Collaborators Don’t Diminish

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A funny kind of feeling set in after that wedding.  Being neither fervently pro or anti-Royalist, I was surprised at the level of my emotional reaction to it – and the ugly tears that I cried thankfully and deliberately at home in private whilst watching it.

Seeing adult Harry all grown up took me back to little Harry behind Diana’s coffin back in 1997 and reminded me that a year after that, I walked up the aisle.  Fast forwarding past my divorce some years later and now firmly and comfortably in my present, I sat watching Meghan’s unaccompanied journey to the quire and a whole new salty waterfall tumbled forth.

What a year it has been for women and – with the joyous result of the Irish referendum on abortion – change continues at a relentless pace.

I find myself constantly recalibrating, adjusting and recalibrating as each step is taken to improve our position and reaffirm our worth.  Encountering the “old guard” and its huffing and puffing sense of entitlement is so unsettling in its juxtaposition against this new dawn of hope.

Save one deal that is now an all-women affair (unprecedented and fabulous), as I’ve said before, I am sadly and all too often the sole female representative at the pointy end of my film and TV negotiations.  It’s a lonely place and one that requires an armoured suit of superhero proportions to navigate at times.

But this is changing.

I was recently at a meeting of many that was remarkable not only by virtue of my being the eldest (by a country mile) but also because there was just one Knight at this round table of Ladies. The meeting was lively: filled with passion, creativity and a desire not only to work together on this project, but also to connect those that weren’t present on new opportunities.

All of the participants at that meeting freely offered their thoughts confidently with knowledge and wit.  More than that, we all listened to and absorbed each other’s points of view.  This was particularly noteworthy and refreshing given the bold subject matter that would have had many a man (but not this one) reaching for the smelling salts.  I left that meeting feeling elated and invigorated by its collaborative style, the project’s potential – and the laughter that we shared throughout.

When I look at Meghan and all of that meeting’s attendees, I feel a swell of pride for the passion, creativity, fearlessness and above all, the openness to express and exchange ideas as equals.  And I felt privileged to be invited to contribute to and be a part of it, rather than be consigned to a footnote as one “past [its] peak and no longer as potent” (shame on you, Ben Broadway) Gen X cautionary tale.

This is the new order: an order where collaborators don’t diminish.

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