This may or may not be the year of the woman in Hollywood, but at Netflix, it’s been the year of the woman for several years running. “Netflix is the home of kickass women,” said Netflix programming guru Ted Sarandos, speaking before nearly 200 women – and a handful of men – during a panel discussion hosted by Visionary Women tonight at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills.
“We’ve filled our executive suites with women,” he said. “It starts with female executives, who hire female story-tellers, who hire female directors.” As previously reported – and as he mentioned tonight – Netflix’ Jessica Jones will return for season 2 with a team of all women directors.
“We are working as hard as we can to make sure that television is diverse in front of and behind the camera,” he said.
Sarandos and co-panelist Brian Grazer agreed that the picture is improving for women in the industry, but not as quickly as they’d like. “I love seeing women in power,” the Oscar-winning producer said. Then looking out over the audience, added: “This is probably the most nervous either of us have ever been at any speaking event.”
Mostly, however, the two Hollywood powerhouses amused and informed the audience with stories from their own careers, without condescending to telling a roomful of women what they should do – other than to tell their own stories with their own unique voices.
Before the panel, as the two men were preparing for a photo shoot, Sarandos was checking his emails and Grazer quipped: “He’s busy taking over the Walt Disney corporation.”
Visionary Women is the fast-growing non-profit whose goal is to “harnesses the power of leadership and community to embolden women to achieve their full potential. By creating a forum for connection and dialogue with the world’s greatest thinkers, we’re challenging convention and advancing the status of women in all spheres of society.”