At last night’s Women’s Media Center 10th anniversary awards dinner, I felt so proud of what this organization has accomplished in its first decade, including:
These are just a few of the many Women’s Media Center programs and initiatives that have strengthened the presence of women in media, both in front of the cameras and behind them; improved the representation of women in media; and added important data and analysis to the global conversation about the role of media and its impact on women. Together, these efforts are helping to prepare the next generation to be more engaged, informed and effective media consumers.
From the moment Amy Schumer took the stage last night and laughter filled the room to the closing video from Women’s Media Center co-founder (and close friend) Jane Fonda, every moment was memorable and inspiring.
Amy is funny and she is also a feminist who is increasingly sharing her voice as a writer and director as well as performer. All of the awardees are game changers, breaking new ground for women in media and creating new ways for all of us to be more engaged and informed...from Mona Eltahawy's courageous battles against the prevailing attitudes towards women in the Middle East to Padmasree Warrior leading other women to the top in technology and Laura Bates making everyday sexism a BIG issue everywhere...from my good friend and committed philanthropist and trailblazer, Loreen Arbus, creating a new award to recognize media that is more fully inclusive, to the evening’s final honoree, the legendary and always inspiring Marlo Thomas. "That Girl" is still challenging stereotypes and using her remarkable talents (she came straight from a performance of Clever Little Lies) and is very much still a role model for every generation.
Of course, for me, the chance to honor Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill with Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Awards was a lifetime dream. I so admire these two women and their integrity, the scope of their work, and the way they have taken on the leadership of being the first women co-anchors of a news program, the PBS NewsHour. I also deeply admire the way they support each other and their team, which, incidentally, also includes a woman executive producer, Sara Just.
All in all, it was a night with much to celebrate and a night that I hope will inspire many to join WMC’s mission to lead towards a global media that looks and sounds more like the world we live in. We need media that more fully reflects women’s lives and stories and ideas and that includes full and equal opportunities for women to be the storytellers and the decision makers. It’s possible. It’s necessary.
Till next time,