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Love Mondays 133: Lights, camera, equality! How Geena Davis reshaped the film industry.

Monday Musing:

Reflecting on International Women’s Day – Imagine a world where the UN’s call to ‘Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.’ is not just a theme but a reality.


In honour of International Women’s Day 2024, I wanted to share an inspiring conversation I had with Geena Davis, featured in my book ‘The Leading Edge.’ This story emphasises the significance of challenging ingrained biases, uncovering blind spots, and leveraging the power of evidence-backed data to drive women’s inclusion and equality. Get ready for an inspiring journey into the heart of change!

In 2004, Geena Davis, a Two-Time Academy Award-winning actor, took a bold step and founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Her mission was crystal clear: to research and advocate for equal representation.

The impact of gender bias struck Geena while watching her first preschool TV show with her two-year-old daughter. She saw that the characters were mostly boys dominating the dialogue, and when Geena shared this insight with industry producers, she was met with denial.

To challenge this denial, Geena turned to data. Analysing portrayals in the highest-grossing G-rated movies from 1990 to 2005, the Institute uncovered a stark gender imbalance. Only 28% of speaking characters were female, crowd scenes featured just 17% of female characters, and a staggering 83% of narrators were male.

The existing gender imbalances didn’t come as a shock, given the historical dominance of white men in Hollywood leadership. Geena’s data however, was undeniable, marking the catalyst for change. 

Now a leading global research organisation, the Institute offers research, guidance, and thought leadership to enhance representation in six key identities: gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQIA+, disability, age, and body type AND in an inspiring achievement, the Institute successfully reached gender parity for female lead characters in the top 100 highest-grossing family films and top-rated children’s TV programs in both 2019 and 2020. Check out the report here.

What a positive stride toward more inclusive and diverse storytelling in the entertainment industry!

P.S. Ready to unleash your potential and lead with purpose? Dive into “The Leading Edge” – your guide to ignite meaningful change. Grab a hardcopy, ebook, or audiobook, and unlock the mindset, method, and mastery that will propel you into impactful leadership for a better world. 💪🌏

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