A FILM BY SHARON ROWEN
 
 
 
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Sharon recently returned from a week long tour to Ukraine and a month long tour to southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos. The trips were sponsored by the US Department of State and American Film Showcase. In addition to screening Balancing the Scales, both at the International Film Festival in Kiev and private and public screenings at the US Embassies and other locations, Sharon gave presentations at many universities, government ministries and public forums about gender equality in the US and how to make a difference in developing countries. In addition to meeting with the US Ambassadors to Laos and Myanmar, and with the U S Deputy Chief of Mission in Vietnam, she had discussions regarding the rule of law with local legal and human right civil society organizations. Finally, Sharon conducted filmmaking workshops for young filmmakers who were trying to promote social change in their country through their films.

Sharon participating in a panel discussion of “Gender Equality in the Legal Profession” in Laos sponsored by the U.S. Embassy Vientiane.

Sharon participating in a panel discussion of “Gender Equality in the Legal Profession” in Laos sponsored by the U.S. Embassy Vientiane.

Sharon being interviewed at the opening night of the American Independent Film Festival in Kiev sponsored by the U.S. State Department and American Film Showcase.

Sharon being interviewed at the opening night of the American Independent Film Festival in Kiev sponsored by the U.S. State Department and American Film Showcase.

Sharon and students in Hanoi following the screening of Balancing the Scales.

Sharon and students in Hanoi following the screening of Balancing the Scales.

Sharon and Myanmar filmmaker Sein Lein, discussing the importance of changing culture through film.

Sharon and Myanmar filmmaker Sein Lein, discussing the importance of changing culture through film.


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The law firm of SmithAmundsen recently screened Balancing the Scales at its Chicago office and streamed the presentation to eight other offices worldwide.

Partner Michelle L. Casper said, “the movie challenged us to think about ways in which we could change the cultural narrative for the women attorneys and leaders in our firm. It also served as a springboard to our efforts in launching the firm’s Women’s Attorney Group.

Another attendee said, “this was one of the top presentations on diversity that I have attended.”

Click here to book a screening of Balancing the Scales movie

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Future journalists discussed attitudes towards female lawyers and journalists with Sharon and American filmmaker Andrea Nevins.  The U.S. directors presented their works at the American International Film Festival in Kiev and other cities in Ukraine. The discussion with journalism students about gender equality and how it affects women's careers took place at the Institute of Journalism Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Click here to read the article

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We are excited to partner with Vast Entertainment for our next film An Invisible Truth.

See what Vast is doing now!

 
 

Balancing the Scales Movie Trailer

This film explores the history of women lawyers in the US, why their attempts to break the glass ceiling have failed, and what we can do to change the cultural attitudes which prevent women from balancing power at the top.

Why Sharon Made the Film

In this video filmmaker Sharon Rowen shares why “Balancing the Scales” was a labor of love and a call to arms.

 

Testimonials

On August 22, 2019, SmithAmundsen hosted award-winning filmmaker and decorated trial attorney Sharon Rowen at our inaugural Women’s Attorney Group event. Ms. Rowen introduced our attorneys to her film, Balancing the Scales. The presentation challenged SmithAmundsen’s attorneys to think about ways in which we could change the cultural narrative for the women attorneys and leaders in our firm. It also served as a springboard to our efforts in launching a Women’s Attorney Group. As one attendee commented after: “This was one of the top presentations on diversity that I attended. Thank you, Ms. Rowen, for an incredible presentation to our attorneys
— Michelle L. Casper Partner, SmithAmundsen LLC
On behalf of my daughters, thank you for the work you are doing to open people’s eyes and minds to a long overdue problem that we as a nation should have already fixed…with any luck maybe in the next decade before my daughters enter the workforce this will be possible.
— Joseph E. White III of Saxena White Law Firm
Inspiring and thought-provoking.
— WALMART LEGAL DEPARTMENT
Thank you for two wonderful and well received presentations.
— ELIZABETH E. HOFMEISTER, Director of Legal Recruiting and Development Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, Attorneys and Counselors
Balancing the Scales” is more than a timely documentary – it’s a call to action – forcing all to look candidly into the behavioral norms that continue – 25 years and counting – to make the legal industry less hospitable to women than any of us are comfortable admitting. Sharon Rowen’s insightful interviews make it clear that now is the time to have the conversation to change the conversation – focused on the importance of inclusion. A must see.
— Michelle C. Ifill, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Verizon Corporate Services Group
Balancing the Scales is a powerful film. It is a portrait of the challenges facing women in the legal profession based on interviews Sharon Rowen conducted over the past 24 years. The work of diversity and inclusion is vitally important, it is hard, and it is exciting.
— Rich Wallis, Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Azure Legal Team at Microsoft

 
 

Screening at Walmart - August 2017 (left to right) Kerry Kotouc (Senior Vice President, Walmart), Sharon Rowen, Justice Leah Ward Sears (Georgia Supreme Court Ret)

 
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Director's Statement

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Creating Balancing the Scales combined 35 years of experience as a trial lawyer and 20 years of interviewing women lawyers from all walks of life. Interviewees include a US Supreme Court justice, civil rights activists, the first women who made it to the top, and young associates who do not yet understand that making partner has odds not much better than winning the lottery. My belief in the law as a tool for social change began when I passed the bar in 1979, and my passion for gender equality started shortly thereafter when a judge ruled against me solely because he didn’t believe that women should practice law. I have committed my legal career to social justice and to the belief that we all should use our time to further human rights in whatever ways we can. I hope this film will ignite a national conversation about topics like breaking the glass ceiling, why our society does not think of women as leaders, and the impossible choices men and women are forced to make between their career and their caregiving responsibilities.


What's Next?

Vast Entertainment is excited to be co-producing "An Invisible Truth" with R&K Productions

Vast Entertainment is a dynamic production & development company with the unique focus of fostering book-to-screen adaptations, as well as creating and developing a “vast” array of TV, film and new media entertainment.  The company has relationships and projects with some of the biggest companies in the entertainment industry including Disney, NBC, ABC, Universal, Showtime, CBS Films, Lionsgate, Lifetime and many more.

Book Sharon as a Speaker

Sharon Rowen is a nationally recognized keynote speaker who is dynamic in her approach to bringing clarity to the challenge of gender equality in the legal profession. From Harvard University to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, Sharon has delivered the truth about the story of female lawyers in America with humor, transparency, and passion.

Click Here to book Sharon as a keynote speaker