Geena Davis said, “. . . when ‘Thelma and Louise’ came out the reaction was so overwhelming that it made me realize how few opportunities we have for women to feel like that coming out of a movie.” So, she created the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to address this problem.
“I go to meetings at the guilds and networks and studios and production companies and present the research in a private and collegial way. And the reaction is fantastic, because they’re shocked and horrified, and they want to make a change.”
I was impressed by her approach. Instead of making big pronouncements, scheduling public media events, or berating the people who she wants to influence, she takes a quieter approach.
I think this works for a number of reasons.
- She is a world-famous actress who has made millions for some of those groups – she has earned her place at those tables.
- She talks privately and collegially to them so that the executives probably feel pretty at ease.
- Conversation versus presentation can make a big difference in how people react.
I think many of us can learn something from Ms Davis. For more resources, I encourage you to read How to Make a Compelling Case for Change.