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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Women in Hollywood: 100 Years of Negotiating the System

Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and the

Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture present 


November 15-16, 2013

Women have played important roles in the entertainment industry from its earliest days. Mary Pickford leveraged her success as an actress into the role of producer and one of the founders of United Artists. Famed screenwriter Frances Marion helped found the Writers Guild of America. Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland made important strides on behalf of actors in the days of the studio system.\

But after a century, women still face significant challenges in Hollywood. Individual female actors, writers, and directors often experience communicating, negotiation, and resolving disputes very differently from their male counterparts. Moreover, studies by The Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film, The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the Writers Guild of America, West and efforts by the Directors Guild of America Women's Steering Committee have highlighted the relative scarcity of opportunity for females in the industry.

This conference, Women in Hollywood: 100 Years of Negotiation the System is intended to focus on the special issues and challenges facing women individually and collectively in the entertainment industry. The program will:

  • underline and draw lessons from success stories of the past;
  • provide critical guidance for women in day-to-day communicating and negotiation; and
  • help identify sources of resistance to great opportunities for women and set a collective action agenda aimed at altering the landscape for the next wave of women in the entertainment industry.

Pepperdine Planning Committee

  • Thomas J. Stipanowich, Straus Institute Academic Director and Professor
  • William Nix, EMS-Straus Industry Advisor and Professor
  • Stephanie Bell, Assistant Director and Associate Professor of Law
  • Craig N. Detweiler, PhD, and Seaver College Communications Professor and Director of Pepperdine's Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture (CEMC)
  • Kathryn Linehan, CEMC Manager

Symposium Planning Committee

  • Cari Beauchamp, Film Historian and author of Without Lying Down: Francis Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood
  • Susan Cartsonis, Studio Production Executive and Independent Film Producer and Chair of the Women in Film Foundation (WIFF)
  • Ivy Kagan Bierman, Partner at Loeb & Loeb and Women in Film Los Angeles (WIFLA) Board of Directors member
  • Rachel Kimbrough, Studio Business Affairs Lawyer and Vice-President of Business & Legal Affairs at Lionsgate
  • Ghen Laraya Long, Entertainment & Technology attorney and WIFLA V.P. Technology and Executive Board Member\
  • Terry Lawler, Executive Director of New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) Executive Director;
  • Victoria Riskin, Screenwriter, Producer and former Writer's Guild of America West (WGAW) President
  • Kim Richardson, Vice-President, Legal Affairs, Universal Studios
  • Jennifer Schaeffer Snitko, Studio Business Affairs lawyer, CORE Media Group
  • Suzelle M. Smith, partner with Howarth & Smith, counsel for Olivia de Havilland, Permanent Visiting Fellow Oxford University
  • Bonnie Stylides, Studio Business Affairs lawyer and former Senior V.P. Business Legal, Participant Media
  • Christa Zofcin, Executive Vice-President, Business & Legal Affairs, River Road Entertainment, a graduate of Pepperdine University's Seaver College, Caruso School of Law and the George L. Graziadio Business School.

For questions or to receive information on lodging and transportation, please call Lori Rushford at 310.506.6342 or email lori.rushford@pepperdine.edu