JULIE HARRIS WALKER
At what point in your life did you consider yourself a feminist? Was it an event or a process?
It was definitely a process. Looking back, I was always a feminist. I think being able to name it started in college, in women’s studies classes. They blew my mind wide open, and infuriated me for a long time. The problem with seeing gender bias and discrimination is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. I knew the portrayals of women in media were deeply sexist, but at the time, I thought that was most of the problem. I thought equality for women in business was already in place. Imagine my surprise when I found myself carrying the flag for women in corporations at 40!
Who most influenced your awareness of your feminism?
It was my high school English teacher and friend, Carmela Dellino. She gently pointed out every time I unthinkingly said something that was gender biased. She is a powerful, independent, compassionate woman who is a formidable force. She provided the example, courage and path to be a feminist. It was a requirement. In recent years, my biggest influence was Sheryl Sandberg, and Lean In. I recognized myself and my environment in that book like none other. It really set me in motion to take big action in my life.
In what ways has your feminism informed your life choices?
Feminism has influenced me in ways I didn’t even recognize at the time. On the one hand, it partially caused me to leave a marriage I knew was setting the wrong example for my children. I was shrinking and subjugating myself in ways I knew were detrimental to both my girls and my boy. I can hear the Right screaming that feminism is causing the downfall of the American family! And maybe it is. Or maybe the American family needs to adjust a little bit.
Feminism was also one of the dominant factors of me walking away from corporate America to start my podcasts – The Other 50%. There comes a time in life when your personal values and your work in the world must align. Mine finally do.
In what ways do you share your feminism with others?
I produce and host two podcasts that share the stories of women – The Other 50% - a Herstory of Hollywood and The Other 50% – a Herstory of Tech. Sharing women’s stories is powerful, inspiring, necessary, and I really think it can change the world.
Describe your vision of a feminist world.
My vision of a feminist world is where people of all genders, races, sexual preferences, creeds and abilities are represented, included and have a voice. When we are at the point where we don’t even have to talk about it anymore because everyone is included and valued. The goal of my work is to become redundant and obsolete.
How I Define Feminism:
The deeply held belief in equality: equal rights, access, agency and legitimacy regardless of gender or any other difference.
Julie Harris Walker, mother of 3, is the producer and host of two podcasts, The Other 50% - a Herstory of Hollywood and The Other 50% - a Herstory of Tech. On these shows, she talks to successful women in those industries and shares their stories.