Over 400 guests join GreenLight Women and 14 Hollywood “pros” to talk changing careers, ageism and the future of our business

GreenLight Women, the Hollywood non-profit organization championing women over 40 in entertainment and media, hosted via Zoom a special 2-hour (7-9pm PST) networking and panel discussion, Network with the Pros, on Wednesday, July 28.  Offered free of charge to GreenLight Women members and the general public, women and men from around the world signed up for three panel discussions:  Women Who Pivot,  Ageism, the Hidden Bias  and What’s Next?   

GreenLight Women Board Member and Connection Committee Chair Barbara Weintraub welcomed everyone and introduced GreenLight Women President Iris Grossman, who spoke about the organization’s challenges since COVID and goals for 2021.  She introduced the panel moderators; GreenLight Women Board Member Dana Sims, for Women Who Pivot, GreenLight Women Vice President and  Board Member Lillah McCarthy, for Ageism, The Hidden Bias and GreenLight Women President Emeritus and Board Member Ivy Kagan Bierman for What’s Next?   

The panelists, 14 true Hollywood “pros”  – all listed below – range from Academy Award® winners to studio and network executives, successful agents, producers, writers, showrunners and more.   The conversations were lively and entertaining and included confronting the external demons of sexism and ageism and resisting the internal demons of fear and self-doubt.  There were stories of successful career changes and fumbles, of personal lives that disrupted or enhanced the pursuit of dreams.  And while their areas of expertise vary, one thing all these accomplished women have in common is a firm belief in the most basic, undeniable rule of nature which is that if you stop trying, you won’t reach your goals.  Accomplishing your goals isn’t easy, it takes a lot of hard work, persistence and refusing to settle.

For those of you who missed Network with the Pros, a link to the event will be posted shortly. In our Pearls of Wisdom below, you can get a sneak peek at the content from each panelist to inspire and encourage us in this ever-changing world.

WOMEN WHO PIVOT

“One really difficult thing to do in Hollywood is to get people to read. If you really believe in your script and it comes off the page in a strong way, you have to do a little bit of polite stalking.”

Lisa Bruce

Producer “Darkest Hour,” “The Theory of Everything”and Amazon’s new series “Welcome to the Blumhouse”

“Don’t let fear stop you. The trick is to experience the fear and put it in your pocket and take it with you and do the thing anyway.”

Nkechi Okoro Carroll

Executive Producer CW drama “All American”

“Use and expand your network. As much as we don’t like “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” it’s so true. The more people you know and that you’re bold about telling them what you want, the more people will come to your aid.”  

Kelly Edwards

Writer, “Our Kind of People” and author of “The Executive Chair”

“People don’t realize that there are opportunities right in front of them, and they miss it because it’s not exactly perfect in the way it is presenting itself.”

Marcia S. Ross

Documentary Producer/Award-winning Casting Director

AGEISM, THE HIDDEN BIAS

“I’m having a hot flash now, which is appropriate for this panel, but I want to re-frame it and call it a power surge.”

Christine Lahti

Academy®, Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning actress/filmmaker

“Don’t look back. Don’t ever say ‘I should have’, or ‘I could have’. Because you didn’t. You can certainly figure out how to do it better next time but don’t let it stop your life.”

Marion Rosenberg

Personal Manager/Producer

“When I mentor young women, they always say to me, “I promise I’ll pay it forward.” And I think, “No…I’m not your mother. You can pay it back.”  They need to see older women as people they can boost and help, ‘cause we need it, too.”

Nell Scovell

TV writer, producer and director, Author of “Just the Funny Parts” and co-author “Lean In”

“Learn from young people. They have less life experience and sometimes silly ideas, but they have something to give you, and that’s their energy and emotion.  Because they’re fresh.”

Ruby Yang

Academy Award®-winning Producer/Director

WHAT NOW?

“Network, network, network. People hire people they know. It’s not enough to be good at what you do.” 

Hillary Bibicoff

Transactional Entertainment Attorney, Holmes Weinberg

“If you’re in a room, there’s a reason for you to be in that room, so use your voice. You’re not there to be the stenographer or to smile and take notes.  Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and use it.”

Karey Burke

President, 20th Century Television

“Have a point of view, about material, or a hire, or a campaign. Look at things, think it over so you can have something thoughtful to contribute that speaks about your truths.”

Shannon Gaulding

President, Groundswell Productions

“It’s very competitive.  You have to be on your game and know who you’re selling to and why you’re selling it to them.”

Tanya Lopez

Executive Vice President Scripted Programming, Lifetime & LMN

“Find your tribe and organize it.  We’ve all come up in a system that wasn’t designed by anyone who looks like us, and the only way to upend that system is to do the groundwork, just like a political organization.”

Marjan Safinia

Filmmaker, “And She Could Be Next,” IDA President, 2012-2018