I thought no one ever would. And then it became something completely beyond simply a television series.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: So how many remember watching the so-called trial of the century back in the 90s? Raise your hand. Oh, that's a lot.
MARCIA CLARK: Oh wow.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: Yeah. Well, the interesting thing is that we didn't realize this at the time, or at least I didn't, but feminism was a little bit radioactive in the 90s, or maybe a lot radioactive. And no one wanted to talk about sexism. And here you were, walking into work every day into a courtroom that was ground zero of sexism and misogyny. We saw the Ito clip, which was appalling enough, but there are other clips of Shapiro calling you overly emotional and Cochran calling you hysterical in a moment when she was clearly not hysterical. It was on camera. She was just winning the argument. And do you think they had any clue what was going on? Did they have any sense that it was just so wildly inappropriate?
MARCIA CLARK: Right. So you and I, we were talking about this. And you were kind of thinking that they were doing it on purpose, that they were saying these gender things, making these gendered remarks to kind of get to me. And throw that stick in the spokes.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: Or distract. Distract from the evidence. Let's tap into the gender bias that exists in America. And then people would go, oh, well that's true, and undermine you.
MARCIA CLARK: And my answer was no, don't give them that much credit. They were not aware of their own misogyny. They were not aware of their own gender bias, the sexist behaviors that they engaged in and the sexist thinking that was so much a part of them. It was just what they were thinking. This is the way you talk about a woman. You talk about her as being emotional. You talk about her as being hysterical. Anytime a woman raises her voice and be shows her power, they find a way to reduce it, to minimize it.
But it's not, I think, a planned thing. It's just the response. And it's the way that I think men were raised to think about women. And in ways that are really kind of shocking. They framed me up, so to speak, as someone who went with my gut. I go with my gut instinct. Believe me, in trial, you have no choice. You must be extremely prepared, but then you must go with your gut, because your decisions get made like this, like this, like this.
Object, don't object, think, don't, stand up, don't stand up, look at the jury, don't look at the jury. These are second by second. You must go with your gut. When they say that of a man, he goes with his gut, it's considered to be a wonderful thing. It shows his power, it shows his strength. For a woman to go with her gut, to take on that kind of power, they refuse. You know, women cannot have that kind of power. So when a woman goes with her gut, she's accused of being impulsive. You know? Same kind of thinking.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: What was that like for you though? I mean, going in, as Natalie Portman said, on Monday, you were isolated. What was it like to walk in knowing every single day that was what was going to happen and how did you feel at the end of a day like that, every day for a year?
MARCIA CLARK: So the sexism was not the thing that was foremost on my mind. I was used to it. Most judges were not like Ito, I have to say. He was a uniquely awful example. And most, even though they might have been older and some of them were former detectives, which can be very sexist, were still, when they saw me stand up and work the case without any qualms, without fear, they gave me full respect.
Ito was a different story. But what upset me, what was the painful thing was the fact that the rulings were going to come in badly every day. Every day I walked into court knowing the wrong thing was going to happen. And it was going to happen over and over again, no matter what I did. And that Ito would personally get in my way. But more importantly, in the way of the case. And so I knew that justice was going to get thwarted every day, no matter how hard we worked. That was the hard part.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: And the disappointing thing, too, is that the media was totally complicit. I mean, was it so shocking in 1995 to have a woman in that position with that kind of power? Or were they simply reflecting a more pervasive attitude in the country that a woman didn't belong in that position? Why should you have that position?
MARCIA CLARK: It's a really hard question to answer, because there's so-- you know, how to unpack that. I think that when you talk about the feminist revolution that supposedly occurred 20 years earlier, well when I think of revolution, I think of real change and I think of objective change. I think of change that gives you childcare, maternity leave, no glass ceiling, equal rights when it comes to pay, equal rights when it comes to job promotion and the ability to get a job. Those things hadn't happened. What you did have were the omens of change, the icons. Like Gloria Steinem, who is one of these people who opens her mouth and pearls fall out. She's amazing. And she was like my hero.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: She's in here. Where is Gloria?
MARCIA CLARK: Is she here?
NANCY ARMSTRONG: Is Gloria still here? No, she's not here. She was here.
MARCIA CLARK: She was always, she was my hero. She was the woman who I looked up to and thought, that's where it's at. That's what we want. Now, you need those people because otherwise you have to see it to be it. If you don't see it, if you don't see that person standing up and being that person, you don't know to dream. So they're necessary and they're important, they're incredibly important.
But the changes that a woman like that is asking for have not yet taken place, had not taken place. The fact that I was, in '95, the first woman in special trials unit? What's that about? You know what I mean? There should have been many before me. There weren't. Now there are. And so we're starting to see the change, and of course the "Me Too" movement, "Times Up" movement are incredibly important.
Now, we're seeing some real grassroots movement. Now we're seeing physical change in the world that can make women's lives better and allow for the kind of revolution we were talking about before. But in the 90s, it had not yet happened. The sexist thinking was still there. Women were still expected to really basically be home caregivers, child raisers. And when they stepped out into the work world, there was still a great deal of skepticism and suspicion and even derision, because you were abandoning your role.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: What were the labels? I mean, you were just doing your job and the qualities that made you effective in your job-- aggressive, outspoken, relentless-- were all in the glare of the media spotlight. You know, qualities that cast you with a few labels that were unpleasant. What were some of those labels?
MARCIA CLARK: Oh, I don't even know if I can say them here. A bitch, shrill, strident, emotional. I love that one, emotional. Yeah, I was pissed off. I mean, every day. I don't call that emotional, I call that accurately pinning my finger on the pulse of what was going on in that courtroom. So yeah, it was that kind of-- and all of it, when you think about it, all of it is demeaning, all of it is minimizing, all of it as a way to shrink a woman into basically a child.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: Particularly in light of the fact that those same characteristics were clearly abundant in the six or so male attorneys that made up the defense counsel, and they also received a new label.
MARCIA CLARK: The Dream Team.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: That's right.
MARCIA CLARK: Though they whined and bitched and moaned. [LAUGHTER] I called them on it all the time.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: Well here's where there's hope, I think, drawing a line between your experience and what's happening in the world today is that if those dynamics of sexism and misogyny would play out in a courtroom today, there would no longer be a collective shrug, there would be massive public outcry and a movement to shut it down. And that's progress.
MARCIA CLARK: I agree. And in that respect, social media has really been a great thing for women, because we can actually see each other speak. We can actually see what each other is doing. We can do Instagram, we can do a lot of ways in which we can reach out to each other and you can see other women doing it. You can get support from one another. And women, I think, would be more supportive in today's world, wouldn't be so afraid to stand up and say, hey, this is wrong.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: Let's talk about the issue made at the time of you being a working mother. This was portrayed in the FX series really brilliantly, the way in which you were inexorably wedged between perfect professionalism and perfect parenthood. Which, by the way, is a fantasy concept. And just the audacity of a working mother to go for the top role. And what was the climate around being a working mother and having that kind of a job?
MARCIA CLARK: So let me start by saying a perfect this or a perfect that, no one's perfect anything. Even if you are a child caregiver and you would elect to be at home and do that full time, you're not going to be perfect. If you elect not to have children and you go to work, you're not going to be perfect. So the idea that you could do both and be perfect is insane and it's not real and it's another way of keeping women locked up in that kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.
With respect to doing both, having children and also having a high power career, again, this is about not allowing women to have their power. You know, all of it is about keeping women away from the levers of power, keeping women out of the workplace, keeping women away from places where they can have an impact on the world by saying, "you can't have it all," quote, unquote, even though, of course, men always have. So, I mean, this is definitely something that we need to fight against and we need to overcome.
I think there is still some degree of skepticism, suspicion, negative impact of seeing a woman who has children working and doing a high-powered job. And I think that's something, that kind of bias, is something we need to overcome. I think women less so than the men we work with who still, I hear them asking, so are you going to go get pregnant? What about your children? In a job situation where you'd never ask a man that. And, I mean, I heard this happen just not a few-- this was like within the past month and it was an interview. And the man in the group asked this woman who has a two-year-old child, well what about your kid? And I thought, if she was a man, would you ask her that? Right.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: So what about this issue now with all of these new rules and regulations, and a lot of men are saying, you know, I don't know how to act now. I don't know who I should talk to and I'm afraid to work with women. I mean, what do you say to that and what's your advice?
MARCIA CLARK: Oh, boo fucking hoo.
[LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE]
I mean, you know? My heart is breaking. I mean, really? Seriously? Dude, you know, first of all, learn what it's like to have to mince your words, hold back, worry about offending, worry about upsetting, worry about threatening. We've been doing it for how many thousands of years? And we had to figure it out. More than that, you know, really, is there no way to know? Is a woman not sitting next to you? Do you not have a mother? Do you not have a sister? A daughter, a cousin, a niece? Come on, man. So yeah, no, I understand. I appreciate them asking the question. I do. But really, get a clue.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: So what do you say to a woman who is in a position that is not as visible, that doesn't have a voice and that is currently dealing with a situation where she has sexism and gender bias and misogyny thrown at her on a daily basis?
MARCIA CLARK: Well, but she is visible. She is visible to her male coworkers. She's visible to her brothers, to her fathers, to her sons, to her nephews. You get the picture. There's something you can do on a daily basis to make sure that you make a difference . By talking to them, by teaching them what's the right way to act, by telling them when they step out of line, by saying, no, that's not OK.
When they make some kind of sexist remark, call them on it. These are the people close to you. You can talk to them and that will make a difference, because those men you're talking to are somebody else's coworkers, somebody else's boss, somebody else's employee, somebody else in human resources who can have his mind opened and understand how to behave with women and how to act so that they are not making gendered remarks, sexist remarks.
You can make a difference every single day. Of course, there's "Times Up," these are movements that you can contribute to. There are women's marches, and I think the ability to show solidarity and see all of us together, to see how much support we actually have and can give each other is really important.
Which brings me to the other part is we must support each other. Women, for too long, have undermined other women. I see it less so now. I actually see women much more capable and much more willing and eager even to stand up for one another. But it's critical that we do, because if we don't, we can never move forward. We at least must be our own best friends.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: OK, quickly before we wrap up. You have two very exciting projects coming up. So tell us quickly about the first one with A&E.
MARCIA CLARK: So A&E, "The First 48," it's been a longstanding running show on A&E and I'm a spin-off as "The First 48: Marcia Clark Investigates." it airs March 29 on A&E and we'll be doing notorious cases.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: What kind of cases?
MARCIA CLARK: These first batch of seven will be notorious cases. Chandra Levy, Robert Blake, Jam Master Jay, that kind of-- you know, those.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: All female victims killed by men they knew and loved.
MARCIA CLARK: Shocking.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: What about your-- you just inked a deal with ABC.
MARCIA CLARK: So yes, and I just sold the pilot with my co-writers, show writers Liz Craft and Sarah [? Fain ?] with [INAUDIBLE] Productions, [? Laurie ?] [? Zacks. ?] It's a one hour drama pilot based on kind of a little bit of my life. Maya Travis is the lead attorney who loses a big case, leaves the DA's office and then when it appears the defendant killed again, they bring her back. And what happens when she goes back into the DA's office to prosecute again.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: I love that. Well, good luck and thank you so much for being here with us today.
MARCIA CLARK: Thank you so much, it was an honor.
NANCY ARMSTRONG: Thank you, Marcia.
MARCIA CLARK: It's an honor. Thank you for having me.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Kim Foxx.
KIM FOXX: People are going to think that I say that I want people to stand when I walk in a room on purpose.
The subliminal messaging that was in that-- thank you all so very, very much.
Over the course of the last couple of days, having been here, I have to tell you that my mind was flipping in thousand different directions of the story that I wanted to tell that leads me to be in this space today to talk about my journey for criminal justice reform after listening to the women here who bared their souls-- and that I had borne my soul on the campaign trail because it matters. I ran for this office in a position in-- which is mostly men. Of elected prosecutors across the United States, less than 1% of them are women of color, less than 1%. Almost 80% of elected prosecutors are white men.
But when we look at our criminal justice system, when we look at our justice system in the city of Chicago, which is where I live and I grew up, and we look at the people who come through our jails or who have been victims of crime, they are overwhelmingly black and Latino. When we look at the young women who come through our juvenile temporary detention centers, the majority of them have been sexually abused or traumatized.
There is this notion when people hear about the fact that I come from public housing, one of the worst public housing projects in the country, that I came from the product of a single-parent household, a mother who was 18 when she had me, 17 when she had my brother, that I was sexually abused and assaulted, that I was homeless for a period of time in high school, that I went to school early in life that was under-funded and under-resourced and moved a mile to a school that had every opportunity for me to grow and thrive. And I became a lawyer, and the top lawyer.
And people ask me all the time, how did you do that? How did you make it? And they ask with such earnestness, how did you make it? And I turn the question back on all of you who may be inquiring that that question is based on the premise that I was suppose to fail. It is based on the premise that a young black girl from public housing who came from a single-parent household, a teenage mother, a victim of sexual abuse and trauma, should be in our criminal justice system, just not as its top prosecutor. And that's why I ran for this job.
I ran for this job because I am-- or I have more in common with the people who come through our criminal justice system than the people who work for me, that when we look at the factors that lead to crime and violence in our neighborhoods and we look at the issues related to concentrated poverty, when we look at the issues related to drug addiction and mental health, and I've been very vocal and very public about the fact that my mother was someone who suffered from depression all of her life, who smoked marijuana on a regular basis to quiet the voices and the stress-- then when I look at the people who come through our systems and how our criminal justice system addresses them, treats them, how we beg for humanity in our policies, it requires that everywhere I go, I tell my story because it's not because I'm exceptional. The only person who should think that is my husband.
I am not exceptional. I have been afforded an exceptional opportunity to lead this office. But when I look at what we've done in criminal justice policy, when I look at what has happened across our systems and how we would treat someone who comes from the exact same background as me and we lock them up because they have done things that all of us have done, the onus becomes on me as the prosecutor, as the chief law enforcement officer who has the power to charge, and also the power to overturn, to say that people ought not beg our systems to treat them humanely. Our systems ought be run by people who are human. And that requires us to dig deep into who we are and rationalize why we do what we do.
When I came into this office, I was the first African-American elected to this position. And there was a lot of scuttlebutt about what would happen when you have the first black person in a system where 86% of the people in our jail are black and brown or 94% of the people in our juvenile detention center are black and brown, and would she come in with the lens of someone who has lived those experience?
Absolutely. Unapologetically, I come to this work not like the 80% of those who have not had this experience. I come to this work not to pretend as though to do this work, you must be tough and you must be strong, you must pound on tables. I come to this work as a child who's experienced the systems and all of its failures and all of its possibilities.
And so that has meant for me being unapologetic about hiring a mostly female executive team. It's been unapologetic about saying we need a chief diversity officer who will make sure that our office is reflective of the communities that we serve, and not simply just in numbers related to race and ethnicity, but experience. It means that when I look at our policies as it relates to mental health that I'm actively working with partners to say that jails are not the place to deal with mental health issues.
But when I look at our issues related to drugs and addiction-- that my heart doesn't go cold when someone who we've put in a diversion program fails once, twice, or maybe seven times because I've been close enough in proximity to those who have suffered from the demons of addiction to know that they are not bad people. They are people who are dealing with public health crises.
It is someone who has worked around juvenile justice issues because I've seen as a lawyer and an advocate for children in our foster care systems that we have a school-to-prison pipeline that we all recognize, that young kids who experience trauma in their lives who've gone through our systems have a seven times higher likelihood of ending up in our adult system. And I can't wait for the gush at the end of the pipe to decide that I want to do something-- that as a prosecutor, I don't abdicate my responsibility to be a morally upright human and say that when we get things wrong, the onus is not on someone to bring it to my attention, that we immediately step forth and fix it and do everything that we can to not repeat that. And that has meant in the first year of my office doing the first-ever mass exoneration in Cook County for men who were convicted of crimes for which they did not commit.
It has meant working on issues like bail reform, an issue that women are disproportionately impacted by-- that we have people sitting in our jails every single day not because they are a threat to our community, but because they can't afford low levels amount of bond. And what people don't realize is that women tend to show up to pay that bond for men. Men tend not to show up to pay that bond for women.
And these are women who are accused, not yet convicted. This is pretrial. These are mothers who, while awaiting trial sometimes for the littlest of offenses, are not there to care for their children. These are children who are there who are unable to care for elderly parents. These are workers who are hourly-- that one day in incarceration can cause them to lose their jobs and their housing.
And that matters to me as someone who has been homeless with a mother who worked very, very hard. And the separation from her income caused devastation to our family. And then when we look and talk about bond reform-- that again, it should be prosecutors who have the power in those spaces to say that we must do better.
I've taken this job and this responsibility and these issues of justice reform at a time when the country is awakening to what's happening in our criminal justice system-- films like the "13th" that show us the history that we've adopted in this country of using incarceration to deal with our injustices. What I have to say wherever I go is that if we do not acknowledge the racist ideologies that have been embedded in our criminal justice system and not have the painful conversations about the consequences of those policies on families, then we wait 20, 30 years and look at the devastation of a war on drugs that was never about a war on drugs and what has happened to those neighborhoods and those communities and those children, if we do not have the difficult conversations about where we are rooted in race and our justice system, that we will continue to have policies that inflict harm.
And I became a prosecutor to advocate on behalf of communities. As a girl who suffered the horrors of victimization, there was no job more honorable to me than to hold the hand of a victim and tell them that I've been there, too, and you'll be OK, too. But we cannot do that with integrity and honor if we do not acknowledge that that is wrong in our systems and be the warriors that fight for it.
So I leave here today saying to all of you that as you go back into your communities and you look at your criminal justice system and you ask who's there and you ask who's your top prosecutor and you ask do they share the same values and beliefs in humanity and the potential and possibility in everyone that they serve, never in a million years could anyone have imagined that a poor black girl from Cabrini-Green would stand on the cusp of history as the first African-American woman Cook County State's Attorney. But if we did not invest in me, I wouldn't be here today. Let's make that investment for all of our children. Thank you.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Robbie Kaplan, Marissa Blair, and Lydia Polgreen.
LYDIA POLGREEN: I'm going to be selfish for a second, and I'm going to tell Robbie something I've never told her, which is that the day that the DOMA decision was handed down, my now wife and I, who have been together for now 22 years, were in the New York City marriage bureau, applying for our marriage license.
ROBBIE KAPLAN: Oh, my god.
LYDIA POLGREEN: So it was-- and I looked at my phone, and I saw that the DOMA had been overturned. And we were married a couple of days later, and it was-- so even though I didn't know you at the time, you-- and my wife's here today, so you played a big role in making our life together possible. So thank you. Um, yes.
ROBBIE KAPLAN: You know, let me just say one thing. This is the first time I've actually seen that video. You know, Edie passed away this past September at the age of 87. This is the first time I've seen the video since she passed away. And she would be so psyched about this. I mean, she so loved everything she did in the case, and the victory, in her life afterwards, but she would really be into this right here today. And in some ways, she's looking down on us all.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Well, and I think that something that Edie would also be excited about is the case that we're here to talk about today. One of the hallmarks of Robbie's work through the year is this-- not just concerned with something that's obviously a-- has personal resonance for you, but the broader arc of justice.
You have taken on a really challenging case, involving trying to bring justice to the victims and people who were affected by the so-called Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. And we have with us Marissa, who was one of the plaintiffs in the case.
And I would love to hear from you, Marissa, about your experience that day. Why did you go? Why was it important to you? And what happened?
MARISSA BLAIR: Um, well, me and my fiance, we didn't know if we were going to go at first. We had been told from the start, you know, there was a KKK rally months before. They said, that's JV. This is going to be varsity.
So didn't know if we were going to go. We saw the torch rallies on August 11, and it just looked like something out of the history books. So we were like, you know what? No. This is our city. We're not-- they're not going to come here and not meet resistance. We're going to go. We're going to go. We're going to spread love. We're going to show that there are more good people in the world than there are bad, and that we're going to join together.
So we got there and it was a lot of hate, but we found a group of-- there was clowns in the street, people giving hugs, handing out water, we were singing, everyone was happy. And that's what we went to go do. We went to go find the happy people, to spread love, be with people that were like us and to kind of stay away from, you know, the alt-right, all the hate. We just wanted to say, hey, we're out here, too. You're not going to scare us.
So we went out there, and we were there with my friend, Heather and Courtney, my fiance, and I'll tell anyone. We were so happy in the moments leading right up to that moment. And, you know, car plowed through. It was pandemonium. We didn't know, really, what was going on. We just wanted to, you know, make sure everyone was OK, everyone was safe.
Unfortunately, you know, we lost my good friend, Heather. But a lot of good's come out of it. A lot of people have come together. They've been very supportive. We were out there just to show, hey, everyone's equal. Everyone, you know, deserves the right to be loved.
It doesn't matter what religion you are, or what sex you are, what race you are. We were just out there trying to spread love. And you know, we met hate, but even, you know, Robbie's helping us show, hey, they didn't come out there to just, you know, First Amendment, freedom of speech, right to assemble, right to bear arms. They were out there to incite violence, to scare people.
And we wanted to let them know that we weren't going to be scared. And we're still not scared, but, you know, it's heartbreaking.
LYDIA POLGREEN: I'm sure a lot of you saw on TV and on the front pages of newspapers, if anybody reads those anymore, the extraordinary horrifying photo of your fiance being hit by that car. And I understand that he was quite badly injured, and he's required surgery for his leg and ankle.
MARISSA BLAIR: Yeah, he shattered his tibia in his leg, completely shattered, fractured his ankle. He has two screws in it now. And he's having-- you know, yesterday, he was walking a little bit with a limp. So some days are better than others, but we'll tell you it's more mental than anything.
I'm so glad that he's healed. He's glad that he's healed. He's ready to get back to work. He hates sitting at home, but it's more mental than anything.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Yeah, yeah.
ROBBIE KAPLAN: I remember when I met Marcus he said to me, you know, they can fix my leg. They can put in the pins. He's like, but they'll never fix, completely fix, my mind, from what happened to us that day.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Well, Robbie, why was it important to you to take on this case, to file this case?
ROBBIE KAPLAN: So it really kind of happened as happenstance. I had-- I left a law firm that I was at for 25 years this summer, and we were in our new office space, and started a new woman led law firm. And we were in our new office space with, like, folding chairs and folding tables, kind of moving in, and I might as well say this because I know who's speaking next.
A person who calls himself the President of the United States gave a speech, as everyone knows about, in which he said that there were good people on both sides. And we decided that, in my office, that we were going to kind of watch that speech as a group, all the lawyers in the office and paralegals together, and we did, on someone's computer.
And then I started to think about it a little bit, and I remembered that years ago, my old law firm had brought a case against these really radical, anti-abortion activists who had a website called the Nuremberg files. And on that website, they would put up the photographs and personal information about doctors who were performing abortions.
And then as those doctors were injured or killed, and that's what happened, they would put X's over their faces. And the theory of that case is that what those doctors were doing on that website was not free speech, that it was incitement to violence. And I said, why can't we apply that speech-- that theory here? And three days later, we were on a plane to Charlottesville.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Um, now, you'd think that this kind of work is the work of the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, that perhaps in a different administration with a attorney general who wasn't named Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, they'd have a different approach to this. Why have you had to step in here?
ROBBIE KAPLAN: I mean, you're absolutely right. I mean, in ordinary times, and I don't think we're living right now in ordinary times, but in ordinary times, we would have the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice would be bringing this case instead of us bringing this case.
People don't know this, actually, but-- many people don't know this, but the Department of Justice itself was formed after the Civil War to fight the Klan in the deep south. That's the whole purpose of having a Department of Justice. And they should be doing that. Unfortunately, I think they're doing some isolated prosecutions. They're prosecuting Fields, but they're not doing the case that we're doing.
We've sued 24 Nazis, white supremacists, and affiliated groups, and I believe, in these times, private people have to step in. And thanks to the generosity of this amazing organization called Integrity First for America, who agreed to fund the lawsuit, that's what we're doing.
LYDIA POLGREEN: And this is not an inexpensive endeavor. I mean, there are multiple defendants. There are multiple defendants in the case, and they have been not so easy to track down. And a lot of them are on the run.
ROBBIE KAPLAN: So probably most of you people know this, but when you bring a case against someone, you actually, in most circumstances, have to personally serve them. Means you have to hand the complaint to them. And handling the complaints to these guys has not been an easy thing.
We've been working with the Southern Poverty Law Center and sharing guys who kind of travel around the country trailing them. We got one guy through his mom because his mom didn't really know who he-- what he was involved with, and she, like, opened his door and we got him that way.
But it was a huge endeavor, and it's still going on. We believe we've served everyone, but we haven't personally served, still, four of them, including Andrew England, who's still in hiding.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Yeah, yeah. What kind of impact has this had on your community in Charlottesville? It's obviously a college town. It's a place that we think of as being tolerant and having-- but talk to me about Charlottesville post Charlottesville.
MARISSA BLAIR: Um, post Charlottesville, I'd say to the rest of the United States, you know, you see UVA, you see Thomas Jefferson. It's a progressive town. And it is. Charlottesville is a quaint little town. Great places to eat, great community, but in the background, it's also been some racial divide. You know?
Some police have been taken to court for racial profile, and things like that, so I think the citizens always knew it was that little bit of racial inequality. But after the fact, Charlottesville has this-- this feel to it now. It's not necessarily bad. It's very hopeful. I will say that.
The street where it happened, you know, it's basically a memorial for Heather. It's amazing. You go there you feel love. But now, Charlottesville, it seems like we're trying to throw blame on a lot of people. They're trying to throw blames on the police officers, city council, you know, everyone, except the white nationalists that came.
And they all came from out of state. They weren't natives of Charlottesville, natives of Virginia. They came out of state. You know? So now Charlottesville is left to pick up the pieces, but the community's been great in providing services just to heal.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Robbie, obviously your career has traversed a lot of different arcs. I mean, you're an absolute top litigator at your firm in New York, and have done a lot of different things. What is the connective thread with the different cases that you've taken on, particularly the ones you've been most passionate about?
ROBBIE KAPLAN: I would say two th-- but first of all, you know, there are really four groups of people who the Nazis and white supremacists and KKK members in Charlottesville hate. They hate black folks. They hate gay folks. They hate Jews. And they hate women. I get three out of four of those, myself. So I'm not their most favorite person in the world, but I don't think it's at all surprising. You heard some of this in the panel the first day.
I don't think it's at all surprising that when someone hates when someone is racist, they're also homophobic. And when someone is sexist, they're also racist. I mean, you see that, and when you look, you should read our complaint. It reads like this horrible dystopian novel, but their hatred to these groups was vicious. And they really, you know--
They have stuff like, we want the Jews to be back in the ovens at Auschwitz. We think all gay men should be locked up in jail. We think all black people should be lynched. It's the same stuff. So first of all, that's always motivated me.
Second of all, I'm going to be a little corny, but I have to go back to my childhood. When I was a kid growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, at a time where if you told me that I would never have to sue Nazis, I would have told you you were nuts. My Torah portion was from Deuteronomy 16. In Hebrew, [SPEAKING HEBREW] or justice, justice, thou shall pursue.
And so I know it sounds corny, but I like to think sometimes those things have real meaning, and I've tried to live up to them.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Marissa, what do you hope will come out of this case?
MARISSA BLAIR: I hope people will start to have those uncomfortable conversations. I think people always knew-- I mean, I honestly, you know, I think there's good in everyone. But to see so much hate, to see so much racism still exists, it's very disheartening.
But I want people to still have hope. I want people to still believe that there are good people in the world. But at the same time, I want people to have uncomfortable conversation. If something's not right, then speak up about it.
Don't just hide and say, oh, it's not me. It doesn't have to do with me. I'm not black, I'm not gay. Heather didn't do that. You know? It didn't matter. She was a white woman who spoke up for blacks, gays, Jews, anyone. And I just want people to have uncomfortable conversations and point out something that's not right instead of sitting there and just saying it doesn't have to deal with me.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Now, Robbie, I know that you're going to hop on a plane after this to go to Hawaii. You're involved in another case. Obviously, we've had a lot of conversations about Times Up here. You're representing a woman who has made allegations against Brett Ratner, a very well-known director. It seems as though they're trying to turn it back and they're suing her.
It does seem as if the law is, in some ways, being used by some of these accused to intimidate people who are just standing up for their rights. What's been your approach?
ROBBIE KAPLAN: Well, you're a superb lawyer, Lydia, because that's exactly our theory. Our client, this very brave woman named Melanie Kohler, who is a scuba diving instructor in Hawaii, hasn't lived in LA for 8 years. As a result of Me Too, kind of was motivated to tell her story, and to tell her truth, and put it up on a Facebook post.
Within an hour, she had a really nasty call from Mr. Ratner's lawyer. And within a couple days, she was sued for defamation. So, as you heard, I kind of like standing up for people like that. And we have a motion to dismiss, saying that the whole point of this suit is to intimidate and threaten other women and to stop them from speaking. And that violates this thing called the First Amendment. It's actually the opposite of Charlottesville case.
That violates this thing called the First Amendment, and we're arguing it tomorrow morning in Honolulu.
MARISSA BLAIR: Awesome.
LYDIA POLGREEN: So you've made a career out of-- yes.
ROBBIE KAPLAN: The people-- the person to be clapping for, really, is Melanie Kohler, who had the bravery to do this. And then, even knowing that someone as rich and powerful is Mr. Ratner was going to sue her, she still did it.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Yeah. Now, we've also been looking a lot at the judicial system as, really, the kind of last place of refuge for justice. You know, we have a highly politicized environment in which queer people, people of color, people who are not part of the religious majority, whatever that is, we have an administration that's stacking the courts in a very unusual way. Are you concerned? Can you talk about what you think you'll be facing, what kind of judges you'll be facing, and the effect that that's likely to have on those communities?
ROBBIE KAPLAN: Yeah. Horribly concerned. So I'm going to give a shout out to a young woman professor, Leah Litman, who teaches at UCLA, and she's brilliant, a former Kennedy clerk. And she did an article the other day that talked about Trump's nominations.
At the circuit level, only 3 out of 13 have been women. At the district court level, only 30% have been women. And for US attorneys nationwide, those are the federal prosecutors in each jurisdiction, only 10% have been women.
Those numbers are shocking. They're completely contrary to the past two administrations, even Republican administrations in the past. And that's going to-- those people have lifetime tenure, at least the judges, and that's going to affect the system of justice for a long time, unfortunately.
LYDIA POLGREEN: Well, we've had a lot of great conversations about justice. Keep fighting. Thank you so much, Robbie, Marissa.
MARISSA BLAIR: Thank you.
ROBBIE KAPLAN: Thank you.
LYDIA POLGREEN: All right. Thank you.
- Ladies and gentlemen, live from New York, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON: Hello, MAKERS.
Well, I've got to tell you, I wish I could be there with you in person. I just heard the end of this last panel, and I'm just cheering you on. This conference really is important, especially now.
There's a line from a favorite poet, Muriel Rukeyser, that I think bears repeating. She wrote, "What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open."
Well, that is exactly what we're witnessing right now in this extraordinary moment. And you've been talking about it, from Hollywood to politics to factory floors, everywhere women are telling the truth about their lives. And let's make sure the world is never the same.
You just heard a snippet from my speech in 1995 in Beijing. We shattered the silence. And more than two decades later, your gathering together continues the conversation. We've made progress, but not nearly enough.
Issues are still being swept under the rug here at home and around the world. You've heard from experts who are examining and taking on the institutions and the deep cultural biases that have held women and girls back for too long.
You've heard a lot of stories about women who banded together in solidarity to take on issues like sexual assault and harassment. And you've met real life heroes who are breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes.
So as we end this conference, each and every one of us has a job to do to ensure that what you heard, what you saw at MAKERS doesn't stay at MAKERS It's time to harness the passion and momentum of this unprecedented moment to fight as hard as we can to create meaningful, lasting change.
We have to be brave. We have to be brave enough to engage with people who disagree with us, brave enough to question and examine our own beliefs, brave enough to acknowledge that even those of us who have spent much of our life thinking about and fighting about gender issues, who even have first-hand experiences of navigating male-dominated industries may not always get it right.
And we have to be brave enough to bring everyone together, thinking beyond corporate boardrooms and the corridors of companies and Congress, beyond our own lives, to lift up women of all incomes, ages, experiences, and backgrounds, immigrant women, LGBT women, women with disabilities, women of color, who are often marginalized and sidelined.
So many of you are already doing something to make this a reality. And the diverse voices that were represented at this conference have to keep being heard. That's why I love the theme, "Raise your voice." There are lots of ways to raise your voice, our voices, to make a difference. Raising our voice at work, in the community, in the voting booth, in the courts, in every area that matters to our future.
That's why I am so committed to asking everyone to please participate in the mid-term elections this fall. Raise your voices as candidates for office, as supporters of candidates.
I believe the only way to get sexism out of politics is to get more women into politics. And that's never been more at stake than right now, for women and for our country, because we are living through an all-out assault on core values of democracy, free speech, the rule of law. We're in the midst of a war on truth, facts, and reason.
And I know at times it can be overwhelming, but every one of us has the power to do something about it by insisting on truth and accuracy from elected leaders and the press, holding them accountable when they fail to meet that standard; by refusing to be silent in the face of racism, sexism, bigotry, or any rhetoric intended to incite hatred and violence; and by continuing to tell the truth about our lives.
So let me add my voice. I pledge to continue to speak out. I pledge to never give up. I will do everything I can to keep my voice, number one. To advance the rights and opportunities of women in the midst of the snowstorm, stay on the front lines of democracy.
Thank you all for being part of this gathering of history makers, troublemakers, and change makers. Let's keep going. Thank you.
DYLLAN MCGEE: Thank you so much, Secretary Clinton. I wish you could see this incredible room of people standing here cheering you on and looking at you on this huge screen. What a way to give Hillary Clinton the final word after three days of raising our voices, a woman who has raised her voice her entire life.
You stand up. You fight back. You never just sit on the sidelines when it comes to building a better future for women. You are the definition of what it means to be a maker. And we are so grateful that you have come here today. Thank you.
HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you.
DYLLAN MCGEE: But-- oh, a standing ovation and you can't see.
HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you all.
DYLLAN MCGEE: But Hillary, hold on. Before you go, we'll let you. We have one last question. MAKERS has just been this big mega 3-day event, but the next big global event is the Olympics. So we want to know, who are you rooting for? What are you going to watch? What's the story?
HILLARY CLINTON: Dyllan, I'm going to watch as much as I can see. I love the Winter Olympics. I love the-- I just-- I love the athleticism and the stories of our athletes. And I'm excited that Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy will be the first openly gay Olympians for the American team.
So I'm going to be there cheering them on, whether it's skating, or skiing, or anything else. Although, I have to tell you, I shut my eyes at the luge and the skeleton. That's too scary. But I wait and open them to see who wins.
So let's cheer our Olympians on, and let's take that Olympic spirit of trying to bring people together and fight for what we know is right.
DYLLAN MCGEE: Well, thank you, Secretary Clinton from all of us. We love you.
HILLARY CLINTON: Love you, Dyllan. Love everybody. Thank you.
DYLLAN MCGEE: Thank you.
All right, everybody. At the last moment of the MAKERS conference.
DYLLAN MCGEE: I know! It's sad, isn't it? We're going to bring out from backstage some incredible people who made this happen. Come on, Team MAKERS. I want you to get the standing ovation. Come on!
Come up here, up here, up here. That's right. Come here. Come here. Come here. Everybody. Everybody. Everybody.
OK, ready? I'm not going to make everybody do a step, but we are going to do a, what? So ready? It's going to go, "What? Raise your voice." Everybody. OK? 3, 2, 1.
AUDIENCE: What? Raise your voice. DYLLAN MCGEE: Thank you, everyone. Go raise your voice. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. All right, come on!