Amy Burton

November, 2022

Blog, Gracies Leadership Award

Megan Hatlee’s Experience at the 2022 Gracies Leadership Awards

Being chosen as a 2022 Mattel Fellowship recipient at the Gracies Leadership Awards was an experience I will never forget as I continue to develop my career as a media professional. Throughout the afternoon, I was able to absorb wisdom from leading women in the media industry, including Soledad O’Brien, Nancy Daniels, Debra OConnell, and Wendy Goldberg. Every honoree had a unique and inspiring story to tell. One of the most important lessons I learned from these women and their stories is that adversity is common and can be defeated, and challenges can be overcome through the power of unity and the support of one another. I left the Gracies Leadership Awards with an overwhelming feeling that I can find success in any field of work that I may decide to pursue in the future. This is largely due to the fact that I stand on the shoulders of women before me who have helped pave the way and who have broken glass ceilings in order to open doors for those following in their footsteps.

I also had the opportunity to network with individuals from a variety of media companies on a multitude of platforms. I spoke with men and women who have spent decades in the broadcast radio industry and shared their experience of having lived through the evolution of radio and seeing first-hand the changes that have occurred through time. Some others in attendance had just started their careers in the industry, getting their feet wet in television or advertising. We shared our common goals for the future and issues currently at hand in the media industry. There was a wealth of information to be learned from every individual in attendance, be it an honoree, an AWM board member, or a fellow student being sponsored by Mattel or the Google News Initiative.

I am beyond grateful that I had the opportunity to share this experience with other women studying journalism and media from across the country. We fostered friendships, shared life stories, and discussed our passions about the future of the media industry. Being able to spend the afternoon with ambitious, like-minded women was an invaluable experience. Knowing that I am entering the media industry with so many courageous and driven women by my side is both comforting and empowering. I would like to extend my gratitude to Mattel for making this fellowship possible and to the Alliance for Women in Media for hosting the celebratory Gracies Leadership Awards ceremony where women in the media industry can be recognized for their outstanding efforts and groundbreaking contributions to society.

Megan Hatlee is a recipient of the 2022 Mattel Student Fellowship. She is currently a student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and we look forward to seeing how she continues to shape the world of media in the future.