Sarah Wallendjack, Women LEAD’s newest Supporter of the week is the president of the Women in Children’s Media, an organization which aims to raise awareness about the importance of social responsibility in children’s media. She works as a children’s television producer. Sarah has been working on pre-school television for the past 8 years. Her motivation to work for raising awareness for children through the media inspired us! Read more about Sarah and her accomplishments below!
What motivated you to get into your field of work?
It all started with the Muppets. I have been a fan since the early days and just wanted to be in that world. I later learned that there were people inside my TV set making that magic and that is when I set out to work in children’s media. Jim Henson has been a major inspiration to me. I also had the opportunity to be a student producer for my High School musical. It was there that I learned I had an organizational skill.
What is one accomplishment you are most proud of?
When I graduated college, I tried desperately to find a job in children’s television, but couldn’t. After a few months of job searching, I was offered a position at a new for-profit museum opening in Washington, DC – The International Spy Museum. I was very fortunate and got to see the museum rise from the ground from a bare construction site to a state of the art museum filled with lipstick pistols and rocks with hideaways in them. It was a pretty cool two years, but I always knew it wasn’t what I was meant to do, so I resigned and moved to NYC to pursue my goals. It was a bold move, but I never looked back and have been happily working in children’s television ever since.
Who is one woman that has impacted you?
I met a really wonderful Director during my first job in children’s television. She is an Emmy Award winning Director and has been working on Sesame Street since its first season. She has always offered me a grounded perspective on matters and been a real inspiration through my career. She has been a mentor and has helped guide my decisions and choices. I am very lucky to have her in my life.
What do you think are some obstacles for women’s leadership, in the United States and worldwide?
This is a hard question for me to answer because I am surrounded by a lot of powerful women. Many of the children’s networks, publishers and licensing companies have women in leadership positions. There are also a lot of female show creators that are running their own production companies. I have a lot of women to look up to and as a result, there isn’t much I feel I can’t do.
What advice do you have for the next generation of female leaders?
Be bold, go with your gut and find a mentor. Reach out to people who inspire you and connect.