The Tipping Point: Creating Opportunities for Women in Business

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The Tipping Point: Creating Opportunities for Women in Business

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 10:00am

CAMPAIGN: Bloomberg's Philanthropy & Citizenship

CONTENT: Press Release

Originally posted on

March 24, 2016 /3BL Media/ - Empowering women and increasing representation of female leaders in tech, the media, business and – even entertainment – is absolutely vital. In honour of Women’s History Month, Bloomberg hosted a series of events to celebrate and elevate women in the workplace. Emerging women entrepreneurs and technologists, as well as journalists, TV personalities, filmmakers and business leaders joined us in London, San Francisco and New York for networking, discussions and media training workshops.

Here’s a quick re-cap of some of the highlights:

San Francisco
Women currently make up half of the U.S. workforce, but hold only 25 percent of the jobs in tech or computing fields, according to Girls Who Code. In the UK, the situation is even worse, with just 13 percent of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) roles held by women (WISE report 2014).

The data tells us there is a tangible benefit to having more women work for technology companies. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer specialist job openings. There is a serious need, and also a serious opportunity, for women technologists and entrepreneurs.

In San Francisco, Bloomberg Beta partnered with Bloomberg News and the National Women’s Business Council to host a panel on how female entrepreneurs work with the media. Amanda Brown, the executive director of the National Women’s Business Council, moderated a conversation with Emily Chang, anchor of Bloomberg West, Pui-Wing Tam, ‎technology editor at The New York Times and Stephanie Lee,senior technology writer for BuzzFeed News about the importance of covering entrepreneurs of both genders equally.

Chang acknowledged that while there was a smaller pool of female entrepreneurs, she challenged women to engage more with the media to help redress the balance. Tam and Lee said they tend to cover entrepreneurs on a merit basis, preferring to be gender-blind.

The speakers agreed that in order to support the rising influence of women’s entrepreneurship, the media has a responsibility to ensure these stories are being told and seen by other women who may become inspired.

New York
Women face similar challenges in Hollywood as they do in Silicon Valley, both when it comes to acting roles and on the production end. In the entertainment industry, only ten percent of films have a gender balanced cast, according to research by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and the percentage of female speaking characters in top-grossing movies has not meaningfully changed in roughly half a century.

Our New York event focused on the entertainment industry, featuring a conversation with the lead producers and actors of the movie Equity Alysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black) and Sarah Meghan Thomas.  Interviewed by Bloomberg TV’s Mindy Massucci, they discussed how the challenges women face in entertainment are similar to those in the tech and finance industries and how these challenges are critical to the plot of their film.

Equity is the first female-driven Wall Street film ever made. It features women in leading roles and was also produced and directed by women. The movie portrays the struggles of being a woman at a high-powered bank leading an IPO for an up-and-coming tech startup. Since females are all too rare on-screen, the producers said it was important that the heroine not be portrayed as corrupt.

“Many companies—particularly banks and finance—are talking about it, but they’re not acting when it comes to women,” said Alysia Reiner, a principal of Broad Street Pictures, which produced Equity. “But Bloomberg walks the talk and is delivering. That is why we are proud to be here and we’re proud to be a partner.”

For budding entrepreneurs, press attention and building scale is everything. Our London-based event was focused on redressing the balance of females represented in the media and gave practical skills to women delegates to help them tell their story to the press.

“We know there are many women around the world who are leading tech companies and doing innovative things who should be sharing their stories and serving as role models,” said Katherine Oliver, principal for Bloomberg associates, who opened the session. “You have very interesting stories to tell and we can’t wait to hear them.”

Sophie Cornish, MBE and Co-Founder of, joined Bloomberg Television’s Carolyn Hyde for an on-stage conversation to share her experiences before a media training workshop kicked off, led by the CEO of Love Home Swap, Debbie Wosskow. launched in 2006. Ten years on and it is an award-winning digital marketplace which sells more than 5,000 goods from small businesses across the U.K.

Former journalist, Cornish, imparted her knowledge on how to grow a business and handle challenges in the media spotlight. “By sticking to our messages and being sure about what we wanted to say, we turned our challenges into positives,” she said.

To help women delegates tell their story to the press, a media training workshop was led by the CEO of Love Home Swap, Debbie Wosskow. Her business, inspired by the film The Holiday, is now four years old and has grown to become the biggest home-exchange site in the world. Ending the day on a high, a few brave women volunteers showed off everything they learned by practicing their one-minute press pitches in front of the entire audience.

The key to winning with the media, Wosskow shared, is to “start thinking like a journalist, swim under your data, read the news every day and collect anecdotes.”

Keywords: Diversity & Human Resources | Bloomberg | diversity | inclusion | women

CAMPAIGN: Bloomberg's Philanthropy & Citizenship

CONTENT: Press Release