It is refreshing to write a Year in Review where we’ve had the opportunity to get together in-person for nearly every AWM-hosted event in 2022 for the first time in three years. Who would have ever dreamed it would take this long to consistently connect again? In March of 2020, many of us thought we needed to stay at home for a few weeks – three years later, we’re back-ish.
While we still must take precautions and there’s a hint of uncertainty, there is also a willingness to gather at the risk of staying isolated any longer. 2022 was unpredictable and created inherent hesitancies after a two-year separation.
This was a year where COVID vaccines became widely available, where we learned more about “supply chain” than ever thought possible, where we paid attention to gasoline prices and felt the pain of grocery bills. All the while, there were enjoyable and even epic moments like seeing the world come together for the World Cup, unite behind causes like women’s rights in countries where they are suppressed and find reasons for hopefulness such as recent protections secured for equality in marriage.
As we say every year, through it all, media was there, on the frontlines, to tell the stories. You were there when others couldn’t be so our communities could see and hear first-hand accounts of life in their backyards and around the world.
Brave journalists were the feature of this acknowledgement at the Gracie Awards Gala this year, which focused on war correspondents — throughout history and this year on the frontlines in Ukraine and elsewhere.
At the end of every year, I reflect on the bravery of the women signing AWM into existence more than 70 years ago and then creating an awards program 50 years ago to celebrate the programming and individual talent created by, for and about women. This year, we continued that tradition through gatherings at the NAB Show, our Gracie Awards, the first Gracies Leadership Awards in three years and the second AWM Connects where those newer to the industry are connected to executives.
As we move forward, our leadership is focused squarely on a phrase that encapsulates who we are – advancing women in media. This will continue through our existing programs and scholarships as well as additional opportunities added following the recent Strategic Planning session. This is only possible through the engagement of our media community. You can make this possible through a donation (Venmo @AWM-Foundation), join AWM and enter outstanding content and programming for the Gracie Awards.
On a personal level, it was so good to be back “in-person” across the board. I thrive being around people and get energy from events and experiences. Our kids started high school and middle school in an actual building, which was so refreshing (of course, with its own set of “special” at those ages.) And as so many who read this note can appreciate, balancing work-life with family and work is fulfilling and exhausting. I’m a better mom and steward to AWM with organized chaos.
I’m finishing 2022 cautiously hopeful for next year. We know things can change on a dime and value the connections and work of our industry and know there is more we can do together.
As we say at the close of our events
Good night Gracie!
(Proudly) President, AWM & Foundation