Candy Crowley, CNN; Meredith A. Baker, Comcast/NBCUniversal; Kimberly Hulsey,
Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.; Susan Fox, The Walt Disney Company; Martha
Raddatz, ABC News; Hazel-Ann Mayers, CBS Corporation; Susan Page, USA Today;
Kelly Cole, NAB; Danielle Carrig, Lifetime; Alexa Verveer, Discovery
The room was buzzing as 12 women were honored at the Alliance for Women in Media’s (AWM) award ceremony at Venable LLP in Washington, DC, Thursday. And there was plenty to be excited about.
Perhaps FCC commissioner/former FCC acting chair Mignon Clyburn, one of a dozen recognized as “Women Who Represent,” said it best: “Outside of the Commission’s main media room on the ground floor, there is a wall lined with photos of previous chairmen, all 32 of them,” she said. “The next picture, the 33rd image that will be placed alongside that wall, will look a little different and more like the composition of this room.”
The AWM, originally the American Women in Radio and Television, has strived to advance the impact and influence of women throughout all media forms. It turns out that “all you need to do to get something done is to put a woman in charge,” said Meredith Baker, SVP of NBCU Government Relations. While Baker was a commissioner at the FCC, she was struck by how many really talented women worked for a department predominately run by men.
Danielle Carrig, SVP of Publicity and Public Affairs for Lifetime, remembered putting up pictures on her dorm room wall of Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Mikulski, Olympia Snowe and many other women while she was in her first year at college. “They were my heroes,” she said. “They were the lens [through] which I see my purpose today and everything I do–it’s because of these women that we all have seen come before us with such strength and such pride [and] who have led our country.”
Susan Fox, VP of Government Relations for the Walt Disney Company, recalled how in the eleventh grade her father would not allow the school to assign her a particular chemistry teacher. “My father knew that that chemistry teacher wouldn’t give girls A’s because he considered it to be a waste of an A,” explained Fox. “It’s a sign of where we are,” she said—and women have certainly come a long way.
But the morning wasn’t just about the journey that each of the honorees has travelled or the struggles that they’ve endured. It was also about the future and how important it is “to represent the young women in our communities,” said Kimberly Hulsey, VP, Legal and Government Affairs for Scripps Networks. “People who will look to us… and say ‘I want to be like her’,” she said.