In this week’s Wednesday 5, Meryl Streep fully funds a screenwriters’ lab for women writers over 40; more stars are making Hollywood a better place for women; a returning soldier surprises his son in the best use of a photobomb we’ve seen; a new company aims to make breast cancer gene testing less cumbersome and more affordable for women; and a list of 10 groundbreaking women of science we all need to know about.



A Screenwriters’ Lab for Women Writers Over 40

gty_meryl_streep_oscar_tk_120226_wgThere are more reasons to love Meryl Streep. Variety tells us that Streep has fully funded a screenwriters’ lab for women writers over 40. The initiative is a collaboration with  New York Women in Film and Television, which does incredible work advocating for women in the field. And they’ve pulled together a great list of mentors— Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights), producer Caroline Kaplan (Boyhood), and writers Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde) and Jessica Bendinger (Bring It On).

For all of our readers who are also budding storytellers, the lab will be accepting applications beginning May 1.



Stars Making Hollywood a Better Place for Women

And it turns out that it’s not only Meryl Streep who is in the headlines this week for working to make Hollywood a better place for women. Salon tells us that since 2012, Reese Witherspoon has been using her company, Pacific Standard, to greenlight films with quality lead roles for women. If you saw Gone Girl”and Wild, you know that they had Witherspoon’s stamp on them. We’ve reported on Geena Davis before and her nonprofit, The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which studies gender stereotyping and gender imbalance in film, particularly in programming aimed at children.

Read more about these and other women who are working to make Hollywood more representative of women’s real lives.



The Best Photobomb Ever!


In this week’s dose of inspiration and love, we share with you a beautiful use of the popular photobomb. In Durham, North Carolinia, this past Sunday, ABC reported on a touching story in which a soldier surprised his son during his class photo session. As Joshua Bass’s photo was taken, his father, Cpl. James Bass, who has been deployed to  Kuwait, sneaked  in behind him and got into the shot. Watch what happens when Joshua sees his father, and listen to the moving conversation between father and son as they are reunited.



New Breast Cancer Gene Test Cuts the Cost to Women

3045249-inline-p-1-a-new-test-for-the-breast-cancer-geneColor Test by Color Genomics

Women’s Voices has written extensively about BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and the associated risks of breast and ovarian cancer. The screening tests themselves are expensive and many insurance companies still require women to have a family history of cancer at a young age in order to get testing. The red tape is overwhelming. This week, Fast Company reported on Color Genomics, a new company that is aiming to make the testing less cumbersome and more affordable for women:

Their company’s Color Test . . . is a mail-order, at-home saliva test that costs $249 and tests 19 genes connected to breast and ovarian cancer, including BRCA1 and BRCA2 . . . the Color Genomics Color Test must be ordered by a physician . . .  After a woman’s test is sent back to Color Genomics and analyzed, she is connected with a genetic counselor to explain and discuss the results with her—that consultation is included in the testing cost.

Click here to read more at Fast Company.



Women of Science—The Groundbreakers

As you know, we don’t need Women’s History Month (March) to celebrate women’s groundbreaking accomplishments. So, for all the questions you are getting about where the women in science are, Suzi Gage at The Telegraph has listed her top 10. Check out this incredible list of women who are computer engineers, genetic scientists, Nobel Prize–winning telescope inventors, physicists, neuroscientists, etc. The next time you’re on Jeopardy! and you get the Women of Science category, have no fear.



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