October 13, 2008

Newsweek Talks Women and Leadership

What is your definition of women's leadership? Here some prominent women share what it means to them:

Tyra Banks

If you have entrepreneurial dreams, you have to live it and breathe it. You have to treat the idea like a baby, like your child. You don't sleep when you have a new baby. I didn't sleep. I didn't have weekends. I worked nonstop...I'm looking for people who respect people at all levels, from the people who clean the building to the people who own the building.

Rosario Dawson
As for my activism, it doesn't always have to be superpersonal to me. But I do have a hard time saying no, because it's easy to find someone in your family who has cancer or HIV or has suffered extreme poverty or homelessness. It's all right there...I don't want to just be the spokesperson for something; I want to be affected by it as well...If we all listened to that little voice and we all worked to help that little thing that we know, then the whole world would be a different place, and we all would be doing our part.

Cynthia Nixon
When I won an Emmy for "Sex and the City," we got phone calls asking about our relationship. I hired a publicist who happened to be a lesbian. She said, "Why don't we just confirm?" So I did. I was following family tradition. Well-behaved women don't make history.

I feel like there is a complete double standard about the age at which men and women are considered attractive on screen. But that's what's wonderful about being a New York stage actor. If you can remember your lines, there will be roles for you. I plan to die onstage.

Kimberly Peirce- director Boys Don't Cry and Stop-Loss
One of the reasons you don't have a lot of women directors is that it's pretty hard for them to get experience. You have to get access to a good story, actors and money to put it all together. It's not like other art fields where you can afford to do it independently.

The director of a movie is the powerful one. I have found that there's a certain way of surrendering that power and sharing it in the pursuit of a common goal that really works. I can share the credit, which I do a lot. There's a big bounty, the real joy of collaboration. And women may just have a natural instinct for that.

Women & Leadership (Newsweek)
photos- Tyra Banks and Cynthia Nixon: Janet Mayer/PR Photos
Rosario Dawson: Solarpix/PR Photos
Kimberly Peirce: Chris Hatcher PR/Photos