I’m a Woman, Hear Me ROAR

Lights, camera, action! On Tuesday night, May 21st, six hundred career women gathered for the 54th Annual Matrix Awards at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. From industry veterans to rising stars, professionals from all fields in the communication industry came together to celebrate the success of this year’s honorees.

This prestigious event recognized an inspiring lineup of women who have reached the pinnacle of their careers. This year’s honorees include EMMY® and TONY®  Award winner, Kristin Chenoweth; Chief Marketing & Experience Officer, H&R Block, Jill Cress; Editor-in Chief, ELLE, Hearst Magazines, Nina Garcia; President & CEO of The New York Times Company, Meredith Kopit Levien; Global Head of Communications of Citi, Jennifer Lowney; CEO of the Americans & BBDO, Nancy Reyes; and Founder & Executive Officer of Skai Blue Media, Rakia Reynolds.

The theme of the night was clear: Women who carved their own path, left their ego at the door, and worked tirelessly to earn their success. These women have not only excelled in their respective fields but have also been pioneers, creating pathways for future generations. It is in this way, each honoree is a Rulebreaker or as Nina Garcia describes herself, a Rule Editor or a Rule Rewriter. Every woman at that podium fought adversities, rejection, and setbacks, yet they persevered without compromising their values or beliefs. Jill Cress summed it up perfectly with her advice: “When you take risks, you start to get noticed and when you are noticed, you enter the conversation.”

During the ceremony, each honoree talked about their unique journey, speaking openly about their beginnings, significant achievements, and lessons learned along the way. As someone new to their career, I found immense motivation and courage in being surrounded by such accomplished women.

Rakia Reynolds perfectly encapsulated this year’s theme by saying, “The number one commandment for success is to be authentic.” Listening to each honoree’s pride and passion provided valuable insights into the importance of resilience. Their vigor deeply inspires me to pursue my goals with confidence! If there is one thing I took away from that night, it was that believing in yourself is step one, then with a lot of hard work, determination, and a bit of luck, you can achieve what you set out to do.

The Matrix Awards powerfully showcase the importance of creating spaces where women can uplift and advocate for one another, fostering new opportunities and building strong relationships.  Jennifer Lowney reminded us, “There is immense power in the work that you choose.”  Regardless of career stage, our support networks are invaluable, and it is crucial to lean on them as we forge ahead. As Kristin Chenoweth’s motto goes: “Don’t tell me what I can’t do; let me tell you what I can do!”

The evening left me inspired and ready to embrace my own journey with renewed enthusiasm and determination. I know there is a lot of hard work between where I am today and where I hope to be, but I will take the wisdom of these beautiful women who forged the path before me and use their knowledge and support to chart my own course.

Here’s to women writing their own stories and roaring louder than ever before!

Written by Katerina Friedman


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