Tiffany Shlain: If You're Seeking Equality, This Will Get You Closer

April 26 - On The Dot

FIRST THOUGHT: More Power to You!

One of the issues we like to explore with our featured women involves what makes them feel powerful. Their inspirations vary, but we’ve noticed a few underlying themes. Women who feel powerful often find a sense of ownership in a project or their company, even if their boss micromanages them or their colleagues are manipulative. They are able to embrace that ownership, in part, due to self-regulation. Instead of reacting emotionally, they respond to tough situations in thoughtful, positive ways. So, I’ll ask you, ladies: What makes you feel powerful?


In May 2017, more than 11,000 events occurred throughout the world honoring the first-ever 50/50 Day. This year—in fact, this very day—, even more events are taking place in honor of 50/50 Day. So, what the heck is 50/50 Day? It’s a global celebration featuring film screenings and discussions about how to achieve a more gender-balanced world in all aspects of society, from the economy and politics to culture and home life. After all, getting closer to effecting real change starts with a simple conversation.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Tiffany Shlain, Filmmaker and Founder of 50/50 Day

Today’s Woman to Watch, Tiffany Shlain, is using her gift of cinematography to spread a global conversation about equality. She’s accumulated more than 80 awards and distinctions throughout her career, including being nominated for an Emmy Award.

There’s a reason Tiffany has achieved such acclaim. She started independent film studio Moxie Institute in 2006, and later launched her Let It Ripple Film Studio, through which she’s premiered four films at the Sundance Film Festival, and uses the film medium to engage viewers in conversations about subject matter like women and power, modern science and the skills needed to flourish in the 21st century.

Tiffany’s also the co-founder of gender-equality focused 50/50 Day. The idea came from speaking with Laura Liswood, the secretary general of the Council of Women World Leaders, a group comprised of women presidents, prime ministers and government heads. Laura told Tiffany how, 20 years ago, there were about 15 women in these power positions worldwide, and now, there are about 50.

Tiffany was incredibly struck by this, so much so that she realized, instead of focusing, as we often do, on the scarcity of women in power, she wanted to tell a new story of the abundance of women in power. She created 50/50 Day to bring to light the profusion of powerful women, and to provide the opportunity for the whole world to discuss how we can keep raising these numbers. Tiffany’s film, 50/50: Rethinking the Past, Present, and Future of Women + Power, explores this idea even further, and is a must-see for every woman and ally out there.

Tiffany has an infectious positive perspective. It’s that kind of hopeful spirit that has garnered so many participants in 50/50 Day, and we’re sure there will be many more to follow.

Tiffany has used her voice and talent in plenty of other public venues too, presenting at NASA and for TEDWomen, and also founded the famous Webby Awards, which honor awesomeness on the internet.

Tiffany is a dedicated changemaker with a wonderful vision and a heck of a lot of talent. We can’t wait to see where her cause-focused filmmaking takes her next. In honor of Tiffany and all the women of the world fighting to reach equality, happy 50/50 Day, y’all!


With the idea that people throughout the world are coming together today to celebrate equity, I’ll leave you with Tiffany Shlain’s favorite quote from environmental philosopher John Muir:

“When you tug at a single thing in the universe, you find it’s attached to everything else.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

Head shot by Lauri Levenfeld.

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