WSC

Working Mothers

March 15, 2022 A DGA Women's Steering Committee Virtual Event

On March 15, ahead of their online meeting, the Women’s Steering Committee (WSC) hosted the panel discussion, Working Mothers. The event featured Directors Lena Khan and Rachel Morrison and 1st AD/Director Jill Maxcy in a conversation moderated by WSC Co-Chair and Director Tara Miele that covered the challenges of working and parenting as well as potential solutions.

During the discussion, the panelists all agreed that while the industry has come a long way in terms of accepting and understanding that directors and members of the directing team can also be mothers and parents, there must be a continued push to create a culture that truly embraces a work-life balance. Pointing out several challenges that still exist, they recalled instances where they had to hide pregnancies or the fact that they have young children. Others talked about the difficulty of rebuilding connections with their children after being away or working long hours and shared useful tips to minimize that damage including pre-writing notes to put into the children’s daily lunchboxes, utilizing apps to leave voice or video messages that can be accessed at any time and joining social media groups for mothers to get advice and to share experiences. They all recommended building a support network and infrastructure to lean on.

They also shared strategies they have used to incorporate their families into their work lives such as: bringing their children when shooting at a distant location, negotiating economy flights or two-bedroom housing and taking their children to the edit bay and pointed out that doing these things has helped their families gain a better understanding of what they do and why.

As more and more women continue to fill positions of power in production, all agreed that it is important to start modeling what we envision to be a truly family-supportive work environment and demonstrate how we can both be great at our craft and be present for our families.

Following the moderated portion of the conversation, the panelists fielded questions submitted by the online audience.


ABOUT THE PANELISTS:

Lena KhanLena Khan
Khan’s directorial credits include the feature films, The Tiger Hunter and Flora and Ulysses; and episodes of Never Have I Ever and The Mysterious Benedict Society. She is now working on several feature and television projects, including producing a show for Disney+ where she will helm the pilot. Khan joined the DGA in 2015 and is a graduate of the DGA TV Director Mentorship Program.

 

Rachel MorrisonRachel Morrison
Morrison’s directorial credits include episodes of The Morning ShowImpeachment and an undisclosed Volume-based show for Disney+. She also helmed the pilot of Starz’ series Hightown, which is currently entering its third season. Currently, she is in pre-production on her feature debut, Flint Strong. Morrison joined the DGA in 2014.

 

Jill MaxcyJill Maxcy
Maxcy’s directorial credits include the feature films Dateless in Braces and Outrageous; episodes of What If and Judgement Call; music videos and the award-winning short, Never Rob A Bank With Someone You Love. A member of the DGA since 1994, Maxcy has also an amazing career as an Assistant Director and has served on the Western AD/UPM Council.

 
Tara MieleTara Miele (moderator)
Miele’s directorial credits include the feature films Wander DarklyStarving in SuburbiaGone Missing and The Lake Effect and the movie for television Lost Boy. She is also well known for the viral video Meet a Muslim which she created to combat Islamophobia and directed the pilot, Green Arrow and The Canaries, and episodes of BatwomanArrow and Hawaii Five-0. Miele has been a DGA member since 2014 and serves as a Co-Chair of the Women’s Steering Committee. 
 

ABOUT THE COMMITTEE:

The Women's Steering Committee (WSC) was created to advance the professional interests of its members, and to heighten their visibility and career opportunities in the entertainment industry. The WSC currently promotes diversity through sponsoring net-working events, screenings and seminars, and fosters relationships between the members to provide support, mentoring and networking opportunities. The WSC’s current Co-Chairs are Tara Miele, Shawn Pipkin-West and Liz Ryan.


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