On April 24th, the annual New York Women in Communications Matrix Awards celebrated women in the communications field at the Waldorf-Astoria. Since 1970, many winners including Gloria Steinem, Toni Morrison, Meryl Streep, Bernadette Peters, Anna Wintour and others have been given the Matrix Awards.
This honor awards exceptional women involved in advertising, books, broadcasting, film, magazines, new media, newspapers and public relations.
This year, the organization honored Rukmini Callimachi, foreign correspondent for the New York Times, and Gretchen Carlson, a Romanian-American journalist and women’s empowerment advocate. They honored five other women, also distinguished journalists.
The organization supports its members and helps them navigate the communications industry by connecting them with other women in diverse fields. The networking crossover opportunities include, but are not limited to, women in print and digital media, broadcasting, marketing, advertising, video, and content creation.
Right now, women are actually dominating the communications field, making up about two-thirds of it. The Atlantic reports, “Women make up 63 percent of public relations “specialists,” according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and 59 percent of all PR managers.” Almost 60% of all advertising jobs are taken by women. Compared to the 47% of women in the workforce as a whole.
Journalism jobs on the other hand are, for the most part, split 50/50 between men and women. Sarahjane Sacchetti, who handles marketing for Secret pointed out that, “It’s all women out there,” she says, “and the two people running it are dudes. That’s the only thing that’s puzzled me and angered me for a long time.”
Most of the top executives are male. This is a common occurrence, regardless of whether the industry is majority men or women. Even though the 50/50 split looks like progress, the ones making the most money and calling the shots are still mostly men. NYWICI and others are working to change that.
The NYWICI also has a scholarship program and is the largest distributer of scholarships for communications of all the foundations in the US. Each year they give 15-20 scholarships to graduating high school seniors on the basis of academic excellence, need and a demonstrated commitment to the field of communications generally. The are awarded amounts of $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000.
This scholarship program positively affects the lives of many young women hoping to enter this field. It gives them the opportunity to insert themselves into this ever-growing women’s workforce with confidence.
The Matrix Award and the entire organization play a vital role in empowering women in the workplace. By embodying their motto, “Connect, Create, Communicate”, they honor distinguished and deserving recipients, giving power to women in media and communications and in turn to women everywhere.
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