Catherine Combs

December, 2018


The Year in Review

By Becky Brooks, Executive Director

What a year it’s been. 2018 has been filled with glimmers of hope even as we see tragedy and hardship. Communities came together to provide aid to those in need and strangers wept for people they’ve never met. Women, men and children marched for change, and we gathered to watch a royal wedding, midterm elections and a beloved president’s funeral.

Through it all, the media was there – talking, listening and documenting. Despite a turbulent year for journalists, your hard-working teams kept us up-to-date every step of the way and delivered these stories directly to watching eyes and listening ears where people wanted it at that moment. For this reason, we thank you for your perseverance and dedication. AWM owns the responsibility to recognize, honor and distribute the content that you, the drivers and supporters of content, are creating.

For more than 60 years, the Alliance for Women in Media has been supporting and celebrating the contributions of women through connections, education and storytelling. Born out of the National Association of Broadcasters, AWM (originally the American Women in Radio and Television) was created by a group of women who understood the need to connect within a male-dominated media world, so they could positively impact the future for other women in the profession. History is full of stories like these—stories of women who had the courage to step up, speak out and their actions have a lasting impact.

The current leadership of AWM should be so proud of what has been built on that foundation. I have had the privilege of serving AWM for nearly four years now and our collective goal, to further why we were founded, has been to focus – focus on recognition, connection and build the future of women in media.

Focus is critical as growth can happen where energy is given. We have seen and experienced that in 2018 with record breaking Gracie entries followed by celebrating those winners at the Gala and Luncheon. Rebranding the Gracies Leadership Awards and honoring seven deserving women and learning from Pam Oliver about her rise to the top of women in sports broadcasting. Six deserving students received more than $20,000 in scholarships and ten more experienced the Gracies Leadership Awards first hand and will participate in a Lunch and Learn at CBS. You can read some of the content our future leaders have written on our site. The future looks bright!

While these efforts are impacting the future – we know there is still more opportunity – so we will continue to focus.

The AWM board of directors met recently for a strategic planning meeting and through much brainstorming and discussion, the board created a list of goals for new AWM initiatives which include more ways to engage AWM members. We want to push even more snackable, relevant content to members and the masses while adding opportunities for education in the future. We also want to gather executive women in one room across television, radio and interactive media – which is what AWM has the unique ability to do.

It is also important to continue shining a light on content creators at all stages of their careers and the Gracie Awards do just that.

We invite each of you to consider ways to engage with AWM and our Foundation to impact the future of women in media. The opportunity is available now to enter outstanding content to be honored at the 2019 Gracie Awards. Additionally, look for ways in early 2019 to volunteer on task forces implementing some of these new initiatives as well as judging Gracies in early 2019.

There is still much to be done including more seats at board room tables for women and our collective voices and effort will continue to bring positive change. AWM will fulfill our responsibility of recognizing, honoring and distributing even more content created by, for and about women.

With 2019 in sight, we can reflect on what we’ve learned this year, while looking forward to a fresh start. I hope we can all focus on growth in areas of our professional and personal lives. We have an opportunity to take action by mentoring, coaching, teaching and raising other people up, while finding and navigating our own paths forward.

Here’s to welcoming a New Year and wishing the world of media a healthy, happy and productive 2019!