The Uncertainty Caused by the Supreme Court’s EPA Ruling on American Businesses

Through their rulings, the conservative-leaning Supreme Court indicates how the court views the relationship between the three branches of government. It also reveals where they believe the decision should lie on establishing new precedent – examining what should be a state versus federal issue and what should be a congressional versus constitutional issue.
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Where Americans Stand on Gun Control

Gun control policies have been a longstanding debate among Americans throughout our history. It remains one of the most difficult and controversial political issues in modern times.

We know the statistics all too well. Mass shootings have been on the rise in recent years, but has public opinion changed due to the increase, and what impact does it have on federal or state policies?

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Small Businesses Keep our Economy Strong

Small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 31.7 million U.S. small businesses which make up over 99% of all businesses. Approximately 90% have fewer than 20 employees and 80% percent have fewer than 10 employees. Read more

Recognizing Women Journalists in the Nation’s Capital

The annual Washington Women in Journalism Awards, hosted jointly by Washingtonian and Story Partners, honors the outstanding women journalists here in our nation’s capital.

This year, we are thrilled to honor four of Washington’s top female political reporters.

Day-in and day-out, Martha, Kaitlan, Kathleen and Ayesha have demonstrated reporting at its finest during some of the toughest years we have faced as a nation – from navigating reporting during a global pandemic to covering a new Administration and its legislative goals during a hyper-partisan state. This year’s honorees have proven they can report the news at their best, adapting to the latest reporting challenge while under immense pressure.

At a time when our nation faces new challenges, including the war in Ukraine and rising inflation while COVID-19 cases are on the rise again, journalists continue to bring Americans the facts and information that households and businesses rely on. It’s important today, more than ever, that we do everything we can to support a robust media industry as year after year, we continue to see news organizations, especially on the local level, shrink or close completely. In fact, over a quarter of all U.S. newspapers –2,100 news outlets – have closed their doors over the past 15 years.

One of the reasons that I founded the Washington Women in Journalism Awards was to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women in the media industry in a traditionally male-dominated industry. I believe it’s critically important to empower and support women journalists because diversity in media is key to its success. Women, especially women from different backgrounds, each bring a unique perspective to their reporting, which is invaluable to the success of our nation and democracy. I look forward to joining with my co-host Cathy Merrill and our guests as we celebrate these remarkable women journalists and their contributions to society.

Cathy Merrill, CEO of Washingtonian, added, “As the owner of one of the very few women-owned media companies in the country, I personally like seeing women succeed in a field that was largely dominated by men for so very long.  Thus, Washingtonian is proud to once again honor four exceptional women journalists who are making a difference in our community by contributing significantly to our understanding of current events and the life around us. These four women especially bring smarts, talent, depth and heart. Congratulations to all four of them.”

In anticipation of the event this week, Story Partners asked the honorees for their thoughts on the unique perspective that women journalists provide and why it is important to help promote and support women in journalism. Here are their responses:

Kaitlan Collins, CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent, said, “I think it is absolutely critical to have women in newsrooms, briefing rooms, press gaggles and in journalism period. In my five years covering the White House, I’ve seen the front row of the White House briefing room go from predominantly male to predominantly female. Changes like that happen when women support and empower other women. And we should all want women in the front row asking the tough questions.”

Kathleen Parker, Columnist for The Washington Post, said, “Saying that women bring a unique perspective to news coverage and commentary is like saying that men can be useful in the kitchen. Many of the best chefs in the world are men — and the rest goes without saying.”

Martha Raddatz, ABC News’ Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, said, “We embrace who we are and the unique perspective we can provide for our readers, viewers and listeners. And we know the importance and joy in supporting those female colleagues who are by our sides and coming up in the next generation.”

Ayesha Rascoe, Host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday and Up Firstsaid, “No newsroom can be really reflective of the society at large, if it leaves out half of the population. It makes no sense ignore half your audience. So, promoting women is not just a moral imperative, it’s a business imperative. Newsrooms that reflect a broad swathe of society provide deeper and richer coverage of the world around us, and we are all better for it.”

A Special Thank You to the Sponsors of the Washington Women in Journalism Awards

National Retail FederationAmerican Beverage AssociationACLIAlibaba GroupJohnson & JohnsonNational Association of ManufacturersPhRMASouthern CompanyToyota and U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Empowering the Next Generation of Women in Business

I’ve spent my career working to mentor and prepare the next generation of women leaders. It’s a cause that is very personal because as I started my career, there were few seats at the table for women.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, I reflect on the importance that Title IX had on our women leaders today. In fact, I believe it is a key tool that helped shape the leadership skills of today’s young women. At first blush, Title IX might just be viewed as a “gender equity law,” but it is much more. Title IX opened doors and removed barriers for girls and women by creating opportunities for female participation in sports. Through sports, girls built confidence and were taught important skills that last a lifetime, such as leadership and teamwork.

After Title IX was in effect for several years, I began to see a new generation of female employees who understood how to function as a team, work together to achieve an objective and support other team members instead of competing against them. I saw young women entering the workforce who cheered for others’ successes and encouraged each other to achieve – a far different environment than the days when women were all competing for the one and only “women’s seat at the table.” The teamwork learned on the soccer and softball fields, the basketball court or the racetrack carried over to the boardroom and created more collegial colleagues who were supportive of one another. Title IX helped girls learn that “teamwork makes the dreamwork.”

While there are more opportunities today, there are still important disparities to overcome – not the least of which are pay equity and balanced C-Suite and Board of Directors representation. That is why it’s important for women in leadership positions to give back and help others navigate their own path to success.

One of the best pieces of advice that I got at the start of my career as a secretary on Capitol Hill was from a friend’s father who told me, “Whatever job you might have, do it better than anyone has ever done before. Always put your hand up and offer to do more, come in early, stay late and always ask what more you can contribute.” That important advice changed my perspective and led me to understand the importance of hard work, regardless of the job. I always tell other women – there is no shortcut to a successful career. You must put in the hard work if you want to succeed. You should always try to be the best person who has ever done that job.

I reached out to several successful women leaders to share one piece of advice they share with other women on how to navigate the professional field as a woman. Here is their advice:

Christie Hefner, Chairman of Hatchbeauty LLC and President of the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation:

“Develop the skill and confidence to negotiate as you don’t necessarily get in life what you deserve. You get what you can negotiate for.”

Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of the American Beverage Association:

“Take big risks and set clear boundaries. Women often play it safe because we’re pulled in so many directions. When I see my smart, capable female colleagues struggling with a big professional decision – whether accepting a new job or taking on an important assignment, I urge them to set the boundaries that will enable them to say yes and be successful across the board. No email or calls during the dinner hours? Need to work remotely more often? No more than three consecutive nights on the road? Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to ask for the boundaries that will make you – and the organization – effective and allow you to take on new opportunities. After all, women will always find the way to get the job done!”

Leslie Sarasin, President and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute:

“The first best advice I ever received came from my mother when I was a teenager. She reminded me, ‘You always have to act nice because you just never know where life will take you.’ As simple as it sounds, it has proven to be even more true in my adult life, especially in a city like Washington, D.C., where today’s antagonists so frequently become tomorrow’s allies.

More recently, when I faced a decision that would determine not just where my professional aspirations would take me, but who I was destined to be, a mentor asked me, ‘Leslie, are you running to something or away from it?’ My mentor pushed me to dig deep inside myself at an age when family obligations and maintaining friendships were all feeling more like barriers to my career aspirations than opportunities that would help direct my trajectory. Now, in my second CEO role in an association, I’m confident in the choices I made that allowed me to prepare for an association leadership role, and I try to always find time to serve as a mentor to those who seek my counsel. I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend with them and continue to learn more about myself through my mentor-mentee relationships with young professionals. I hope to encourage them to experience these same revealing moments about themselves.”

Debra Cabral, President, Story Partners:

“Today, the world is far more open to women in leadership roles than at any time in history so women should not be afraid to compete at the highest levels if that is what they want. What has not changed is what it will take to succeed: the commitment to education and training, hard work, patience, perseverance, and the dedication to continued growth to meet the changing demands of the workplace.”