Jacki Zehner On Women, Money, and Changing the World

February 05, 2016

Sundance 2016 – Highlights From An #Awesome Fest

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Published on LinkedIn on February 5, 2016

The 2016 Sundance Film Festival is a remarkable event, not only for the incredible films, but for so many other reasons!  Because I live in Park City, and serve on the board of The Sundance Institute, I get to experience it to the fullest, and every year my friends and family ask me what were the highlights? It is my pleasure to share my TOP 10 for 2016.

1) Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation makes Sundance history. Nate Parker spent 7 years and $100,000 of his own money to bring the story of Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion to the big screen, and the film was well worth the wait. It was an honor to be in the audience for the premiere of this searingly powerful film and to witness the multiple standing ovations it so rightfully earned. Soon after, news broke that The Birth of a Nation had sold to Fox Searchlight for a record breaking $17.5 million, solidifying Writer/Director/Producer/Lead Actor Parker’s status as the next big thing in Hollywood. The Oscar buzz has already begun for this film, so be sure to check it out when The Birth of a Nation

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February 02, 2016

I Once Used Movies to Escape My To-Do List. Now Films Are Part of My Work.

ND8_6481Published on LinkedIn on February 2, 2016

In this series of posts, professionals reveal their best antidotes to work stress. Read the posts here, and then write your own (use #OutsideWork in the piece).

Ask any one of my friends or family members what my favorite thing to do is, and they’ll tell you without hesitation, “Go to the movies.” A night in a darkened theater with a big bag of popcorn is a good night out as far as I’m concerned, and as life seems to get ever busier with each passing year, the movie theater is the one place where I can truly relax and let go of my to-do list that is constantly on my mind. Dramas, comedies, action, romance, it doesn’t matter the genre of film. I just love going to the movies.

This is a love affair that began at a very young age. I was born in 1964, which means that today’s world of digital access to films and online streaming only existed in the realm of science fiction. To see a movie you had to go to the theater, and go I did. Often and as much as I could. This tradition continues to this day, to the point where I’ve often found myself in the odd position of having to convince my children to come to the movies with me instead of the…

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January 27, 2016

EQUITY – The First Film About Women and Wall Street In Almost 30 Years

Published on LinkedIn on January 27, 2016

In 2011, MissRepresentation premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and contained a quote from Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund. “You can’t be what you can’t see.” This quote went on to become the tagline of the film, and it is a succinct, accurate, and powerful description of some of the challenges facing women today in making women’s leadership and presence visible. In industries dominated by men, which is most, it is hard to convince young girls that opportunities await them when there are so few visible role models for them to aspire to.

This is a phenomenon I know well. When I started on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs in 1988, there were very few women in positions of power both at Goldman and in the financial industry at large. I was fortunate to have an extremely successful career at Goldman, being the first female trader and youngest woman to make partner in 1996, but as the years passed and I rose up through the ranks, I became discontented with the fact that so few women were coming up with me. I did all I could to help recruit, mentor, and guide women at the firm, and to their credit, Goldman tried to do a lot as well, but despite all of these efforts, the number of women in high ranking positions at Goldman remained…

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