Lena Dunham and Gloria Steinem

Today I attended my 10th consecutive Matrix Awards. Every year since 1970, NYWICI (New York Women in Communications) has awarded outstanding women in communications the prestigious Matix Awards. The long list of past winners reads like a who’s who of exceptional women.

Although I am not a “woman in communications” I love attending because I always hear the most fantastic stories of ambition and support and generosity and achievement. Plus, I get to laugh a lot.

2016’s were no exception.

I have had the pleasure of being in Gloria Steinem’s audience several times over the years and her intellect, charisma, and command of the room always rivets me. Today was no exception. She presented Lena Dunham with a Matrix Award and the two of them came across like birds of a feather. It’s mind-boggling that Lena Dunham is only 29 and is wrapping up “Girls” soon. I adore “Girls” and find it to be the most truthful and profound writing around. I agree with the New York Times that the show is seminal and underappreciated. Plus, I get to laugh a lot.

Seeing Gloria and Lena share the stage was a lot of fun! Some of the things I learned from them?

Failure is Good. Or, as Ms. Steinem put it, “F*cking Up” is good. “Failure” is a buzz word this year in all sorts of circles and I am pleased that instead of lily-coating it and calling it “experience,” we are calling it failure and embracing its lessons. It’s best to hear it straight from her!

You don’t have to be perfect to be great. Another amazing statement. Too many of us try to be perfect, often at the expense of many other essential things, including personal relationships. Meanwhile, it’s all for naught because there is no standard for perfection.

Mentoring is essential. For many people, it may be the only training they receive once employed. Mentoring outside of your comfort zone is important, too. It promotes diversity and erodes bias.

Every day is a battle for our rights. Speaking out is essential. It’s important to remember that every day there is a battle is going on to preserve rights that should be intact but are under attack.

We’re all linked – not ranked. We make a chain. Not a ladder. So, compete less and help each other more. Hear Lena say it herself.

As always, the awards were fun, illuminating, and inspirational.  Can’t wait until next year!


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