What It’s Like To Be A Woman Working In TV

Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for ELLE.
Women from all walks of Hollywood gathered Wednesday night at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles for ELLE’s Women In TV Celebration. Presented by Hearts of Fire and Olay, the event honored the magazine’s February issue, which is aptly anchored by lady juggernaut of the small screen Lena Dunham. 
A revolutionary cover star, the 28-year-old writer/director/actress is a standout in a pool of female talent that is creeping up on the male-dominated industry. More relevant even than Dunham's fantastic, zeitgeist-y show Girls is the new ground she has broken for, well, girls."I feel like a lot of what I did, I tried to challenge myself to be as honest with myself as she is," Transparent’s show creator, Jill Soloway, told us of Dunham. "I asked myself that for a year and pushed myself to make the show."
If Soloway's recently acquired Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series is any evidence, she proved herself brilliantly. But, the road traveled by a female player in Hollywood is anything but charmed. "It’s hard for me to allow myself to feel like I’ve done enough — I’m always telling myself I need to be working harder," Soloway says. "I need to be stretching myself. I need to shoot from a helicopter — I need to compete with the boy directors."
Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for ELLE.
Scoring big in a boys' town is all the more inspiring when you consider the work-life balance exemplified by so many multitasking moms in Hollywood. Among those at the event with little ones waiting at home were Jamie King, Amanda Peet, and Suits actress Sarah Rafferty, who shared her best strategy with us: "I try to overcome [long hours on set] by being sure that I can find quality moments and really focus on times we have."
Whether juggling a career with motherhood or balancing several careers at once (à la master of all trades Lena Dunham), women in television are proving now more than ever just how possible it is to have and do it all. Far be it from them to grow comfortable, though. "We’re living in an age where there’s a lot more women who are in a position of power," says actress Katheryn Winnick of Vikings. "But, we’re just starting. We need to support that and celebrate it and encourage more women."
And, after seeing ELLE’s Editor In Chief, Robbie Myers, toasting Dunham alongside a glittering room full of influential ladies, we are confident they are doing just that.

More from Los Angeles


R29 Original Series