How These Women In Music And Digital Media Broke Through Despite The Obstacles In Their Path

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Apr. 9 2018, Published 3:30 a.m. ET

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To close out Women’s History Month, we partnered with Alley in Chelsea to talk about what it means to break through in the digital media and music industry.


Everyone talks about bridging the gap but what about breaking through? The definition of a breakthrough is an act or instance of moving through or beyond an obstacles. To move us through this important conversation we invited Jessica Lauretti, Global Head of Ryot Studio, Anastasia Wright, Founder of IMG Agency, Claude Silver, Chief Heart Officer at Vaynermedia and Felicia Kelley, Executive Producer at Genius.

Straight out the gate, the tone was set for an honest and real conversation about steps forward and all the bumps and stumbles in between.

The moderator Rhonesha Byng opened the discussion asking the panel about their breakthrough moment in their career. Lauretti responded “I turned 30 and came home and was so broke, I felt pathetic and the next week I called 5 friends and said I need a job. A friend of mine got me an interview at Vice and they were launching a new music channel. I built a foundation for doing what I’m doing now.”

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Claude Silver then took the lead on a question posed about identifying and removing roadblocks. “My formula is listening. As women we have noise in our head. We have all these limiting beliefs so a lot of what I do is spend time listening to people. And what I’m doing is collecting data. Looking for patterns in what they say. People will tell you what they need and where they are stuck. I believe every human being deserves to feel like they belong. I believe people need purpose.”

Felicia Kelley was focused on media since day one but didn’t quite realize what form it would take until many trial and error experiences. “I had my dream internship in New York and learned it wasn’t a dream. Creating stories was my passion. Being in the magazine world wasn’t it.”

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Wright, who revealed that along with running her own label she is the head of digital for Janet Jackson, “waking up and doing what I love is a privilege and I don’t take it likely.”

The energy was high, as attendees were greeted upon arrival and ended the night with music and limited edition Jane Walker cocktails. The Jane bottle is an initiative part of the Johnnie Walker brand in honor of women and progress. Before the event, the brand led a toast and showed us a short video showcasing the meaning of Jane Walker and how a portion of each bottle sold will go towards funding for She Should Run and Monumental Women.

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