2018 MAKERS Conference: A pivotal moment for women's issues
By Dyllan McGee, Founder and Executive Producer, MAKERS
Over 500 influencers and industry leaders in attendance.
Pledges from more than 40 leading companies to take action.
5.7 million video views via online platforms (and counting).
No question, this year's MAKERS Conference was a pivotal moment for women's issues and MAKERS.
Held for the first time at NeueHouse in the heart of Hollywood, this year's three-day event was infused with a fresh perspective. We hosted a closed-captioned livestream on Oath's brands: Yahoo, AOL, Huffington Post, and BUILD. In addition, we expanded to major social channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
This year's conference featured guests with accomplishments as varied as they are impressive: our Time's Up opening panel told us how their movement is fighting systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace; Betty Reid Soskin gave us an inside perspective on what it's like to be a 96-year-old Park Ranger; Gitanjali Rao, America's Top Young Scientist of 2017, wowed us with the lead-detection device she built in response to the Flint, Michigan water crisis. A personal highlight for me was seeing the Lethal Ladies, a troupe of high school step dancers from the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, leap with excitement when I made the surprise announcement that MAKERS would pay to get them to the National Championships in Atlanta (watch their priceless reaction here)!
When we launched MAKERS six years ago, I had a vision that we would not only tell the stories of women but use those stories to make change, and at this year's conference, that vision became a reality. Together, we've pushed boundaries and taken real, concrete steps towards gender equality in the workplace.
And we're just getting started.
We hope that you'll help us keep up the fight for change in 2018 and continue to #RAISEYOURVOICE. The next MAKERS event will be the inaugural MAKERS GRL PWR Awards in October, a night geared towards celebrating young women like Gitanjali who are already making positive impacts in the world. As Hillary Clinton challenged all of us at the close of this year's Conference: "Each and every one of you has a job to do, to ensure that what happened at MAKERS doesn't stay at MAKERS."
Be sure to check out all the sessions from the 2018 MAKERS Conference on our new website.