Amy Burton

February, 2024

Blog, Gracies Leadership Award

Marine Saint’s Experience at the 2023 Gracies Leadership Award

Attending this year’s Alliance for Women in Media Gracies Leadership Awards was a truly unique opportunity to learn from the trailblazing women in the media industry. I felt I was able to create a new network which fosters development and guidance in this field. Hearing the wisdom and journeys of the honorees was especially inspiring and motivated me and my fellow Google News Initiative student fellows to follow in the footsteps of the women at the event.

It was a palpably empowering atmosphere, emphasizing the importance of a strong team to achieve your goals and the power of having people to guide you in your career path. I was struck by the words of honoree Rashida Jones, President of MSNBC, who reflected that while there are still more ceilings to be broken in this industry for women and diversifying representation, it is a goal we can achieve if we support one another. Jones told us how ‘Being first is an honor- but no one ascends alone.’ These words reminded me that such celebrations of women and the AWM’s work nurturing the progression of women in media are so crucial to continuing to break barriers in the industry. I felt thoroughly inspired and motivated to take this advice back to my own community and that there was hope for the future of women in the field of journalism. I was exposed to a wealth of career opportunities where leadership as a woman was not only possible but heartily encouraged and left with the sentiment of such great admiration for all the tireless work of the honorees to diversify, innovate, and mentor women in their workplace.

‘Courage is the root of change.’ These words from Kay Olin, winner of the Legacy Leadership Award, was one of the key messages which most resonated with me over the course of the event. As attendees and part of the welcoming and uplifting community provided by the AWM, we were reminded that we should not be afraid to be bosses of our industry and that we, as women in media, have a duty to support and guide the development of future leaders. I am very grateful to have received the GNI Fellowship to attend the Gracies Leadership Awards and know that the lessons I learnt from the inspiring honorees will stay with me throughout my future endeavors in journalism.

Marine Saint is a recipient of the 2023 Google News Initiative Student Fellowship. She is a Journalism student at Columbia University, and we look forward to seeing how she continues to shape the world of media in the future.