Women have been earning more bachelor’s degrees than men since 1982, as well as more master’s degrees than men since 1987. However, the fact remains that the gender wage gap maintains a strong presence in America. Women account for over 50 percent of the workforce in this country, yet they are making 26 percent less than their male peers. There are more than a handful of women that want the opportunity to talk about their personal experiences in searching for equality in male-dominated industries. In “As A Woman” HRDWRKER X LADYGUNN in association with THINX present five outstanding professionals unique perspectives on the gender-motivated inequity they face on a regular basis.
Through their stories, we will not just touch on issues of unequal pay- but we will navigate through of treatment in the workplace. The subjects will also have the opportunity to offer viewers knowledge as to how being a woman has given them a special edge and allowed them to succeed in their business of choice. While women make up the majority of professional employees, the female population as a whole is still struggling to find security in male-dominated industries. We are now seeing more young girls and women make strides in entering areas of STEM, law, film, music, medicine etc. This series will offer support to those who are working to break tradition and go against the grain by providing them with access to advice from women who have paved the way.
There is no doubt about the unbalanced weight we put on gender and sex in today’s world. Despite the many adversities we face in many industries often dominated with patriarchal interest, women are a force of nature in the world that will shatter any concept of glass ceilings that are placed in front of us.
Name: OLIVIA JAFFE
What are your passions?
Photography, rock & roll, and the pursuit of truth/knowledge.
What do you think is your biggest obstacle as a woman in today’s world?
Some men for some reason are still under the impression that we can’t do the things they can. They will try and inform our opinions and expectations (or lack thereof) of ourselves, and we cannot be susceptible to that. If we don’t think of failure (professionally-speaking, in any field, creative or otherwise) as an option, it’s not.
When is a time you were proud of yourself?
I’m proud of myself every time I work hard to produce something I can confidently stand behind.. whether it’s taking a photo of someone in a situation I might’ve had to leave my comfort zone to shoot, or putting together a gallery show, book, or zine, or going on tour for two months and coming home with 75 rolls of film that I pushed through sleep deprivation and constant punishers to shoot.. To see something through to the end, and to be satisfied by the finished product is absolutely invaluable.
What is your greatest accomplishment in your field?
The fact that I get to wake up and be paid to do what I love every day, to me, is the greatest accomplishment of all.
Who is a woman that inspires you?
What is the glass ceiling to you?
What glass ceiling? We are only constrained by the limitations we place on ourselves. Everything we want is out there for the taking, and it’s never been more important for us ladies to get out there and show ‘em all how it’s done (and to support each other in the process). Don’t let the boys tell you no, because there is no “no”. We are absolutely limitless. As my friend Corey Parks put it: “There is only one thing that has power over a man… and that, my man, is a woman.”
photos / Graham Walzer
interviews / Koko Ntuen