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A question most men will be afraid to answer

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Jacki in Atlanta
A question most men will be afraid to answer
on Aug 10, 2007 at 1:04:53 am

OK, I'm looking up at the faces of all the guys who are the moderators/leaders for this Business and Marketing forum here, and you are all GUYS. Nine. No women. This is not a dig at the Cow folks, I'm sure you would have more women here if they were qualified and volunteered. I come across this a lot in media production, especially TV/video when you get beyond the lowest ranking jobs and even more so in Post.

I went to a photography workshop in a professional setting and Cannon reps were speaking and there was some superstar or such program they had going on with about 60 photographers all over the country that was some big deal. These were the best of the best and all Cannon users. There were 54 men and 1 woman. I know photography is actually one of the more levelled playing fields in general. But how in the world did they come up with 54 or so men and 1 woman and not even realize how wrong this is?

They say women make 75% of what men make, but I believe in our field, it just might be closer to 50%. We all know that there are entire production departments in Advertising and Corporate that are completely male.

Why is this? Particularly in Post. Not a lot of day to day hard labor in an editing booth.

I think I'm questioned more than men with the same skill level as mine. I can tell you that I've been in a situations many times where men automatically thought they knew more than me before they knew what my experience was.

This type of work chose me, I did not do necessarily chose it, so there is not really anything to do but perservere. However, it does seem I'll never be as advanced or learned or experienced as I could have been had I been given the extra chances I would have had as a guy. If I understood it better, I could probably beat the system better. So I thought I'd get some opinions.

FYI, this is something I think about from time to time but is not to be talked about because if you do, it means you are bitter and just make excuses. As women we are advised not to talk about this subject...Yet I'm posting anyway. Seems like a safe enough place to start this discussion. Also, this is not something I pin entirely on men. It's a two way street. I'm sure women contribute to this phenomenon in ways we are not even aware of. I have a bit of a theory about this, but would like to hear some opinions first.


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cowcowcowcowcow
walter biscardi
Re: A question most men will be afraid to answer
on Aug 10, 2007 at 2:08:23 am

[Jacki in Atlanta] "OK, I'm looking up at the faces of all the guys who are the moderators/leaders for this Business and Marketing forum here, and you are all GUYS. Nine. No women. This is not a dig at the Cow folks, I'm sure you would have more women here if they were qualified and volunteered."

That's the big key, Ron, Kathlyn and the other leaders of the Cow herd look for leaders based on what they see in the forums. If someone is being particularly helpful and posts regularly on a certain topic or equipment, they may be asked to become a leader. That's how I got started, by posting a lot of answers about the Pinnacle CineWave when very few people had them.

Now on your topic, first off, it would be good to fill out your profile so we better understand where you're coming from. That's one thing I really don't like when I see a post like this, "why is this the state of something or why does it have to be this way," and we don't know anything about the person who is posting. It's especially useful to know the experience level of the person posting.

In my own experience two of the best editors I've ever worked with are women. Not because they were women but because they understood storytelling and what it took to move a story along. It just seems to me there are much fewer women on the Post side and editing in particular. I rarely meet new folks who are women who want to edit. Most women in high school or college I meet want to Direct, Act, Write or work in Graphics / Animation. Editing just doesn't suit them.


[Jacki in Atlanta] "They say women make 75% of what men make, but I believe in our field, it just might be closer to 50%. We all know that there are entire production departments in Advertising and Corporate that are completely male."

That's completely untrue in my experience, going on 17 years now in the business. I don't pay women any less than I pay men for any position, nor do any of the women I know of make less than a man in the same position. This is coming from freelance people I work with everyday in the Atlanta area and around the country.

In two of the three corporate production departments I worked for, women ran the department and had the top three positions in each department. They were paid significantly more than any of the men in the department.

What difference does it make that there are entire production departments that are male? I can point you to several advertising agencies right in Atlanta that are completely female. There are probably dozens if not hundreds of ad agencies and production companies in the U.S. that are completely female.

And what point does it prove when you say they are completely male? It doesn't matter if you're male or female. Good ideas and good service win accounts.

If you're not comfortable with male dominated departments or clients, don't work for them. The best word in my day to day operations is "no" to client I simply don't want to work for.

[Jacki in Atlanta] "I think I'm questioned more than men with the same skill level as mine. I can tell you that I've been in a situations many times where men automatically thought they knew more than me before they knew what my experience was."

You're a freelancer. Automatically you're a threat to anyone who is already working for your client or working in a production department. Again, your profile is not filled out so I have no idea how many years of experience you have in the business or what your skill level is, but even after 17 years, I certainly don't know everything. My new editor right out of college shows me some neat tricks all the time. Of course you're questioned, we're all questioned when starting out with a new client. If they don't question your skills then they are not doing their job.

Whenever I arrive at a freelance job, if there are other editors on site they are either really happy to see me because they know I'll share knowledge with them or they're incredibly upset to see me because I come with a reputation as being a very good editor. It never bothers me because that comes with the territory, if you're going to be a freelancer, not everyone is going to like you, male or female.

I will hire a lot of editors once. I don't need to ask them if their skills are truly what they led me to believe. I can see it plain as day in how they work and what they present to me as the rough cut and as the final cut. You can talk a good game all day, but it's what ends up on the screen and in your project that really counts to me.

[Jacki in Atlanta] "FYI, this is something I think about from time to time but is not to be talked about because if you do, it means you are bitter and just make excuses. As women we are advised not to talk about this subject...Yet I'm posting anyway."

It's a great thing to discuss. I don't agree with your points, but that's what discussion is all about.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Jacki in Atlanta
Re: A question most men will be afraid to answer
on Aug 10, 2007 at 3:37:00 am

OK Walter, more info about me..Production Coordinator for a Corporate Media production department in a company with all male employees but myself. It is a staff position. I actually kind of like working with all guys, it can be fun. I have had several positions where I was the only female. Have worked in several areas of media production for about 15 years and have varying skill levels in the different mediums. I have a lot of training but little working experience in what I really want to do.

I respect you immensely, but you seem to have your head in the sand, yet only for the right reasons. You think most others have your same mentality. I believe you that you pay equally, but you are not privy to the fact that not everyone thinks like you, even if they don't realize what they are doing. If women are paid nearly as well as men in production salaries, I have been given some bad information. I believe this is one of the worst industries to have a discrepency in pay between the sexes. I was taught that in one area of communications, marketing, women actually have made less than 40% of what men did(this information was about 6 years ago in a textbook, but does illustrate a point). Now, part of this is when women have the same experience and skill as men but are not promoted as well. That may be bigger factor than discrepency in salaries for the same position.

What difference does it make that there are entire production departments that are male? I can point you to several advertising agencies right in Atlanta that are completely female. There are probably dozens if not hundreds of ad agencies and production companies in the U.S. that are completely female.
The difference is...I sometimes feel as if I'm vying to be the one token female in a group or the few jobs that females are seriously considered for, as opposed to having as many opportunities as the guys. And if there are hundreds of all female agencies, there are thousands of all male agancies, and that does make a difference.

And what point does it prove when you say they are completely male? It doesn't matter if you're male or female. Good ideas and good service win accounts.
If you get more chances off the bat you grow more and do more and you can have more success. In many situations, women have to be able to blow the guys out of the water just to get in the door. You would probably know "the point" if you worked your ass off in production school and did twice as much and were twice as good and still got passed up for positions by the guys who played hackey sack through most of the program.

If you're not comfortable with male dominated departments or clients, don't work for them. The best word in my day to day operations is "no" to client I simply don't want to work for.
This is the attitude that scares me and is terribly discouraging. It's sort of like saying, "If you don't like everything about our government, move to another country".

Statements made to me: "You are right, we don't have any females featured in our film competition. We should start a whole new one for women". No. Consider women for your competition. "You want to network? Go to Women In Film". No. I don't want to go to the female group, I want to go to whichever group has the most influential and skilled industry people.

I sound more whiney than I actually am...It is just that I feel it is truly a factor, and the better I know how to work around this, the more successful I will be.


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Brian Mills
Re: A question most men will be afraid to answer
on Aug 10, 2007 at 4:54:02 am

I am not a woman, but from what I have observed in the freelance world, this is one industry that DOES NOT have a glass ceiling. I am a shooter/editor and I have worked under women producers, directors and client agency reps. The sharp women out there (and men) get reputations for doing good work and stay booked. My editing professor in film school was a woman and I respected her talent immensely. I'm sorry, but I have not observed what you are complaining about out there...

Brian Mills
Videographer


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Jacki in Atlanta
Re: A question most men will be afraid to answer
on Aug 10, 2007 at 5:16:19 am

Really? I did not realize that half the shooters and editors and producers and directors at any given level were women. That's really interesting.

Oh, they aren't. So I guess you are incorrect.

There is no question weather there are more men than women in higher levels of media production jobs, guys. Go to a few of the bigger TV stations and big production or post companies. The question is, why?

I did not think the difference would have to be spelled out for you. Just because SOME women can achieve a decent level of success in a field (including me), it does not mean it's a level playing field.



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Steve Wargo
Re: A question most men will be afraid to answer
on Aug 10, 2007 at 7:31:00 am

So, Jacki, exactly WHAT are you complaining about? Are you unhappy that other women don't work hard to get ahead in this business? Do you think men make what they make just because they're men? What a load of crap!

I hire and pay based on JOB SKILLS, not gender. I don't care if the best man for the job is a woman. I also don't look at color. After all, how many blacks work in this business? Hispanics? Asians? It certainly has nothing to do with race or ethnicity. We don't care about that. My two most talented camera operators are both women and they make the same money as any of the guys I hire.

If women are as talented as men but settle for less money, that is their problem. Join a union and notice that the chicks work for 50% of what the overpaid guys get.

I do tons of corporate work and there are a lot of female CEOs out there who have a lot of men working under them. I have worked for far too many women to even begin to agree with your notions.

If you are a qualified professional, contact Ron or Kathlyn and request a spot on the top of the page. But, be ready to be treated like one of the guys.

But before anything else, fill out that profile or we will simply consider you a newbe or someone with no background.

All kidding aside, we don't care about the gender of the heads on top of the page. Why would we? We are beyond that.

By the way, I just read two industry magazines tonight, Studio Monthly and P3 Update. Studio's editor is Beth Merchant and P3's editor is Sally Kemper. They probably got those jobs by agreeing to work for less money.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Steve Wargo
By the way Jacki
on Aug 10, 2007 at 8:07:32 am

Your subject line stinks. It shows that you are one sided and have a chip on your shoulder.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Steve Wargo
One more thing
on Aug 10, 2007 at 3:25:39 pm

OK, Jacki, here's one for ya.

MAKEUP ARTISTS

99% of the makeup artists are female. Here in Arizona, they make $400 to $500 a day. The poor guys who are dragging cable, or moving tons of sandbags and c-stands are usually making a lot less. How unfair that the guys are doing hard labor and the girls are having a blast fixing somebody's hair or dabbing a little powder on some CEO's forehead.

Hey. maybe it's their skills that determine their value. We bitch about it but we gladly pay it.


Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Jacki in Atlanta
Steve
on Aug 10, 2007 at 9:26:14 pm

Eeechhh. Somebody is going through a divorce maybe?


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Steve Wargo
Re: Steve
on Aug 10, 2007 at 10:43:30 pm

Why do you think that? Because of the sarcasm I injected into my post? You've got it all backwards because you are expecting me to say something anti-female. I like women. I really do. As a matter of fact, I married one. Three actually but the first two were only practice runs. After 13 years with my latest babe, I couldn't be happier. My daughter has her own myspace. http://www.myspace.com/chuee_the_pug

My view is that we get we get, however we decide to get it. I believe in total equality. I do not believe in the affirmative action theory. I do not think a man should get the job because he is a man. Nor do I believe that the woman should get the job because she is a woman. Go to school, work hard, be better at what you do than everyone around you and rise to the top.

You're the one with preconcieved ideas about how we think.



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Jacki in Atlanta
Re: Steve
on Aug 10, 2007 at 11:07:07 pm

Not going through a divorce? Hmmm...Maybe you need to ask your babe to go to the drug store to pick up that prescription you have recently stopped taking because apparently you really need it.


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Steve Wargo
Jackie
on Aug 11, 2007 at 4:43:06 am

Why am I not surprised that you would place blame on the closest male?

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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walter biscardi
Re: Steve
on Aug 11, 2007 at 10:29:07 am

[Jacki in Atlanta] "
Not going through a divorce? Hmmm...Maybe you need to ask your babe to go to the drug store to pick up that prescription you have recently stopped taking because apparently you really need it."


THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO PLACE ON THESE FORUMS FOR PERSONAL ATTACKS.

You started a thread about a very touchy subject. You wanted to start a dialogue about this and you got one. You are not getting the type of sympathetic answers you want to hear.

Statements like this one and the one above about divorce are completely and wholly uncalled for.


Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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walter biscardi
Re: A question most men will be afraid to answer
on Aug 10, 2007 at 10:05:41 am

[Jacki in Atlanta] "This is the attitude that scares me and is terribly discouraging. It's sort of like saying, "If you don't like everything about our government, move to another country"."

This is not even remotely close to what I said.

There are thousands of production opportunities in the SouthEast alone. There are hundreds of production opportunities in Atlanta alone.

My comment was if you don't like the situation you're in, then look for another one. There are thousands of other opportunities out there. Case in point: Walter Biscardi Jr.

My first job was with CNN here in Atlanta and I loved it, even met my wife there. After 5 years, it kind of grew old and I was unhappy with my situation. I was part of an Emmy Award Winning team, but I my pay was much lower than I thought I deserved. I put out my resume and found a job at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut where they almost tripled my pay. That was a no brainer to take the job, plus it was in gorgeous Mystic. Oh and I had an incredible female boss and women made up about 75% of the entire production department. Very talented folks.

Two very happy years there, the situation suddenly changed when my boss quit. I didn't like what happened to the department so I put out my resume again. (In case you're wondering, a guy was put in charge of the department)

I got hired by Primerica Financial Services in Atlanta. Worked there for a year for another female boss, and a female V.P and two female Producers and two female Writers. But after a year I decided I really wanted my own business. Left that and started a Post house with another colleague from Primerica.

Three years later that fell apart and I started Biscardi Creative Media. Here I am now with a very successful business I've built and I'm incredibly happy.

I was unhappy and unsatisfied in every position so I took a leap of faith each time and made a change. I don't think the fact that I'm a guy had anything to do with it. I think my skill level and professionalism had a LOT to do with it. Starting my own business was the biggest risk of all, but I did it anyway. It was a very rough first three years and without the support of my wife, my company would have probably failed. In fact more than once I put out resumes again and came very close to signing with a new company twice. But we stuck it out and now we have three full high definition suites and several high end broadcast clients with dozens of other clients.

And in all that time I never once thought about leaving this country. I simply wanted a better life for my wife and I.

So my comment to you was if you don't like the situation or job you're in, then move on or don't accept jobs from that client any longer. This country is FULL of production opportunities so go out there and find something you like. Or better yet start your own business, you can get wonderful financial terms and grants for being a female owned business.

How you can turn it around to "Take this country or leave it" is beyond me. Jacki I wish you the best of luck, but I'm done with this thread as it is clear to me from your responses you're not looking for advice here. You're just looking for an argument about so you can so say you're right.

No offense, but it sounds like you're in a job position you really don't like and are unsure of what to do about it. I speak from experience on that.


Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Bruce Bennett in Madison, WI
For Walter
on Aug 10, 2007 at 5:14:40 am

Walter,

Great post. Words that support why you are a jedi of the COW. You always seem to write what I feel.

Bruce

Bruce Bennett,
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC - http://www.bmmp.com


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walter biscardi
Re: For Walter
on Aug 10, 2007 at 10:08:10 am

[Bruce Bennett in Madison, WI] "Words that support why you are a jedi of the COW. You always seem to write what I feel."

I appreciate that Bruce, but I'm more of a "jedi in training." Ron Lindeboom up there, now HE's the Jedi Master I'm humbled to follow in his footsteps! :-)

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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chicagoshootr
For Jacki
on Aug 10, 2007 at 1:19:48 pm

Dear Jacki,

Forget about equality, there's no such thing. Somebody's always going to be making more money than you for inferior work, or get unfairly promoted before you, or even be better looking or more popular than you. Nothing you can do about it. That's life. Grow up and move on.
The clock of your life is ticking.

And this:

"This type of work chose me, I did not do necessarily chose it, so there is not really anything to do but perservere."

Kinda sounds to me like being stuck in an unhappy relationship you can't get out of. Been there, done that.

I suspect that your rants may not be so much about equality...but that you may not being doing what it is you really want to be doing...or even worse...you may not know what you'd rather be doing.

So Jacki, if that's the case, my advice (for what it's worth) is this:

Search your heart and find out what it is that you really love to do, make the switch, work hard and become good at it. It's gonna be scary and tough and may take awhile. There will probably have to be some major sacrifices made. Unfortunately, most people are unwilling or unable to put up with going backwards for awhile. (You know people like them...they're the ones that are always bitching at the office.)
But if you do it and hang tough, in the end, you will come out happy.
My experience is that people will pay well for the services of someone who's competent, happy and clearly passionate about what they do.

Yes, it really is that simple. But I won't tell you it's easy.

Good Luck-
John





J Cummings
DP/Chicago
http://www.cameralogic.tv


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Nick Griffin
Re: Back on track
on Aug 10, 2007 at 2:01:08 pm

What a thread! And to think this is the week I chose to lay low and take a vacation.

There's a small amount of over-reaction here to Jackie's comments. She has said that some might perceive her as bitter for these comments, not that she is bitter. She cites statistics that, while may they may not coincide with the ways we run our respective businesses, are, in the macro sense, quite likely to be accurate. Jackie has thrown out a little-discussed topic and open discussion of it is good for our extended community. So discuss it and stop reading motivations into Jackie's posts which may not be there.

None of us with Y chromosomes know what it's like to be the only female in an all male work environment. Personally I don't think that should matter in the least, but then as a white male I've rarely been in the minority in any work situation. Feminism has been slowly improving the business world's acceptance of women in almost every job role, but just because Walter, Brian, Steve, Bruce & I don't take advantage of gender-based pay inequities doesn't mean they don't exist.

So why is editing predominately male? Probably because of the same sort of past prejudices and biases which kept some scientific and mathematic professions predominately male. More boys were drawn to technical things than were girls. Good topic for discussion, so lets het back to discussing it.

Before I go back to the next to last day of my vacation, let me throw out a thought: I seriously doubt that in the decades long relationship between Martin Scorsese as Director and Thelma Schoonmaker as Editor has he ever given even a passing thought to her gender as it relates to her work. His primary concern has to be her skill. And just in case anyone has forgotten, with multiple Oscar's on her shelf, Thelma is at the top of this male-dominated profession.



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beenyweenies
Re: A question most men will be afraid to answer
on Aug 10, 2007 at 9:57:45 pm

Every producer I ever worked under as a freelancer back in the day was a woman. Most studios I have worked for had women as senior management, producing, directing etc. I have worked with several female designers, not as many editors (as Walter mentioned) but everywhere I've been, there's been a woman at the helm or in very key positions.

Now that I run my own studio, half of my clients are female producers, agency reps or marketing directors. less than half of the contractors we hire are women, but only in certain fields. Again, as Walter pointed out I have never received a resume or reel from a female DP or editor - I can only assume there are just certain disciplines that less women are pursuing.


As for the leaders, it has been mentioned but they are selected based on posting habits, helpfulness etc. and, in my own view, only about 10% of posters on CC are women. Every one of the frequent posters I see are men. This tells me it's not a sexism issue at all, but rather a lack of more women posting here on a regular basis. I wish that would change, but what can we do?

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Jacki in Atlanta
More of where I'm coming from
on Aug 10, 2007 at 11:03:53 pm

Here is where I'm coming from. I was the only female in my ActionScript class of about 10. I have been the only female at a motion graphics user group out of about 25 people once or twice. The only female at a meeting about animation. I've been the only female at production software demos out of about 25 audience members a few times. I was one of three female TV photojournalists in a town where I had seen at least 30 guys shooting. I have been on a technical support contract before where there were only three women and about 40 men. I currently work in a company where I'm the only woman. The Avid User group list is currently the registered users, but when it was a word of mouth list you opt in to, there were about 4 women and over 90 guys. And I see WAY more successful male editors than women in the big post houses.

I'm puzzled more than anything.

Some of you are basically saying that quality, hard work, and talent rises to the top. I think it is more complicated than that. Sorry, but men are not so much more talented and intelligent than women on the whole enough to bring about those numbers. I don't think there is only one reason. And I think women's choices and typical qualities in demeanor are as big a factor as men's.





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Steve Wargo
Re: More of where I'm coming from
on Aug 10, 2007 at 11:57:41 pm

Sounds to me like someone is upset that other women aren't as diligent as she is. Maybe the problem is with the other women. Or is that concept too manly in nature?

The person that drives the sanitation truck for our neighborhood is a woman and she doesn't even look like Larry, the Cable Guy. Our mailman is also a nice young lady. What the hell's next, my doctor? Oh yeah, my doctor's a female too. Imagine that.


Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Steve Wargo
Damn! I hit the send button too soon, again.
on Aug 11, 2007 at 12:00:33 am

Jacki

Here it is girl! Maybe you're talking to the wrong group. Why don't you address these issue with the WOMEN in your town. Maybe they can tell you why they would rather be cleaning houses or working the grocery store cash register.

We don't have the answer to why other people are doing what they do.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: A question most men will be afraid to answer
on Aug 10, 2007 at 1:52:02 pm

[Jacki in Atlanta] "OK, I'm looking up at the faces of all the guys who are the moderators/leaders for this Business and Marketing forum here, and you are all GUYS. Nine. No women. This is not a dig at the Cow folks, I'm sure you would have more women here if they were qualified and volunteered."


Hello Jacki in Atlanta,

Kathlyn, my wife, runs this site and has spent more time building the line-up of faces seen on the COW team than anyone else. I am up there in this forum because I love business and this forum is one of my babies. As she says: "I'd rather 'do' business, than 'talk' business." She's quiet, focused, disciplined and at the end of the day, she accomplishes a lot. Did I mention she's quiet? ;o)

Kathlyn would love to get more women involved in this site as leaders and tries almost daily to get more women involved. She almost never succeeds. Why? If she/we knew, the situation would not be happening, that is a given.

Some of the most well known women in this industry are too busy writing books and/or selling their time to want to volunteer. The ones that are lesser known are often concerned that they do not want to be known as women online -- many that we have run into at tradeshows, etc., tell us they post as Herman Gingdingfinkler or Rob Consonants.

An odd thing we have noticed over the years is that women often prefer mailing lists, and men seem to prefer forums. We have not done, nor have we seen any scientific evidence to back that up -- we'll have to wait for the multi-million dollar government studies -- but it seems there may be some merit to that thought. It may be the social aspect of a free-form conversation against the more structured discourse of a forum. I have joked with Kathlyn over the years that I go to the store to buy something, I am not there to shop. Both Kathlyn and our daughters love to shop. It's far more abstract than my desire to hunt down the object of my need and bring it home -- quickly.

If there's a social aspect to it, which there indeed seems to be and is borne out in many scientific studies that explore the way that men and women see their worlds, then maybe that plays into this a bit, as well. I don't know, I just make stuff and don't get things as over-complicated as some do.

We have tried very hard to get more women involved. When we ask, they kindly excuse themselves from the conversation.

We can't speak for an industry but we can and will speak for the phenomenon as it plays out here at the COW.

As a man, am I afraid to answer? No.

But as a man I am perplexed as to why many women say that they love to "communicate" -- while chanting the tired oft-stated mantra that men don't and won't -- yet we see the reverse day after day and year after year here at the COW.

Kathlyn and I see it as just another tired stereotype that needs to die an ugly death. It's a question that many women seem afraid to ask, let alone answer...

Believe me, Kathlyn and I have talked about it many times and we'd love to figure it out.

As Walter points out: we are all still questioned, examined, prodded, poked and compared to others almost daily. It isn't based on sex, it's that it's a "what have you done for me lately" kinda thing. And again as Walter points out: as a freelancer, you are often a threat to those you are working alongside. That wouldn't change even if your "plumbing" did.

As an aside: The COW exists just because it is a female-owned business. Kathlyn was given a grant by a major software manufacturer who said that even though I was the one with the experience, they would only give the grant to a female-owned business. So Kathlyn got in and rolled up her sleeves and has learned this and has done an exemplary job running it -- truth is, better than I did in our first go round. That's not pandering, the old-timers here know it is quite true. But the point is: it cuts both ways, believe me...

Your point about male-dominated film festivals, etc., and the lack of female entries is likely a reflection of the the same thing that we see playing out here at the COW. In 12 years of doing this, we have yet to see more than one woman volunteer -- all the rest, we went after. Few were interested. Do we wish it was otherwise? Of course. But there are no magic answers -- well, except in Harry Potter movies.

Are there more guys in this industry? Yes. I doubt that will change anytime soon. As to why women don't seem to enter film festivals, I have no idea. I do notice that many of the people that we work with that run festivals are women. But we see what you mention in regard to the entries, few women.

Thank you for your comments and I wish I had answers and not more questions for you.

It's a crazy world.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom


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Steve Wargo
Marisu
on Aug 10, 2007 at 2:42:42 pm

God bless Marisu Fronc, She is a forum leader on Discrete edit*ors.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Timothy J. Allen
Re: A question most men will be afraid to answer
on Aug 10, 2007 at 6:23:36 pm

Jacki,
I think it is a fair question. I've often wondered why I don't see more women in the field than I do. I also wonder why I don't see more male elementary school teachers, nurses or dental hygienists. In video production, there are women that do very well, just as there are men who do well in those career paths that women traditional gravitate towards.

I guess you've read by now that it seems to simply comes down to the fact that those who step forward to do the work, and do it well, can succeed. I really haven't seen a glass ceiling in this field other than individually self-imposed ones.

I think the COW is not atypical regarding diversity range compared to other technical online forums. (We have the same issue at NASA with trying to recruit female engineers and scientists. We get some brilliant minds, both male and female, but more males still apply for the jobs than females.)

I've worked with women who were really good editors (and videographers) and some who weren't quite as capable. Of course, I've worked with more men that were very good at what they do AND more men who weren't as good as women at what they did. That's because 85% of the people in my past jobs were men.

Editing is a strange job in that you have to gravitate and balance between being technically, artistically, and socially competent. Miss out on any one of those and you aren't as likely to go as far - male or female.

The fun thing that I've noticed in reading these posts is just how many of us have had female bosses. I've held at least a half dozen positions where either my direct supervisor or their supervisor (usually both) were female. They've all been pretty good bosses, especially the ones who had worked their way up through the ranks and had editing and shooting backgrounds. The main jobs I see women hold in the Video Production industry are supervisory positions, such as production managers and company owners. I just don't see that many women stay in the *middle* of the job title/pay scale.

Why? My guess is that it's because they stepped forward to do the work, and they did it well.

-TJA


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Tim Wilson
Re: A question most men will be afraid to answer
on Aug 11, 2007 at 11:14:45 am

I'm sorry to step into such a passionate topic, but I am. It seems to me that the potential for this discussion to enlighten anyone has passed, at least for now. Some (and I emphasize SOME) of the posts have veered far off a potentially informative topic, and (SOME) are getting more personal than is appropriate, no matter how heated the discussion.

Perhaps it's my background as a pre-school teacher, but I think in situations like this, a time out is called for. So, after I was requested to do via email, I'm locking the thread for now.

Because I was asked to close the thread in email, I'm open to suggestions about opening it back up, moving it to another forum, or deleting it altogether (which I've also been requested to do).

One of the places to consider moving it is the COWBlogs, whose purpose includes off-topic and political perspectives....although even there, personal attacks are unacceptable, and will be either removed or edited at the discretion of either the blogger or the COW's management (which at the blogs will more often than not be me).

Because of the hour here on the east coast, I haven't consulted with Kathlyn or Ron on this....and may hear from them that I should let it go, which has happened before. :-)

Again, if anyone else has any opinion regarding the administrative action I've taken here, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me.

Best,
Tim

tim at creativecow, etc.

six one seven nine four seven four seven three three


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Tim Wilson
PS.
on Aug 11, 2007 at 11:17:35 am

The moral of the story is that nobody here is afraid to answer anything.

:-)


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