CSUN Professor’s Award-Winning Film, Television Project Explores Leadership Position Gender Bias

When thinking about leadership positions in government, people often picture a man before considering a woman. These career-based gender stereotypes often psychologically institutionalize men and women.

Dianne R. Bartlow

Dianne R. Bartlow

California State University, Northridge gender and women’s studies professor Dianne Bartlow’s film, “Making LA Happen,” was produced with the goal of turning gender stereotypes on their head and normalizing women in top-level government jobs. The film recently received the Radio, Television/Cable 2017 CINDY silver award — an international award that recognizes audio-visual for linear and online interactive multimedia, video, audio, mobile apps and more.

“We’re trying to provide an educational and informational program on truly outstanding women in the Los Angeles city government,” said Bartlow. “Before creating the film, I didn’t even know that the person who is head of all fire chiefs for the whole city was a woman or that there was a woman who led transportation for LAX.”

Although American women make up 52 percent of all professional jobs, there is a lack of representation in leadership positions. As co-executive producer of the film, Bartlow helped direct co-executive producer Robin Gee’s vision to showcase the diverse women leaders who help run Los Angeles.

“These are a diverse group of women who are the first, racially and ethnically, to do all these wonderful jobs so I thought it’d be a great idea to feature these women,” said Bartlow. “It’s important to show women in leadership positions so that other women can be inspired and show the public that women are capable of doing these jobs.”

The film features four women in leadership positions in government:

  • Seleta Reynolds, general manager of the Department of Transportation for the City of Los Angeles, manages over 2,000 employees, 7,500 miles of streets, 37,000 parking meters and the most advanced signal systems in the world.
  • Ana Guerrero, chief of staff to the Mayor of Los Angeles, immigrated from Mexico when she was two she currently helps make Los Angeles’ city and neighborhoods a better place.
  • Kristen Crowley, interim fire marshal for Los Angeles Fire Department, manages more than 200 people within the fire prevention public safety bureau.
  • Deborah Flint, chief executive officer of Los Angeles World Airports, helps manage 75 million passengers a year, the new $14 billion renovation and all the airlines at Los Angeles International Airport.

The film was produced in partnership with the Directors Guild of America Women’s Steering Committee, City of Los Angeles Information Technology Agency, LA Cityview Channel 35 and the City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women. Executive producers include Dianne Bartlow, Mary Lou Belli, Robin Gee and Ted Lin. Directors and producers include Marty Elcan, Liz Hinlein, Matia Karrell and Paige Morrow Kimball. Martha Cotton served as Interstitial Producer.

For more information or to view the film please visit YouTube.