The Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) hosted the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon, on Monday, November 13 at Tribeca 360° in New York City, recognizing the outstanding contributions of eight remarkable female leaders. This year, the event ushered in a new era featuring the Inaugural Gracies Icon Award recipient, Delilah, who’s inspiring life and career was highlighted with a captivating fireside chat alongside Erica Farber, President & CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).
“Very few people in the world are known by one name, and here we have Delilah.” When asked her thoughts on receiving the first ever Gracies Icon Award, Delilah exclaimed, “I am so blessed and so honored and thank you… I won a Gracie years ago and I thought that was the top for me.”
The eight honorees represent a diverse array of talents and achievements across various media platforms, ranging from broadcasting to digital media. Their stories serve as an inspiration to aspiring female leaders, including students attending as part of the Google News Initiative Fellowship, encouraging them to break barriers and make a lasting impact.
Highlights from the speeches include:
- Kay Olin, AWM Legacy Leadership Award recipient, began her remarks by saying, “Thank you seems like such an inadequate word to express how honored I am today…the only thing better than awarding a Gracie, is receiving one.” Olin continued, “The most humbling thing about standing here and accepting this award, it’s not about one person, leadership is a shared experience, it’s teamwork—to my village, I say Thank You.”
- Susan Larkin, Chief Operating Officer, Audacy, began her acceptance noting, “There’s two words that you’ll hear through my remarks, gratitude and team… we know as leaders, we don’t do this ourselves.”
- In accepting the honor, Rashida Jones, President, MSNBC, said, “We are leaders here, for a mission and with a responsibility… while becoming the first in anything is an incredible honor, and one that I take very seriously, I know for a fact no one ascends on their own. It takes a village of supporters, mentors and sponsors for each one of us to get here, and I’ve been lucky to have a host of mentors, many of them women, but even luckier to be a mentor… because it’s important to pay it forward.”
- Suzanne Grimes, President, Westwood One and EVP of Corporate Marketing at Cumulus Media, highlighted a previous battle with breast cancer and pivotal life event, noting the frequent stigma around women’s health issues and proudly stated, “as women and leaders we have the power to change this dynamic.”
- Rebekah Dopp, Executive Vice President, Distribution, Strategy and Affiliate Relations, The CW, concluded her acceptance by emphasizing, “Our industry and the work that we do is critical. Everyone belongs here and our industry must reflect the society we live in… in this circle, let’s continue to celebrate what unites us and overcome what divides us.”
- Rosalyn Durant, Executive Vice President, Programming & Acquisitions, ESPN proudly pointed out, “Over half the executives at ESPN’s table are women, let us acknowledge that is what true leadership looks like, and that’s what real change agency looks like.”
- Lori Locke, Executive Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), expressed gratitude “I want to thank my work colleagues at Warner Bros Discovery, some of those are here to support me, we make an incredible team together… #oneteam I am committed to upholding the principles of leadership that this Gracie Award represents.”
“This room is unique, bringing together leaders from television, streaming, radio, audio and digital medias in one space… the only experience of its kind.” said Becky Brooks, President, AWM/F.
“We exist to connect, recognize and inspire women across our industry. This program is one of my favorite events as it reflects those three pillars,” added Heather Cohen, Immediate Past Chair, AWM/F and President, The Weiss Agency. “Each of these women have such a tremendous impact on our industry. They all have accolades and accomplishments, and we have an opportunity to hear from each one personally… and notable today, what an honor to have Delilah, one of the greatest in our business, as our inaugural Gracies Icon Award recipient.”
Throughout the event, the common themes of lifting the next generation, that achievement happens through nurturing relationships and building great teams were reiterated and reflect AWM’s mission of connecting, recognizing and educating women in media.
Sponsors of the event include: Audacy, Clear Channel Outdoor, Cumulus Media, ESPN, Exponent, Google News Initiative, Katz Media Group, KPMG, NBC Universal News Group, NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, Warner Bros. Discovery, Westwood One, and WideOrbit.
About the Alliance for Women in Media (AWM): The Alliance for Women in Media connects, recognizes and inspires women across the media industry. AWM is a diverse community – whether type of media, job or global location – that facilitates industry-wide collaboration, education, and innovation. Established in 1951 as American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT), AWM is the longest-established professional association dedicated to advancing women in media and entertainment. AWM harnesses the promise, passion and power of women in all forms of media to empower career development, engage in thought leadership, and drive positive change for our industry and societal progress.
About the Gracies
The Alliance for Women in Media was formed in 1951, originally as American Women in Radio and Television, the women’s division of the National Association of Broadcasters.
In 1960 the AWM (then AWRT) became the first professional broadcasting organization to establish an educational foundation.
In 1975 they began an annual award program recognizing the people in the media that represents the changing roles, issues, and concerns of women.
In 1997 those awards became The Gracies, named after Gracie Allen, a media pioneer who embodied the character of the awards.
To better reflect their commitment to all women in the media, in 2010 the organization renamed itself the Alliance for Women in Media.
SOURCE Alliance for Women in Media