Inspiring Business Women in the Entertainment Industry

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The media and entertainment industry spans everything from film and TV to gaming and casino – and it’s growing by day too. Latest figures have revealed that the US Arts, Entertainment and Recreation industry has a current market size of over $307 billion.

It can’t be denied that the sector is dominated by men, but, despite this, there are a whole host of inspiring business women who we can all take a lesson or two from. Here, we round up three of the most prominent and take a look at their achievements.

Pamela Abdy

Possibly one of the biggest names in film, Pamela Abdy is MGM’s Motion Picture Group President, Film Executive and Producer – meaning she oversees and manages all MGM and Orion productions. Having started her career at Jersey Films as an intern, she was then hired as a receptionist and then the assistant for Danny DeVito. Multiple promotions meant she rose from position to position and she then became President, working on films like Man on the Moon, Garden State and Caveman’s Valentine. This work won her numerous awards such as an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature Film and a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, TV, or other media.

As well as her position at MGM, Abdy is a Partner and Head of Film at Makeready. Up until 2016, she was also President of Production at New Regency, being involved in films like Birdman, Gone Girl, The Big Short and The Revenant. The latter received 12 Academy Award nominations and won two Golden Globes. She also previously worked at Paramount Pictures as an Executive Vice President, putting her name to Mean Girls and Shutter Island to name a few. Plus, when she’s not working on films, she’s also a member of the Producers Guild of America and sits on the Executive Board of the Executive Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Mabel Addis

Born in 1912, Mabel Addis was a writer and teacher who studied ancient history at Barnard College. She then went on to Columbia University and obtained a Masters in education. Despite working in a school, her real passion was in gaming – although it was hugely dominated by men during these times. However, she wasn’t about to let that stop her. While she’d spend the days teaching, she was busy creating something new for the gaming industry in her spare time.

In 1964, she released The Sumerian Game for IBM, which went on to inspire similar games like Hammurabi. The game gave players the opportunity to rule Lagesh, the Sumerian city, and it was the first of its kind that worked on a fully electronic computer. This meant she wasn’t just the first-ever female video game designer but also the first-ever writer for computer video games.

Denise Coates

In her early twenties, Denise Coates studied Econometrics at the University of Sheffield in the UK. After she graduated, she took on a role as an accountant at the family bookmaking firm. Over time, she was promoted until she became managing director. In 2001, she decided to take the plunge and set up her own business, thanks to her experience and skills in sports betting and casinos. She called it Bet365.

Today, it’s one of the leading online casino names in the whole world and Coates is still the highest-paid Director and majority shareholder of the company. It’s believed that she earns just under £470 million every year, making Coates one of the most successful women in casino of all time. By taking a big risk, she positioned the brand to be at the forefront of the online casino and sports betting industries in the UK.

Of course, these are just a selection of some of the most inspiring businesswomen in the entertainment industry. The truth is, there are plenty of other names we could have written about. This includes business-savvy actresses, those founders who are inspiring our next generation, and presidents and executives who prove that gender and discrimination aren’t going to stand in the way of their success. One thing’s for sure, every woman in the entertainment industry deserves to be praised and it won’t be long before we have a new set of names to add to the list.

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