As the year ends I want to thank everyone who is part of the Women and Hollywood community. As you can see we are more than just a website. We are a project made up of people who educate, advocate and agitate for gender equity in the entertainment business.
We believe that diversity makes our entertainment better and we will continue in 2015 to continue to push the conversation towards meaningful change in the numbers and in the opportunities for all women behind the scenes and onscreen.
Some good news. The website has grown by leaps and bounds this past year. We had over 1 million unique users and over 2 million page views. That is double from 2013. This is amazing because we are a small, independent group of women. We are not employed by a big company (we are not on the Indiewire payroll, we make a cut of the advertising) and there is no marketing or press team pushing the content. We do everything on our own.
As the site has grown my role as the founder has shifted more into an editorial and management role. I spend my time procuring stories, dealing with columnists and working on features. I also spend a bit of time traveling and talking about the work.
Since I have new responsibilities, Inkoo Kang has taken up most of the writing assignments and I am grateful to her for her passion and her voice. She is a terrific writer and we are all lucky to have her. We work very hard each day to bring you the stories about women that we believe are the stories that you need to know.
I also want to thank the columnists who are a part of the site. Oscar expert Susan Wloszczyna is in her second season sharing her expertise on the Oscar race, and Sara Stewart joined this year as the TV columnist and her columns are always a joy to read. I also want to thank Prachi Gupta and Marcie Bianco who were with us for a short time this year and have moved onto other positions. I look forward to filling their positions early next year.
I want to also thank the interns from this year – Alice Thorpe and Kelcie Mattson. They both came for the summer and stayed for the rest of the year. They will truly be missed.
And a big shout out to Laura Berger who has been working with the site as an intern for two years. She emailed me out of the blue and said she wanted to work on the site. At first I said that I could not manage an intern, but she pushed me and I am grateful. She does the weekly newsletter and so much more. I look forward to working with her in a new capacity in the coming months.
Women and Hollywood would not exist without the support of the Dobkin Family Foundation. We are looking at the next two years as important years for the growth of Women and Hollywood. It is time to try and figure out how to create independent revenue streams that will sustain the work and pay the team in the future. We’re going to be exploring lots of ideas, including asking the readers of the site to participate.
This is a very exciting time for this work. We are expanding. We are challenging the model of non-profits that have existed for decades. Our goal is to stay lean and mean and to be able to react as quickly as possible to things that are happening.
As we movie into 2015 we look forward to creating more infographics, adding more writers and columnists, doing more events and speaking engagements, improving the podcast, finally getting to In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing Volume 2, and so much more.
We will continue to observe, speak out and provide information on the industry for the media, thought leaders and consumers. We will also engage and influence others towards building a critical mass of voices to increase gender diversity in the industry.
This is our promise for the future. Thank you all for all your support. See you in 2015.