More than a thousand people from the communications and entertainment communities attended the 45th annual NYWICI Matrix Awards on April 27, 2015, at the Waldorf Astoria, to honor six women who have made significant contributions within the communications industry. Pervious Matrix Award recipient, Martha Stewart, was on hand to emcee the big event.
This year’s Matrix winners were Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator, New York (presented by Arianna Huffington, President & Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group); Debra L. Lee, Chairman & CEO, BET Networks (presented by Phylicia Rashad, Actor & Director); Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC News and Host, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports (presented by Savannah Guthrie, Co-Anchor of “Today” and NBC News Chief Legal Correspondent); Robbie Myers, Editor-in-Chief, ELLE Magazine (presented by Tony Goldwyn, Actor, Director & Producer); and Martine Reardon, Chief Marketing Officer, Macy’s (presented by Thalia, Singer, Actress, Entrepreneur, Author, Fashion Designer) and Megan Smith, US Chief Technology Officer (presented by Nicholas Negroponte, Co-Founder, MIT Media Lab and Founder, One Laptop per Child).
Portions of the proceeds from the Matrix Awards luncheon will go to the NYWICI Foundation, the largest foundation for communications scholarships for women in the tri-state area, which offers a full range of scholarships and educational programs for women, whether just beginning or embarking on a transition in their careers. The 18 scholarship winners were acknowledged at the ceremony. To date, the Foundation has given more than $1 million dollars in scholarships.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
- As women, we should stop talking about having it all and start talking about how we’re going to do it all.
- When women are heard, whether it’s in the boardroom or in the halls of Congress, the outcomes are better.
- As women, our voices matter. What we care about matters, what we do matters, what we say matters, so go out and be heard.
- My mother is a huge influence in my life. She told me it’s okay to be different, it’s okay to have your own voice and go your own way.
- Ambition is not a dirty word.
Debra L. Lee
- You have the power to change what people think when they hear the word 'confident' and 'woman' in the same sentence.
- Everything gets better when you realize you don’t have to be your own worst enemy.
- We have to understand that sometimes we are the ones holding ourselves back.
- Young women should be mentors, sisters and friends. It’s my network that carried me throughout my career.
- My mother was a rebel and told me that I could do anything even when that wasn't really feasible for women.
- The first thing women need to do is to stand up. You have to stop and ask yourself, why wouldn’t it be me?
- The best part of my job is being able to meet tons of incredible women involved in all different industries that have such different stories.
- As a mom, I’m not just trying to make the world a better place for my daughter, I’m trying to make it a place for everyone’s daughter.
- We women are arbiters, messengers, agenda setters. We pick the stories to tell.
- On presenter Tony Goldwyn: "Tony is one of my favorite kinds of feminists — a man.”
- My biggest piece of advice is to really just love what you do. It won’t feel like work. It just becomes a part of who you are.
- Work is never a four letter word.
- Companies with a high percentage of women on the board outperform those with a lower percentage. Hiring women is just good business.
- We need to bring back the lost female and minority contributors of STEM and tech.
- What we show in the media, whether news or TV, really need to start reflecting a better representation of women in today’s world.
- Help me to include us techies. Encourage people to join us. On behalf of all the girls in the world.
Photos © Maryanne Russell. More photos here.