opinion

Keep Pushing Forward

Katie Smith
Aren't there women behind most successful men? I think that is truer today than ever before, though the definition of that may have changed.

Some powerful women are on the front lines, but many more aren't. Many women find themselves doing much of the work for little reward. A limited few work hard to fight the stereotypes and just get the job done.

Forbes recently named Playboy's CEO and Chairman Christie Hefner No. 80 in the top 100 Most Powerful Women, so I don't have to look far to find a good example of a strong, smart, capable businesswoman.

There are many women in adult I admire for their ideas, determination, hard work and proven execution, but it is still largely assumed to be a man's game.

I appreciate women like Jenna Jameson, who built her personal brand into a multi-million-dollar empire to be sold to one of the biggest brands in the world. I want to see more of that. I want to see more women owning their brand and their content, developing traffic portals and stepping up to take a piece of the pie.

Now don't get me wrong. I have much respect for men in the business. Most of my best friends are men. I wouldn't be in the industry if I didn't enjoy the people I work with. I wouldn't be here if I didn't see a role for myself in the industry for years to come, and part of that role is showing the boys club that women are a much-needed addition to the executive team — not just for balance but for the experience and point of view a woman can bring.

Difference Among Sexes
Like it or not, women and men are different. That doesn't mean we're better from each other, we're just different. I personally think success is based on the individual and not on sex, but know this: Women have to work harder to make it in business. We have to work smarter, we have to work more efficiently, and we have to be better in some way, shape or form to be successful. The good news is we're up for the task.

More and more women are entering business school and jumping into male-dominated fields. Future generations will fill the ranks, and more women will join men in the boardroom.

I look forward to that day not just for the sake of women being there, but for the evolution in best business practices that I know will come with it.

How does this relate to the adult industry, you may ask? Just the same as it does any other industry. Women have been fighting for equal rights since the United States of America was born.

Key government and state initiatives starting in the 1920s and all the way into the 1960s gave women a chance in the workplace.

Men have had quite a head start, but over the past 40-plus years, women have been coming in fast. For families to survive in this modern-day economy, women have to be the workplace. Men need women to work, and so we are working, some because they have to and others because they want to. I'm in the latter group.

I work because what I do is my passion. Business is a competitive sport to me. Few things can get me as excited as when I come up with an idea that serves a business objective, create the business model, develop it with a team of friends, execute, test and watch the project grow.

Inspiring and fueling revenue growth is what drives me. I focus my efforts on the top line and closely monitor the bottom line. And there you have it.

This is the view of one woman in the adult industry. It's not about the industry, it's about business.

It's not about the sex of who is getting the job done — it's just about getting the job done right, as planned and on the money. It's about digital media, technology innovation, evolution of consumer trends and building products that fit into the mix. I just happen to be a woman who is good at what I do, and I happen to be in the adult entertainment industry.

There is a chapter in the recent book by Carly Milne, "Naked Ambition," that is dedicated to me for this reason.

That is why I was asked to write this article. That is why I have been asked to write similar articles over the last couple years. But some day articles will be written about women because of their true achievements and not because they are women with achievements. Until that day, keep pushing ahead, ladies.

Only we, side-by-side with the men who believe in us, have the power to push forward. Technology is also lending a helping hand. Equality is catching up. Cheers to all of us for helping to make it happen.

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