Ellen Pompeo Talks 'Grey's Anatomy' and Gender Equality at Marie Claire's 2018 Power Trip

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Kathryn Wirsing

On Tuesday, Ellen Pompeo took the stage at Marie Claire's Power Trip 2018 panel to share the story of her own success. During an interview with Access Hollywood's Kit Hoover for the Power Your Worth panel, Pompeo shared her own experiences finding her power. And as any Ellen Pompeo fan knows, a big part of that story is Grey's Anatomy.

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Pompeo explained how she came to Hollywood and to Seattle Grace. The short version: She was discovered while working as a bartender in New York, went on three auditions, booked all three gigs, and immediately got the attention of Steven Spielberg. After a few years of taking small parts in movies because all of the big parts she was getting offered were vanilla wife/girlfriend roles, Pompeo decided to make the jump to T— and the rest is history.

But in the 15 years since she started on Grey's Anatomy, the world and the landscape in Hollywood have changed a lot. During her panel discussion, Pompeo addressed everything from how raising a son compares to raising daughters in 2018 to the courage of victims of harassment and assault who speak out. Here are just a few of her most memorable bits of wisdom.

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Ellen Pompeo and Kit Hoover at Marie Claire’s Power Trip.
Kathryn Wirsing

On raising a son in 2018:

"We raise our sons to be tough, to not cry, and not show emotion and what that does to men is creates fragile egos and then we have to spend the rest of our lives taking care of these fragile egos we created...We need to teach our boys and raise our young sons to show emotions."

On the importance of widening your personal friend circle:

"If there aren't different looking people in your friend circle, you're doing something wrong. If your workplace doesn't look like the world outside, you're doing something wrong."

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On the courage of women who speak out about harassment and assault:

"Is it easy to come out and admit that someone is harassing or has assault you? Why are we siding with these men? That's difficult for me. If you're someone who tends to believe a man more than you believe a woman then that's something we need to look at....I don't think it's easy for a woman to come out and expose herself and feel shame and feel weakness and say this was done to me. Why do we not have the compassion to believe each other?"

On strong women being "bitches":

"We're taught that if we're not bitches, we're not going to be taken seriously. There's some truth in it, but we need to be bitches to the men and not to the women."

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