Bank of America Women's Leadership Series


Women in Entertainment

WLS Entertainment

Hollywood is casting more women in leading roles in film and TV these days. However, women are still underrepresented behind the camera, as directors, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors.

Despite women accounting for 52 percent of moviegoers, of the top 100 grossing films of 2018, women represented only 3.6 percent of directors, 13.8 percent of writers, and 3 percent of cinematographers. Only one woman has ever won the Academy Award for Best Director. Moreover, women hold fewer than 20 percent of top executive positions at major media companies, which often impacts what films and shows are greenlit to move forward.

For women of color, such as Asian women, the challenges are even more multifaceted, as they not only receive fewer opportunities but also must overcome stereotypes about race and gender.

Join Asia Society Texas Center for a discussion on being an Asian woman in Hollywood, their successes and challenges, how to change the status quo, and ways the industry is evolving.


Thursday, May 16, 2019
6 p.m. Reception
7 p.m. Program

About the Speakers

Julee Cerda

Julee Cerda is an American actress born in South Korea to a Korean mother and a Dominican father. She was raised in New York and spent part of her childhood in her father's country, the Dominican Republic, and speaks fluent Spanish. She received a B.A. in Communications from Marist College and started off with a career in advertising before switching to acting. She was most recently seen in the Broadway revival of Children of a Lesser God directed by Tony Award winner, Kenny Leon. On television, she has guest starred on Netflix’s Iron Fist, Showtime’s Homeland, and has made countless other appearances on hit shows like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Billions, and Kevin Can Wait. Some of her film credits include the upcoming Joker with Joaquin Phoenix, The Intern, and Passengers. Julee is also a writer, producer, and a mother to her 4 year-old daughter.

Salma Shaw

Salma Shaw, born in Scotland to South Asian parents and raised all over the Midwest, is a versatile actor and singer in New York City, but in a previous life, she was a rocket scientist. A two-time Helen Hayes Award recipient, Salma began her career in DC in theater, including as the Managing Director and COO of acclaimed physical theater troupe Synetic, producing 20 shows that garnered 30 Helen Hayes Nominations and nine Awards. Since transitioning to New York, Salma has steadily worked in TV, booking network roles on the 2018 CBS pilot Main Justice, Dick Wolf’s FBI and Law & Order: SVU, The Path, and Blue Bloods, among many others; she is also a series regular role on Here TV's People You Know streaming on Amazon. A skilled singer and linguist, Salma recently performed leading roles on stage, including in Brave New World Rep’s A Muslim in the Midst, the New York Times Critic’s Pick This Time, the Off-Broadway production of Acquittal, the original cast of Bill Sherman and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Barrio Grrrl! at The Kennedy Center, and the 29-hour reading of Broadway-bound Monsoon Wedding. Apart from the arts, Salma loves technology and is passionate about education, and she is currently pursuing her PhD in Business Administration and helping others reach their own educational goals as a leading MBA admissions consultant to the world’s top business schools. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, a Master's in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She considers her greatest role to be that of “Mom” to her six-year-old son.

About the Moderator

Julie Schubert

Julie Schubert is an Emmy Award-winning casting director based in New York. Select film and TV credits include: House of Cards (Emmy Award for Outstanding Casting); Night Comes On (Sundance award winning feature), Deliver Us From Evil; Marvel's The Punisher; Marvel's Daredevil; Marvel's Jessica Jones; Marvel's Luke Cage; Marvel's Iron Fist; Marvel's The Defenders; Mindhunter; Confessions of a Shopaholic, among others. Schubert graduated from New York University and trained under casting directors Juliet Taylor, Ellen Lewis and Denise Chamian, among others.   She is currently working on two series and a feature film.

About the Women's Leadership Series

The Bank of America Women's Leadership Series (WLS) celebrates influential, diverse women making a substantive impact in both the business and culture arenas, locally and globally.

Previous programs:

Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series Spotlights Local Energy Executives, Importance of STEM Education
Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series Kicks Off 2018-2019 Season with Celebrated Female Asian Chefs
Asia Society Concludes 2017-2018 Women's Leadership Series with Women in Fashion Evening
Technology Trailblazers on the Business of Innovation
Third Year of Women’s Leadership Series Begins with Medical Innovators
Former UK First Lady Leads Dialogue on Women’s Education
Social Innovator Shares Her Story and Passion for Creating a More Secure Future
Women's Leadership Panel Addresses Female Representation in the C-Suite
Former Secretary of Labor Credits "Strong Families, Education, and Hard Work" for Success
Local Leaders Share Personal and Professional Successes at Inaugural Women's Leadership Program

The Women's Leadership Series Steering committee is chaired by Mandy Kao and Y. Ping Sun. Members include Nancy C. Allen, Lisa Barksdale, Dr. Anne Chao, Kathy Goossen, Dr. Ellen Gritz, Dr. Michelle Herrera, Brigitte Kalai, Shirley Kwan, Sultana Mangalji, Niloufar Molavi, Davana Petree, Vani Rao, and Sue Sim.

Title Sponsor 

Bank of America Logo



Presenting Sponsors 

Exxon Guinee Tiffany

Lead Sponsors 

WLS FY2020 Lead Sponsors

Nancy C. Allen
Anne and Albert Chao
Brigitte Kalai
Mandy and William Kao
Additional Support

WLS FY2020 Additional Sponsors

Kathy and Marty Goossen
Dr. Yasmine Haddad
Dr. Michelle Herrera
Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron
Sultana and Moez Mangalji
Sahana and Kishore Sundararajan
The Southmore

Special Friends

Cindy Chan + Manli Cai
Cooking Girl Restaurant l Crown Dental l Fane Well School l The Goddard School, Sugar Land
Shaobo Du + Kathy Pang
Betty Gee + Tammy Su
Tiffany Le
Gina Li
Dr. Alice Mao
Diana Sun
Priscilla Zhu

Event Details

Thu 16 May 2019
6 - 8 p.m.

1370 Southmore Boulevard

Houston, Texas 77004


Buy Tickets
$25 Members, $35 Nonmembers
Add to Calendar 20190516T230000 20190517T010000 UTC Asia Society: Bank of America Women's Leadership Series 1370 Southmore Boulevard Houston, Texas 77004 713.496.9901