By Stella Heo and Sabrina Agazzi, Online Editor-in-Chief and Copy Editor
// According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, in 2019, 31 percent of people in leadership roles behind the camera for television shows were female. One of those women, “Big Mouth” Producer Kelly Galuska, recently spoke with Acalanes High School students about her experience.
Associate Principal Andrea Powers and Leadership teacher Katherine Walton invited Galuska to speak to Acalanes students via Zoom last Thursday at 7:30 p.m. as part of their new Zoom series, “Women in Leadership”.
The series aims to educate women on how to work in male-dominated fields with advice from special guests like Galuska.
“In our society, men have dominated the workforce and women have sometimes been looked down upon and viewed as less than men. [These meetings inspire] women to take on a big leadership role and also learn how to deal with gender inequality within jobs,” junior Gabby Sandberg said.
During the discussion, Galuska shared different experiences from her perspective of a woman in a leadership role in Hollywood.
“[My first staff job, seven years ago,] was a lot more of a sexist environment, and the person in charge did not respect women and was not shy about that, and that was very weird … [Especially in comedy], you’re a minority as a woman in the room, and often the only woman in the room,” Galuska said during the meeting.
Although men dominate the film industry, Galuska believes that equal representation in Hollywood is critical in creating a healthy work environment.
“I think the more there is an even split of men and women, the better the shows are and the better the environment, so that’s something I was really conscious of [when I hired people],” Galuska said. “It took longer to hire people and to find the right people, but I’m so glad that we took that time because now, we have that balance that really makes our world look like the real world.”
Although she faced many struggles, Galuska remarked that her ability to take on challenges and accept failure are the reasons for her success.
“I learned that you really have to be okay with being wrong and know that you’re going to be wrong sometimes. It’s better to be wrong and learn than it is to say nothing,” Galuska said.
Galuska’s story inspired many students and demonstrated the importance of speaking up.
“It was empowering to hear her speak about when she finally got the right treatment and how she would speak up for herself. I think that she did a great job empowering all the students that attended,” sophomore Sierra Lashinsky said.