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Why Gender Equality is No Laughing Matter

At the current rate of progress, the World Economic Forum projects that gender equality in the United States is still another 208 years away. The good news? We can move forward faster if we all work together as a team. To spread the message, leaders around the world are harnessing the power of comedy to stand up for equality. This might be a departure from the type of stand-up we’re used to seeing.  But, sometimes, using humor is the best way to approach an issue— even when that issue is no laughing matter.

Laugh neon sign

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

In this spirit, we recently hosted the first-ever Equality Lounge @ New York Comedy Festival. Comedians, producers, writers, and media executives gathered in the space to discuss everything from increasing female comedic representation to the importance of humor in a fast-changing world to navigating male-dominated industries. Among the diverse group of panelists were key leaders, including comedians Judy Gold and Cat Cohen; Erika Nardini, CEO of Barstool Sports; Sarah Babineau, Co-head/Original Content at Comedy Central; and Caroline Hirsch, founder of the New York Comedy Festival and owner of Caroline’s on Broadway. Also featured were stand-up performances by up-and-coming comics such as Calise Hawkins, Ali Kolbert, and Mia Jackson, to name a few. 

The main takeaway? By bringing greater visibility to women in comedy, we can amplify the voices of women everywhere. Watch unplugged conversations below and read on for more highlights from the lounge.

 

Women Making Media: Why Inclusive Storytelling Matters 

When women are in decision-making roles, we see a shift in storytelling that breaks down stereotypes and helps create a more inclusive world. Don’t miss this conversation with the women leading media to find out why now is the time for a more feminine approach to business.

Join us in the #FQLounge at New York Comedy Festivall for a dynamic conversation with leading women on why now is the time for a more feminine approach to business. Citibank Bloomingdale's NY 59th StShelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient Jeannie Gaffigan, Actress, Producer, WriterHilary Fitzgerald Campbell, Cartoonist, The New Yorker Jena Friedman, ComedianGretchen Saegh-Fleming, Chief Marketing Officer, L'Oréal ParisBlair Breard, Producer, WriterMichele Ghee, EVP, 160/90

Posted by The Female Quotient on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Panelists featured include Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient; Jeannie Gaffigan, Actress, Producer, Writer; Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell, Cartoonist, The New Yorker; Jena Friedman, Comedian; Gretchen Saegh-Fleming, Chief Marketing Officer, L’Oréal Paris; Blair Breard, Producer, Writer; Michele Ghee, EVP, 160/90

Equality on Both Sides: Women Behind and in Front of the Camera

What does it take for women in the industry to be seen, heard, and recognized? The answer is confidence in your experience and wisdom— especially in a male-dominated industry. Watch below as veteran professionals discuss the challenges of working both in front and behind the camera. 

In this conversation, we'll hear from veteran professionals in the #FQLounge at New York Comedy Festival on the challenges of working in a male-dominant industry, both in front of and behind the camera. Citibank Bloomingdale's NY 59th StJordana Hochman, EVP, Head of East Coast Programming, ITV Creative, "Queer Eye", "Real Housewives of New Jersey"Theresa Rebeck, Playwright, Novelist Sarah Babineau, Co-Head, Original Content, Comedy CentralLilly Burns, Producer, Writer, Director, Jax MediaBrie Miranda Bryant, SVP, Original Programming, Lifetime Networks"Teri Hatcher, Award Winning Actress and Creator of the Health and Wellness Youtube Channel, Hatching Change

Posted by The Female Quotient on Friday, November 8, 2019

Panelists featured include Jordana Hochman, EVP, Head of East Coast Programming, ITV Creative, “Queer Eye”, “Real Housewives of New Jersey”; Theresa Rebeck, Playwright, Novelist; Sarah Babineau, Co-Head, Original Content, Comedy Central; Lilly Burns, Producer, Writer, Director, Jax Media; Brie Miranda Bryant, SVP, Original Programming, Lifetime Networks”; Teri Hatcher, Award-Winning Actress and Creator of the Health and Wellness YouTube Channel, Hatching Change

 

The bottom line: Funny is funny, no matter gender, race, sexual orientation, or age. So, how will you stand up for equality?

 

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For more on advancing equality and women in media, check out:

What Happened in The FQ Lounge @ Advertising Week: Day 1

#SeeHer 2020: GEM’s Global Influence on Increasing Gender Equality in Media

The FQ Equality News 8.9.19