Election Diversity!!

rainbow waveFor the first time in a long time, I am feeling hopeful about the future and inspired by much of the election results. There is so much to be celebrated, and there are many “firsts” in office. There are a record number of women holding seats in the House and more than 100 LGBTQ candidates that emerged victorious as of Wednesday afternoon.* I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER ABOUT IT. Let’s celebrate these accomplishments and keep this momentum going!!

  • Abby Finkenauer and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest women elected to congress.
  • Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland became the first navtive american women elected to congress, and Sharice is also a member of the LGBTQ community as well.
  • Ilhan Omar and Fashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women elected to congress, and Ilhan will be the first to wear a hijab.
  • Jared Polis became the first openly gay man elected governor in the US.
  • Kate Brown, previously became the first openly bisexual woman elected governor in 2016, was reelected.
  • MANY OPENLY LGBTQ MEMBERS WERE ELECTED INTO CONGRESS, including Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, David Cicilline, Sean Patrick Malony, Krysten Sinema, Mark Pocan, Mark Takano
  • Other LGBTQ members of the house include Angie Craig, Chris Pappas, and more.

election

These faces give me hope that the best of times are still ahead of us.

#Wave

Thanks for reading.

Images from instagram @refinery29 @glaad @nowthisnews
Woman and LGBTQ members in office, according to *NBCnews.com

The Bechdel Test

One of my best friends, Kelly is a graphic designer in the entertainment industry and keeps me up to date on upcoming movies, television theories, and of course celebrity news and gossip. She has lived in LA for the past two years and is currently transitioning to NYC. Her experiences working in this industry and living in LA has been awesome to follow and I’m sure she will have a lot of success in New York as well. You can find her portfolio and blog at www.kellyohara.com.

While reading through her blog posts about upcoming movies and lovable TV characters, I found a post where she explained The Bechdel Test. This feminist test consists of 3 rules in which a film must meet in order to pass:

  • The film must have at least two female characters with names.
  • The two female characters must have dialogue.
  • The dialogue must be about something other than a man.

It sounds simple enough, but within Kelly’s blog post was over a dozen movies that didn’t really pass. She often writes about how women are represented and recognized on screen, and promotes strong female characters with meaningful storylines. To view her original post, click HERE!

My boyfriend and I are frequent movie goers, so I decided to apply this test to the 5 movies released in 2018 that we have seen so far. (Don’t worry – no spoilers!)

205px-Rampage_(film)

Rampage: Kinda sorta passes.
While the movie technically passes, there isn’t a lot of female interaction in general here. There’s a couple of key scenes where the females on opposing sides come face to face, but that’s pretty much it. However, the women are intelligent and highly educated, so that’s something.

A_Quiet_Place_film_posterA Quiet Place: Definitely passes.
The four main characters consist of a mother, father, daughter and son and there is plenty of dialogue that includes the women- despite the fact that that dialogue is in sign language. The family is living in a silent world and the daughter is deaf, but she plays a detrimental part in the plot’s conclusion. Both the mother and daughter are innovative leaders, and I wouldn’t say that typical gender roles apply here. Everyone is equal, and everyone does what they have to in order to protect each other. The movies itself is amazing and I highly recommend.

portrait_incredibleAvengers Infinity War: Just barely passes. – This was disappointing. There are a ton of strong female characters in this movie – why didn’t any of them talk to each other?! The only reason that this movie passes at all is because of one all-female fight scene that – while pretty badass – was also pretty short. It was also annoying that every single female character had an on-screen love interest, which largely drove their side storylines. I won’t even talk about the role of Iron Man’s nagging wife… like I said, disappointing.

5a5c753ac8049Red Sparrow: Passes. – Truthfully, this movie didn’t portray men very well. They are weak creatures in the eyes of the Russian women, and can easily be taken down once that weakness is found. The women are powerful, manipulative, and stealthy. However, the movie had more rape scenes than I was prepared for and definitely showed a side of Russian culture that feminists may not agree with. So.. the movie passes, but there’s a lot more to be explored here.

MV5BZjA5MjZkNmQtNmI1ZS00M2RiLWFlMmUtNGU1ZjA4YTA0NjliXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTM3MDMyMDQ@._V1_UY268_CR9,0,182,268_AL_I Feel Pretty: Passes. – Amy Shumer has done a lot for the feminist movement with her stand up comedy, but this movie is more family-friendly than her normal content. Aside from one quick sex scene in which Amy’s character is looking at herself in the mirror, this is a movie you could watch with young girls. It sends a great message – you’re as attractive as you feel! Women are always comparing ourselves to each other and highlighting our flaws, when confidence is all we really need. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this movie passes.

Women face challenges in every industry – whether it’s the pay gap, unequal recognition, or lack of opportunities. And by bringing attention to these issues, we can start to fully address them.

So challenge yourself to apply this test to the next movie you watch! Especially films that have recently been released. Lx7JYlnK_400x400(And if this idea has really caught your interest, I recommend listening to the women on The Bechdal Cast Podcast analyze all your favorite movies and why they do or don’t pass.)

Thanks for reading!

www.kellyohara.com

Women in the Workplace

shutterstock_183577280% of the people I have reported to in the workplace have been women. This includes every position I have had, from my high school jobs to my college internships to my career. Most of my bosses have been women.

I come from a hardworking family with two parents who worked full-time. My mom took her maternity leave to have my sister and I, and then got right back to her job, working as one of the 11% of civil engineers that are women.* And yet, she still managed to have a life AND be involved with the PTA. The women there would give her patronizing remarks when she was unable to make meetings in the middle of the day because of having a career.  “Oh… you have to work?” Really? Not to judge these women, but my mom is a project engineer managing teams across a multinational company with a masters degree from Penn State who also is able to balance being an active mom, so who are they to speak?

All that being said, it’s no surprise that I take pride in the fact that I have mainly reported to women. I have had the opportunity to work for some amazing, powerful women, (and one awful one) and I am very thankful.

My first job, however, I worked for a man. In high school, I worked at a pizza place called Bella Roma, which was/still is owned by a man named Ray. To put it frankly, he was a sexist pig. Only girls were allowed to work behind the counter and wait tables, and only boys were hired to be delivery drivers. He made inappropriate remarks about women who came into his shop. You could see it and hear it in the way he treated and talked to people. Luckily for me, he was only in the restaurant during one of my shifts each week so I didn’t have to deal with anything first hand, but the stories were passed around. He was a douche.

I worked there for a year and then I started my long line of working for women. My hometown job included working for my friends’ mom, and my college campus job had me reporting to one of the female graduate students. It wasn’t until I started my internships that I noticed the amount of women in the workforce around me.

Maybe it’s my industry. I was a Communications major with minors in PR and Professional Writing, and my experience has been in HR, PR and Marketing. I had four internships while I was in college, all of which I reported directly to women. Three of these internships were within small businesses, and, this next part is noteworthy, ALL THREE OF THOSE BUSINESSES WERE OWNED BY WOMEN. These women were boss ladies, bad bitches, and I wanted to be like them. They were rough around the edges, intimidating, hardworking, and determined with something to prove. I was given mentors at these internships as well, also women. I was inspired by the attitude they had and the image of themselves they they projected into the world. Say what you want, but women get shit done, and done well. Today, almost 40% of all businesses are owned and operated by women.*

My first job out of college, I worked for an awful woman named Heather, who was the HR Director for a small manufacturing firm. When I first started, I heard rumors that she wasn’t well liked, but she was so nice to me in the beginning that I figured they were just saying those things because she was a dominant female. As I got to know her more, I realized that she didn’t make a whole lot of sense most of the time. She wasn’t great at managing people. She was no where to be found for 90% of the time, and the other 10% she would micromanage so much that it was hard to do our jobs. One time, she told me that instead of teaching me the new way she wanted things done, she had been giving me a look periodically to see if I could figure out this own my own. Sorry I didn’t pick up on  your telepathic signals, Heather. I could continue on about the strange things she used to do, but my point here is that I didn’t see her as a good boss. She was off-putting and manic and hypocritical and backwards. She didn’t know how to handle people, but then again, neither did most of this organization. I worked there for less than a year before I was begging another company to take me.

After that, I did a complete 180 and started working for a wonderful individual named Cheryl. You can put Cheryl on the top of the boss lady list. Professionally, she helped build a branch from scratch and was running the HR department for her home office and several other offices in the region. Meanwhile, she was dealing with a mother battling cancer, a husband having multiple surgeries on his airwaves, and a daughter in and out of the ER with asthma issues. As if all that wasn’t enough, she also fought against the daily prejudice of having an interracial family (a beautiful one) and fought against stereotypes of women in leadership. I was continuously inspired by her strength and prosperity, and the fact that she was a baller breadwinner for her family. Over 40% of moms today are the sole or primary source of income in U.S. households.* Cheryl also was a phenomenal manager. She cared about us on both a personal and a professional level, cared about our growth, and cared about us overall being happy. The year she was my boss, she won HR Manager of the year across a national company, and soon after I left the company, she was promoted to Regional Manager. To put it simply, she dominates.

When I interviewed to leave that company, it was with a man named Glenn. Upon accepting the offer, I learned that Glenn is who I would be reporting to. Truly, my immediate thought was, Wow, this is the first time I’ll be reporting to a man since Ray. I wondered if the differences would be noticeable or noteworthy between working for a man versus a woman. I was unsure of how my experience had shaped me or catered to me in my career. I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but certainly curious.

However, it was obvious from my interview experience that working for Glenn was going to be a much better situation than the man I worked for when I was 17. True to my expectations, Glenn has been a great leader who is extremely knowledgeable and a great teacher. He’s also managing a team of over 40 individuals while juggling a daughter at home with health issues. I’ve clearly been fortunate to work for several admirable leaders. Lucky for Glenn, we are now adding leadership to our department, and his team of 40+ will be broken up into four teams with four separate leaders. As we make this switch, I will no longer be on Glenn’s team, but will now be reporting to a woman named Michelle.

What I’ve learned about great leaders and managers, is that they are also great people. They are professional and experienced, yet level-headed and caring. They are advisors, mentors and confidants. They multi-task, they prioritize, and they execute. They are the kind of people that you want to surround yourself with. And in my case, they have mostly been women. This should be celebrated! But we have a long way to go.

Almost 52% of professional-level jobs are owned by women*, and yet only 15% of executive officers are female.* Not to mention the prevailing wage-gap issue – despite the spotlight that has been put on it, women still make about 78 cents to the man’s dollar.* I won’t even get into the workplace harassment issues that the media has highlighted, but let’s just recognize the amount of mountains that women have to climb.

So I say, keep climbing! Inspire and empower the women around you. Celebrate their successes, and learn from them to create your own. Collaborate. Nominate. Share knowledge and information. Acknowledge accomplishments and milestones. Break boundaries and tear down stereotypes.

I want to thank the women who have inspired me. From my mom, to my previous bosses, to my mentors, to my friends – you all dominate everyday. As leading women in your industries, you are constantly knocking down walls and paving a greater way for the women who come after us. I hope to pass along the gifts that I have been given from you to other strong women with powerful potential.

Who run the world.*

Thanks for reading.

*11% of civil engineers are women, according to bls.gov.

 *30% of all businesses are owned and operated by women, 
over 40% of moms today are the sole or primary source of 
income in U.S. households, and the pay gap across all 
occupations is 77.5%,  according to resourcefulmanager.com

*Almost 52% of professional-level jobs are owned by women and 
15% of executive officers are female, according to americanprogess.com

*Who run the world? Girls. According to Beyoncé.