Dialogue: Jane Fleming
The WIF president is guiding the next generation of women past Hollywood's welcome mat.Jane Fleming, a producer at Shot in the Dark Entertainment, took over as president of Women in Film in January. The Princeton University graduate, who first stepped onto the corporate ladder as a financial analyst, recently spoke with Ann Donahue for The Hollywood Reporter about her goals for the organization and the status of women in the entertainment industry today.
The Hollywood Reporter: It's been 34 years since Women in Film was founded. What do you think has been the biggest change for the female workforce in the industry since then?
Jane Fleming: I think the ways you make movies, the ways you make television shows, are completely different than 30 years ago. So male or female, we need to be current in our information and in our contacts and in our communication so that we're agile. (For) women in particular ... the doors are open. They're more open than they were 30 years ago, so I think the most important part is to keep them open and teach people how to walk through them.
THR: It hasn't been a good year for women to run studios. A lot has gone on. Do you find yourself reflecting on that?
Fleming: Of course. I think that three years ago even, you had women at the top of everything -- the top of every studio. I don't want to negate television -- we have a lot of television members; there are a lot of presidents in television that are women. But yeah, I think it's something to keep an eye on. I think that it, to me, shows that (Women in Film is) more relevant that ever.
THR: What upcoming WIF projects are you excited about?
Fleming: Something we're going to be doing this year -- although it's not totally final but we can talk about it -- is with Habitat for Humanity. (Former President) Jimmy Carter is doing (the Jimmy Carter) Work Project (in Los Angeles) at the end of October .... It's going to kick off a (three)-year awareness campaign about housing issues in Los Angeles. So, Women in Film is going to work with Habitat to have some of our members film the family and provide what we do well, which is film and video and editing.
THR: As the new president, what do you see as your mandate?
Fleming: What I want to do is grow our programming and our membership so that this becomes a place where women can continue to learn at all stages of their careers -- and also give back.