We For She is an organization formed by women in media for women in media. In the fall of 2014, the four partners of WeForShe conceived the WriteHer List. The program started with the simple desire to bring female-driven content to the forefront of development in Hollywood. Unproduced television scripts were nominated and voted for by some of the most successful names in development. The inaugural WriteHer List was released in January 2015. Upon its release, several writers on the list gained new representation, many development meetings came out of the list, two writers on the list were hired, and one of the unproduced scripts was optioned and is in development. The WriterHer list is a go-to resource for the top female-driven scripts available in television. From the focus on so many incredible female-created and female-driven television pilots, WeForShe was lucky to gain the support of our incomparable Advisory Board. These women have incredible backgrounds in development, writing, showrunning, acting, philanthropy, and advocacy and were excited to help.
Galvanized by the success of the WriteHer List and in talks with industry executives also committed to gender balanced television, WeForShe embarked on a new initiative, the DirectHer Program in the summer of 2015.The DirectHer Program’s goal is to facilitate more women working behind the camera directing episodic television. This program pairs an established director (either male or female) who has extensive television directing credits with an emerging female director who has yet to direct her first episode of primetime television (or full-length digital episode). The established director volunteers his/her time and guarantees the work of the emerging director, removing any perceived risk a financier may have over hiring an unknown entity. This program is ongoing and while we most recently began major outreach on behalf of the first teams to emerge from our program, we will, on a continuing basis, be adding both emerging and established directors into our database and working to find the right pairings. This can take time, as can finding the right show and schedule for that first key episodic booking. Which is to say, there’s no specific timeframe, just an ongoing effort to put more women to work behind the camera.
We're thrilled with the work we've been able to do in the last year and the spotlight we've been able to shine on so many incredibly talented, deserving women writers and directors. As our advocacy work continues, WeForShe hopes to expand and grow our reach and impact so we can become a self-sustaining business. We continue to be thankful to all the industry executives who are committed to making a change toward gender parity in television.
AnnaLea Rawicz Arnold is a strategist working with global platforms that seek to marry their business imperatives to social impact. The clients she works with are from a wide range of sectors including Entertainment and Media, Beauty and Pharma. She is committed to widening the narratives we see in the media we consume. AnnaLea recently received her Masters in Social Entrepreneurship from USC’s Marshall School of Business. Prior to that, she was on the design and programming team at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. She was the Literary Manager for the Black Dahlia Theater Company and produced Broadly Speaking - a show that raised awareness of women's voices, actions, and causes through games, comedy, and stories.
Katy McCaffrey is a writer and director agent at Gersh, a former independent producer, and entertainment consultant with over two decades of experience in comedy, drama, and non-fiction television. Her work has spanned a multitude of avenues in the industry including development with USA, Fox, and Comedy Central, current with 20th Television Studios, and deal making. She continues to feel passionately about this medium and the incredible new frontiers it's conquering and looks forward to being a key player in its growth.
Claudia Maittlen-Harris is a writer and comedian, a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, a multiple StorySlam winner of The Moth, and in process of turning her successful blog into a book. As a comedian, Claudia produced and performed in the all-female comedy group, Hot Box, with their sketches appearing on MTV and Bravo. She’s performed standup across the US and at the The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Philanthropically, Claudia created and produced a comedy show with headliners Tig Notaro and Fran Drescher to raise money for the Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry.
Jenni Blong is an actress who works extensively in film and television ("True Blood," "Fringe," "Big Love," etc.). She also co-founded Prospect Ave Productions and brought to stage a fundraising production of Beth Henley's "Crimes of the Heart" that benefitted girls in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles organization interested in directing and producing. The production garnered support from Anjelica Huston, Blythe Danner, Team Todd, as well as Henley herself.
2010 - present
2010 - present
As a Vice President of Current Programming at ABC Entertainment Group, Jo DiSante covers several scripted series (including Marvel's AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., QUANTICO, TIME AFTER TIME, and AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE) and provides creative and strategic support for ABC News. In addition, she is the liaison between Network Current Programming and other business units across THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY.
Jo came to ABC in 2006, as an executive in the Office of the President of the Entertainment Group, from a career in independent film. In addition to her work in film, Jo spent two years representing the SEED Foundation in California as a member of a team working to create a college prep boarding school for underserved kids in Los Angeles. She was a founding member of Step Up Women’s Network, and she created and co-produces the annual benefit “What A Pair!,” a concert of women’s duets which has raised over $3M for breast cancer research.
Miura Kite is currently SVP of Narrative Television at Participant Media.
Prior to Participant, Kite most recently served as an executive producer with Assembly Entertainment at ITV Studios America. Kite joined Playtone in 2001 before being promoted in 2003 to Head of Development, a role she held until her departure from the company in 2011. As Head of Development at Playtone, Kite co-produced HBO’s Emmy-winning Game Change and The Pacific. She also served as development executive on films including Where the Wild Things Are, Charlie Wilson’s War and Mamma Mia! and was involved in the development of five seasons of HBO’s series Big Love and the miniseries John Adams.
Sharon Lawrence is an actress and activist for women's rights. She is best known for the role of Sylvia Costas Sipowicz in the ABC drama series NYPD Blue. The role garnered her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination three times for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
She works extensively in film and television and is applauded for her work with Women in Film. She is the Chair of the Women In Film Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Women In Film, which since 1973 has advanced professional opportunities for women in the global entertainment marketplace. She supports Global Green and World Wildlife Fund to protect the environment and endangered species.
Janet Tamaro created RIZZOLI & ISLES, one of TNT’s most successful dramas. She was named one of the “TOP 50 SHOWRUNNERS” three times by the Hollywood Reporter and shares a Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Series for LOST. She was nominated for an Emmy Award as part of a team for SLEEPER CELL, received the WIN Award for Outstanding Drama for RIZZOLI & ISLES in 2010, and The Gracie Award for Outstanding Producer in 2011.
She was recently featured in the documentary, Showrunners: The Art of Running a Show. Tamaro is a former television correspondent, journalist and author. Tamaro reported for ABC News, Inside Edition and America’s Most Wanted, among others. She has written for BREAKING NEWS, THE BLACK SASH, THE COURT, LINE OF FIRE, CSI:NY, LOST, SLEEPER CELL, TRAUMA, TELL ME YOU LOVE ME and BONES. She is currently developing two new series.
Maggie Malina is an experienced network executive and creative producer who has guided successful scripted strategies and produced distinctive content for many cable television channels including MTV, VH1, Logo, and ABC Family. Throughout her career, Malina has championed diversity and has been committed to supporting new voices as writers, directors, and producers in all formats.
Malina is currently SVP, VH1 Scripted Development & Programming. At VH1, she has most recently overseen the series Hindsight, Hit the Floor, and Single Ladies, as well as the original movie CrazySexyCool: The TLC story. In addition to growing the scripted division at VH1, she launched the Original Movie division at MTV and has produced feature films, TV series, and documentaries. Prior to pursuing her career in television, she worked in feature films at producer Gale Anne Hurd's Pacific Western Productions.