The Good, The Bad, and The Oscars: January 2015

What a month! As January comes to a close, let's take a look at what’s been shaking up the GenderAvenger universe:

The World Economic Forum held strong to its commitment to change the world while sadly maintaining its dismal record of female participants. This year, women made up a measly 17% of attendees. For a merry band of cutting edge thought leaders, it’s impressive that they trotted out the tired excuse that “Unfortunately, the gender ratio here in Davos is a reflection of global leadership as a whole.

When it comes to inexcusably low numbers of women, they're not alone. A new piece by Tamara Cofman Wittes and Marc Lynch in The Washington Post sheds light on the mysterious absence of women from Middle East policy debates:

Last year, six leading Washington think tanks presented more than 150 events on the Middle East that included not a single woman speaker. Fewer than one-quarter of all the speakers at the 232 events at those think tanks recorded in our newly compiled data-set were women. How is it possible that in 2014, not a single woman could be found to speak at 65 percent of these influential and high-profile D.C. events?

Yes, how is it possible to not track down a single woman? Just ask the members of the Academy who determine the Oscar Awards! Women were left out of seven categories in this year’s Oscar nominations: Directing, Writing (Original Screenplay), Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Cinematography, Original Score, Visual Effects, and Sound Mixing. Even the most lackadaisical pop culture consumer could spit out some obvious choices for Directing and Writing (Adapted Screenplay), with Ava DuVernay’s Selma sweeping the nation and Gillian Flynn’s much lauded adaptation of Gone Girl popping up on year-end lists throughout December. If we can track down deserving female nominees without much effort, why can’t Academy members, who have every screener at their disposal? (And when we get these incredible women onto the red carpet, can we ask them about something other than their dresses? #AskBetterQuestions)

Davos, the Academy, conference organizers — everyone should take a cue from our Hall of Famers, who always manage to find a plethora of women. Get inspired by Tara Tiger Brown who challenged Dave McClure and fired off a list of just a few of the many many (many many many) women excelling in the entrepreneurial world. Or sign on to important actions from Owen Barder and Say No to #ManPanels, both of which ask men to say no to speaking on all male panels. 

In the midst of all of this excitement, I started working at GenderAvenger! Hi! I’m Claire Moshenberg and I just joined the team as a part-time social media guru, and as you can see, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. We’re in a crucial moment and we want to reach as many potential GenderAvengers as we can find. We want to hear your nominations for our Hall of Shame and Hall of Fame, check out the pie charts  you’re making with our handy GA Tally app, and find out what you’re reading about gender disparity on the #genderavenger hashtag. We have so many exciting things coming up in February that we can't wait to share with you. Stay tuned…