What does International Women’s Day mean to you?IWD to me, as a cisgendered male, means listening. Listening to women's voices, doing the work and reading resources, trying to better understand the lived experiences of women from a truly intersectional and comprehensive perspective — both their ongoing greivences with the patriarcal structures I benefit from daily and the neccesary measures we need to enact to implement meaningful change, to the many successes and the tremendous strides already made thus far through feminist activism. Of course, on a personal level, it is also a day to reflect on and celebrate the strenth, intelligence and vast accomplishments of all of the incredible women who I get to call friends and who enrich my life just by inhabiting it.
What personal or career advice have you received that’s been particularly valuable to you?As a male makeup artist, I inhabit one of the rare industries that it largely female-centric and female-led. Almost all of my mentors and educators have been female, and my peers predominately female. Starting out, a senior makeup artist I regularly assisted early in my career, was instrumental in me gaining the confidence to seek out agency representation and establishing my sense of self-worth and valuing myself, both as an artist and businessperson.
Why do you think diversity and inclusion in the workplace is so important?As a queer person of mixed-race, I fundamentally believe the need for amplifying diverse and inclusive voices runs parallel to the needs of the women's rights movement. While both causes obviously have their own very specific issues, at its core, diviersity and inclusion is about gaining perspective and understanding that the human experience will never be monolithic. The more perspective we can gain, the richer our understanding of the world becomes. I will always appreciate learning about life experiences that differ from my own.
If you could have dinner with an inspirational woman, dead or alive, who would they be and why?Being a lifelong disciple of pop culture, I have to gush over the women who figuratively raised me. Art, in its innumerable forms, reflects life. And art created by women that I was exposed to from a formative age, are the first distinct memories I have of conciously seeing/hearing women's stories depicted. From singer-songerwriters like Tori Amos, Björk, Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell, the films of emotive and expressive actresses such as Parker Posey, Charlotte Rampling and Isabelle Huppert, writers like Miranda July and Angela Carter, to photographers and artists such as Cindy Sherman, Tracey Moffatt, Nan Goldin and Marina Abramović. I'm rambling at this point... God, I just love women!