“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” – Unknown.
It’s International Women’s Day today, and I truly believe there is no better time to be a woman than now. There’s been a shift in the world when it comes to gender parity, the treatment of women in the workplace and sexual dynamics.
This continuing sea change has been a learning process for many, including myself. It’s refreshing to know that my daughter is going to grow up in a time when some of the issues we deal with today will be nonexistent.
This past week, I attended a remarkable event that I wanted to share with you. Grammy-nominated singer and acclaimed actress Janelle Monae hosted a luncheon in collaboration with Belvedere vodka for “A Beautiful Future,” a digital series aimed at empowering creative women.
The luncheon brought in Ava DuVernay, Dee Rees, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira. Guests celebrated Fem the Future, the organization Janelle has launched to help aspiring woman filmmakers, creatives and other professionals.
The event was truly refreshing. I could feel the love all the ladies in the room had for one another.
To my surprise, I was asked to speak about my story. I spoke about the time that a strong woman helped me get my start in Hollywood.
I was working at H. Lorenzo at Sunset Plaza when a woman named Galit walked in with her eyeshadow line. She was talking about her dreams of creating a makeup company, and I told her my dreams of making it as an on-camera host in Hollywood. She told me that her good friend was a producer at “Entertainment Tonight” and would help me get an internship.
Galit Strugano had no idea who I was but wanted to help me make my dreams come alive. I immediately gave her my resume, and it got me that internship at “Entertainment Tonight,” then a job. It was at “ET” that I learned how to edit, log tapes, do interviews, produce, find news and so forth. It was a major stepping stone for me, and I am forever grateful for Galit, the creator of Girlactik.
I’m still in touch with Galit, and so proud of her every time I walk into a drugstore and see her beauty products on the shelves. I always buy her products whenever I am in the store. It’s one way for me to say “thank you” to Galit. Because it’s thanks to her that I got my foot in the door.
That’s what womanhood is about: helping one another, uplifting one another and inspiring others.
When I was leaving the event, I told Janelle Monae how grateful I was that she created an amazing organization to help aspiring young women. I told her I wish something like that had existed when I was growing up.
Cheers to all women on International Women’s Day, and every day. It’s important for us not to celebrate just one day out of the year, but to reach out and make it part of our culture to always lend a helping hand.