It’s nothing new to see Hollywood ‘A’ listers making political statements. In fact, it’s become downright commonplace and widely talked about thanks to social media. However, as big, bold and brash political statements go, the recent Golden Globes ceremony was right up there.
Undoubtedly, the real star of the show that night was the issue of female empowerment. Much more than an issue, it seems it has now become a genuine movement – powered on by the #MeToo message – and it is a movement that seems to be gathering momentum every day.
This was an evening coloured by statements. The evening was less about the red carpet and more about the actresses, colour-coordinated and all dressed in black. Oprah Winfrey led the charge in this expression of female empowerment. In a rallying cry of solidarity, Winfrey (already being touted as a presidential candidate) pulled no punches. Stating that women have not been able to speak the truth because of the power of men for too long, she defiantly exclaimed, “But their time is up. Their time is up!”
It was Winfrey that stole the thunder of the evening with her powerful, rousing statements but she was far from being alone. Natalie Portman, introducing the Best Director category, was razor sharp and cutting as she listed “the all-male” nominees.
Even host Seth Meyers got in on the act, opening proceedings with “Good evening ladies and remaining gentlemen,” Later he injected more humour into the proceedings by proclaiming that, “For the male nominees in the room tonight, this is the first time in three months it won’t be terrifying to hear your name read out loud.”
It was a very calculated evening of statement when all is said and done – carefully planned and meticulously executed to achieve maximum impact and to receive massive exposure, in the way that only global A-list events such as the Golden Globes can.
Oprah Winfrey promised that “a new day is on the horizon.” Certainly, in the context of the film industry – and the wider arts in general – it could well be that this is the case. It does seem that a cause that had an impetus and some momentum is now being powered by a juggernaut of feelings – strong enough to bring about real change in the industry.
But, it is only one industry. What is the picture like across all industries and in the workplace in general?
Leadership Parity is still a long way off
Since 2014, the ‘balance of power’ in the workplace has been held by women – in that over 50% of all professional jobs are held by women. However, the picture at the leadership level is far different. Indeed, with women representing under 10% of top earners and less than 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs, it is predicted that leadership parity will not be achieved between men and women until 2085.
Although the film industry has been clouded by scandal and misconduct, the movement that has risen out of it has brought the issue of female empowerment to the forefront like never before.
Female empowerment and women in the workplace needs to be thought about and it needs to be talked about. The recent Golden Globes has given some real volume to those voices. Now, the workplace needs to listen and by all indications, this message may finally be getting through. Thanks to the #me too and #times up movements and the voices of people like Oprah Winfrey, the women’s movement is accelerating and I predict the glass ceiling will be shattered once and for all in the not so distant future and way before the year 2085.