Let's just cut to the chase: Emma Watson is a badass.

Photo by Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images.


At 25, she's already built a killer, A-list acting career for herself...


Here she is accepting the 2013 MTV Trailblazer Award. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

"Harry Potter" (x8), "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "The Bling Ring," "Noah" ... shall I go on?

She didn't let fame influence her into thinking she's too cool for school...

It's easy to forget that Watson went back to college after raking in millions from her acting chops and graduated from Brown University in 2014.

And, arguably the most badass resume item of all: She's become a champion for women's rights around the world.

Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images.

Since July 2014, Watson has been a UN Women goodwill ambassador, leading the United Nations' HeForShe campaign. The initiative is focused on global gender equality and specifically targets men in becoming better advocates. (I'll say it again: badass.)

On Sept. 28, 2015, she spoke out on her feminism again, unafraid to take on the industry that made her a star.

In an interview with The Guardian, Watson used her own experiences to highlight the inexcusable gender gap that persists in Hollywood.

"I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women. Of the producers I've worked with 13 have been male and only one has been a woman. But I am lucky: I have always insisted on being treated equally and have generally won that equality. Most of the problems I have encountered have been in the media, where I have been treated so incredibly differently from my male co-stars. I think my work with the UN has probably made me even more aware of the problems. I went out for a work dinner recently. It was 7 men … and me."

You can read her whole interview here.

Watson's experiences aren't an anomaly. Sadly, they're to be expected.

Women accounted for a measly 1.9% of directors who created the top 100 grossing films of 2014, a study by USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found. And that figure gets even more disappointing when you look at top films from 2007 to 2014 (excluding 2011) and consider race.

Out of 779 directors, just three were black women. And one was an Asian American woman.

Chart from "Inequality in 700 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race, & LGBT Status from 2007 to 2014" via the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at USC Annenberg.

Seriously, pathetic.

At least we have leaders like Watson using their voices to demand more from the industry.

And, as the report noted, those voices may finally be heard: Films in 2015 showed modest improvements on the diversity front from recent years.

Films created by and featuring women like "Pitch Perfect 2," "Spy," and "Fifty Shades of Grey" had blockbuster success in 2015, and the number of female directors of top films is on pace to beat 2013 and 2014.

Still, more is needed.

"While the economics are encouraging, long‐term solutions and further monitoring are required," the report reads. "Only with sustained effort and change can Hollywood move from an industry of inequality to one of inclusion."

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Share your vision for shaping the future: take this 1-minute survey. Your responses to this survey will inform global priorities now and going forward.

In a year where Major League Baseball has been delayed, the 2020 Olympics have been postponed, and the NBA season has been moved to something called a "bubble," a new sport has emerged as the ultimate athletic challenge in our COVID-19 world, at least for one British woman.

"Peak bagging" is an activity where hikers, mountaineers, and sometimes runners attempt to reach the summit of every mountaintop in a published list of peaks, and Sabrina Verjee, a British ultra runner, has just become the first woman to complete the 318 mile route through the 214 English peaks known as the "Wainwrights." Oh, and she did it with a bum knee.

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The United Nations is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great challenge, including the worst global health crisis in its history. Will it bring the world closer together? Or will it lead to greater divides and mistrust?

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With the COVID-19 Pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests nationwide, and the countdown to the 2020 Presidential election, there has been a flurry of online activity.

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This isn't new, of course. Social media has long been a way to get information out quickly.

"When the plane landed on the Hudson, that was one of the first events that was social media first," says Kate Starbird, associate professor in the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington. "The news went out via social media first because it was faster. People could actually see what was going on long before people could write a story about it or put it on the news."

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