Women Shaping the Future: Josée Perreault, Grace Potter, Katori Hall on Battling Sexism

On March 4th, Rolling Stone hosted its second annual Women Shaping the Future event, celebrating, raising, and honoring the influential female voices in culture. The event was the first to take place at the new Edge venue in Hudson Yards, which overlooks New York City.

Playwright Katori Hall, whose first Broadway play was produced in 2011, shared a story about when she was confronted with sexism and disrespect and how it gave her a realization. “I will never create a space that is disempowering for anybody,” she explained. “I will always have an inclusive room.”

That inspired Grace Potter to share her own issues with misogyny and judgments — from both men and women. The “worst advice” she got from a fellow person in the music industry who said: “’You should never show your legs ever again: your music will never be heard if you look the way you looked that night at the Ryman.’” Potter said this advice made her feel like she died, and she thought to herself that she needed to get better advice. “Now my job is to identify where the line is and understand that the perception of me isn’t what matters,” she explained. “But also that the way i want to be perceived does matter because i can control that.”

When CAN-AM’s Senior VP Josée Perreault was asked about the best piece of advice she ever got about her career, she had a quick response: “For me it’s true, if you don’t trust anyone, you won’t go as fast or as far.”

The day also included Grammy-winning artist Jennifer Nettles, Lauren Jauregui, Emmy-winner Uzo Aduba, actress and comedian Retta, who also all spoke throughout the event about their distinct experiences as women breaking barriers in their respective industries. Performances included Grammy-nominated artist Potter, Overcoats, Diana Gordon, and S.G. Goodman.

Perreault also discussed launching the CAN-AM On-Road Women’s Mentorship Program, since less than 20 percent of all riders are female. Created by women for women, the program breaks down the barriers women face when entering the riding community by connecting them with female mentors, engaging them with riders across North America, and enabling them to feel empowered on the open road.

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