The third annual Women in Entertainment Summit will take place on Thursday, November 2, 2017, at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, CA. The full day event will feature a series of keynotes, panels and fireside chats with some of the industry’s most successful and progressive minds.

2017 themes coming soon!


2016 Program:

9:00 AM

Opening Remarks

Gretchen McCourt, ArcLight Executive Vice President


9:15 AM

Solving Hollywood’s Diversity Problem

A leadership discussion on how organizations are implementing programs and steps to ensure equality.

Leah Daniels-Butler, Casting Director, Casting Society of America; Wendy Haines, Actress, Director, Producer, and Founder of iWe Summit; Susan Wright, CEO of Criterion Group; Lydia Dean-Pilcher, Vice President, Motion Pictures, Producers Guild of America, Allison Schroeder, Committee of Women Writers Co-Chair, Writer’s Guild of America, West; Jennifer Warren, Alliance of Women Directors Founder & Chairperson; Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media


9:50 AM

Engineering Your Path Forward

This panel will focus on how women have diversified their roles in entertainment; bridging their own personal experiences on carving your path in the industry, explore how things have changed, what needs to be done for women moving forward, and how to overcome roadblocks.

Alexandra Patsavas, Founder, Chop Shop Music Supervision; Julie Lynn, Founder, Mockingbird PicturesJennifer Yuh Nelson, Director of Kung Fu Panda 2, Kung Fu Panda 3, and Darkest Minds; Bruna Papandrea, Film Producer; Suzanne Todd, Founder of Suzanne Todd Productions, Producer, Bad Moms, Alice in Wonderland, Across the Universe; Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition


10:25 AM 

Coca-Cola 5by20 Program Presentation

Katherine Twells, Coca-Cola’s AVP of Customer Marketing Western US, presenting on 5by20, The Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020.


10:30 AM


This panel will explore the inclusivity across entertainment, from television and film and digital platforms, to ideas and storytelling.

Stephanie Allain, Film Producer at Homegrown Pictures; Karen Bailey, Senior Vice President of Original Programming, Starz Entertainment; Victoria Mahoney, Director, Producer, Writer, and Actress; Lana McKissack, YouTuber and Star of Recursor.TV’s Nina_Unlocked; Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition


Coffee Break: 11:05 AM


11:25 AM

Building Your Toolkit For Success 

A conversation on how to develop an effective toolkit for success as a writer and director.

Tessa Blake, Filmmaker, Program Director AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women; Manjari Makijany, Filmmaker; Gillian Barnes, Filmmaker; Amy Barrett, Filmmaker; Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Women In Film


11:50 AM

Gender and Sexuality

This panel will unravel the ways in which ideas about gender and sexuality shape social roles and identities, in addition to the ways in which race, class, and ethnicity function in the experience of gender and sexuality within Hollywood.

Chiara Tilesi, Founder, We Do It Together; Theresa Won, Director, Production & Acquisitions for Myriad Pictures; Concepcion Lara, Executive Vice President – Programming at evox Television; Tish Ciravolo, Daisy Rock Guitars President and Founder; Kieran Medina, OutFest; Linda Ong,Chief Culture Officer, Civic Entertainment Group


12:30 – 1:15 PM: Luncheon Break


1:20 PM

Accelerating Acceptance

GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in conversation with Gretchen McCourt


1:55 PM

Fostering The Next Generation

This discussion will focus on the unconscious bias – how Hollywood can shift the mentality that boys and girls share the sandbox equally, that they do equally interesting things. Through discussion, we will explore how we are moving the needle to set up girls for success: from embracing their authentic selves online and off; support each other both on camera and off; setting the right examples through character building, and inspiring the next generation of creatives to follow their passions.

Meredith Walker, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls; Julie Ann Crommett; Google Entertainment Industry Educator in Chief; Dalia Ganz, Director, Digital & Partnership Marketing for Freeform, Disney–ABC Television Group; I. Marlene King, Executive Producer of Pretty Little Liars; Jill King, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Partnerships for The Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang; Ellen McGirt, Contributor, Fortune Magazine


2:30 PM

Golden Age of Television and Women

America’s hit shows are outpacing film when it comes to offering women starring roles – both in front of the camera and behind it.  This panel will explore the current state of television, discuss the need for female-led storytelling and the building of female characters and archetypes.

Rob Thomas, Creator of Veronica Mars, Co-Creator of iZombie and Party Down; Jessica Sharzer, Co Executive Producer, STAR, Writer and Co-Executive Producer, American Horror Story; Betsy Beers, ShondaLand partner and Co-Executive Producer; Tanya Lopez, Senior Vice President, Original Movies, Lifetime; Ilene Chaiken, Executive Producer and Showrunner, Empire; Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director, Women in Film


3:05 PM: Coffee Break 


3:15 PM

Saudi Arabia’s First Female Filmmaker

Haifaa Al Mansour, in conversation with Gretchen McCourt


3:45 PM

Following Your Intuition: The Making of Carrie Pilby

Carrie Pilby Producers Susan Cartsonis and Suzanne Farwell 


4:20 PM 

Breaking Down Barriers

Reshma Shetty, Actress, Royal Pains (USA Network) and Pure Genius (CBS), in conversation with Ellen McGirt, Senior Editor, Fortune Magazine

2016 Sponsors

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