This is the third and final part of our World of Women Editors series. In this week’s piece, we’re going to explore those pesky workplace myths that might just strike a chord with you…
These days, thankfully, we’ve evolved beyond writing articles with titles like: How to rush home in time to prepare your husband’s dinner, or How to know when to leave your job to raise children but, in the course of the last few weeks, it has come to our attention that there are still a few workplace myths that make women feel a little less than comfortable – even in the world of feature film editing.
So in today’s installment, we’re looking at three myths that deter women from living their best lives in the workplace, and yes, that means the cutting room too.
Myth 1: I don’t meet the hiring criteria
Reality: You (probably) do!
Editing jobs, more often than not, come through word of mouth but every now and again, you might just find yourself applying or interviewing for a role. The trouble is, this is often where women come unstuck.
One oft-quoted stat is that women won’t apply for a job unless they are sure they fit the hiring requirements 100%, whereas men will apply if they only fit 60%. While this stat isn’t quite the full picture, the research originally commissioned by Hewlett Packard, found that the confidence gap between men and women is rather a large one. This also hides a more troublesome factor: the hiring process isn’t a qualifications fait accompli as you might have once thought.
So how do you overcome the confidence gap?
Get out there and apply anyway! What’s the worst thing that can happen? A rejection? In the case of a firm no, at best you’ll get a letter of rejection and a simple piece of paper cannot hurt you. At worst, you will get ignored completely and then, who cares?
Think of any hiring process as more of a conversation: I don’t have that exact qualification, but I do have this relevant experience and so on. Not only will you be showing your ability to think laterally, but you will also (finally) be playing the same game as any male applicants.
Myth 2: What about babies?
Reality: They can’t scare us!
Women are free to make all sorts of choices when it comes to baby-wrangling, and we’re certainly not advocating that all women must have children now, or ever if they choose. As always, you do you, sister. But, you may have come to a point in your life when you think you might want to start a family of your very own. If you have, it may also have occurred to you that juggling your career in editing with babies and small children might just be impossible. The nature of our business is such that figuring out childcare can be mighty tricky: long hours, sporadic freelance contracts, and unusual working patterns can all add up to one bundle of childcare conundrums.
Some women editors do take more than a few months of maternity leave in order to make everything work, some have partners who are willing to be in the baby driving seat, and others take the Nanny route, for others still, there are all sorts of weird and wonderful childcare solutions. What we’re saying is, babies are always tricky, for everyone – editors just aren’t that special.
There are lots of options out there for modern working women, and let’s face it, editing is a well-paid gig – if you’re established in your career, you get to make choices that don’t just depend on being the cheapest option. And, most importantly, as we discovered when we chatted with the lovely Cheryl Potter in part two of this series, even if you do end up taking a year or two out from the cutting room, when you get back in, you aren’t going to be taking any steps backward.
So, in a nutshell, if you can handle even the most artistically temperamental director, you can definitely handle your own bundle of joy.
Myth 3: I need to keep my ambition under wraps
Reality: No you don’t!
We want to say it again here – you need to do you. The myth abounds out there that women end up having to justify all kinds of employment decisions that would never occur to a man and that ambitious women are often described much more negatively than ambitious men.
There will comes times in your career when you have to make decisions that might impact on someone else. We’re not saying you need to be cutthroat and malicious, but ultimately, your career, your prospects, and your life come down to you and only you. If you don’t do what’s right by you, nobody else is going to do it for you. And that is always worth remembering.
So, in summary, the world of feature film editing is a wondrous place full of opportunity and the kind of experiences mere mortals can only dream of. Sure, there may be some under representation when it comes to women, but in comparison to other industry roles, we’re doing a whole lot better. There is so much good out there – and it’s all yours for the taking. So, get out there, be your best self, apply for jobs you like the look of, and get cutting.