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How Female Investors Created Their Own ‘Equity’

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Jul. 29 2016, Published 11:26 a.m. ET

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What does it take to create a film that brings to light the women of Wall Street? An amazing driven, focused, and badass group of women.

Premiering in theaters today, “Equity” takes a look into the lives of the women who run Wall Street. The film has gained notoriety for bringing, as Ed Frankl writes, “Women’s voices to a genre dominated by men.” It follows protagonist Naomi Bishop, played by Anna Gunn, a Wall Street Executive battling scandal and corruption within her own career.

Written by Amy Fox and Directed by Meera Menon, the film was first set to premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, however shortly before, it became acquired for distribution rights by Sony Pictures Classes for $3.5 million – just one of many wins for the film.

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Not only is the film produced, written, and directed by women, but it’s invested in by women too. When co-stars and producers Sarah Megan Thomas and Alysia Reiner were pitching the film to potential backers, they showed a video of how women have been typically depicted in finance movies throughout time, often “background players, hookers, strippers,” as described Ms. Reiner. Instead this movie provided a chance to change the script and paint the women of Wall Street in an entirely new light.

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With their mission in mind, the film’s budget was raised from 25 female investors, many who currently and previously worked in male-dominated industries such as Wall Street with the stories to match. Although there has been an increase in female financiers on Wall Street in comparison to previous years, a major glass or what feels like an iron ceiling still exists. A report by Catalyst supported that not only do women often “drop off” as they push to gain leadership positions, but additionally there still has never been a female chief executive of a major investment bank.

Image by Catalyst, Women CEOs of the S&P 500 (2016)

“Equity” serves it’s purpose in the Hollywood landscape combatting both the lack of women behind the scren and on screen. The film also addresses the overt issues and disparities women face in finance.

Although business programs everywhere are being scrutinized for equality and diversity, there is still a special trait for hypermasculinity linked exclusively to Wall Street. Watch “Equity” and help support the women who we know are truly running Wall Street.

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