2014 Honoree

Alicia Menendez

TV Commentator, host, and writer, Fusion Network

“I am constantly inspired by immigrants–-many of whom have taken tremendous risks in pursuit of a better life.”

Who inspires you the most?

I am constantly inspired by immigrants-—many of whom have taken tremendous risks in pursuit of a better life.

What do you now know about yourself that you wish you knew ten/fifteen/twenty years ago?

Ten years ago I wish I would have understood that you can’t force your moment.

Fifteen years ago I wish I’d focused less on selling myself and more on deciding whether or not I wanted to invest in others.

Twenty years ago I wish I knew that most of my future favorite people were also loathing their pre-teen years.

Fill in the blank: You can never have enough…

Patience. Also, sports bras.

What city best describes your personality?

NYC. Sometimes it’s just too much.

What gets you through even the toughest days and what are you most grateful for?

Red wine and low-fat cheese. Additionally, I’ve chosen friends and an almost-husband who make me laugh and make sure that I maintain perspective.

What socio-political women’s issue do you care about the most? Do you feel that women are typically presented fairly in the media? Why or why not?

I care about: education; equal pay; ending sexual assault; workplace flexibility; marriage equality; voter engagement; and representation in the media, C-suites, boardrooms, and the halls of Congress. But, I don’t think of those issues as “women’s issues.” I think of them as questions of equality and fairness.

The numbers show us that we have a long way to go when it comes to the way that women are portrayed in the media. Much of the progress we have had comes from having more women in newsrooms, writers’ rooms, behind and in front of the cameras, and empowering women to create their own content and tell their own stories. We need to continue to encourage women to do more of that.

What is your best read? Favorite character you would most like to be?

Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking. They should sell that book with a box of tissues.

What will it take for women to be viewed as equal to men?

There’s no one answer to this question, but structural reforms that address educational and workplace disparities are a great place to start.

What was your best decision to date? Worst decision?

My best decision has been marrying someone who is a true partner.

Social media has exploded. How can women use it to market themselves without seeming narcissistic?

Be authentic. Share cool, interesting stuff. Limit the selfies. If you’re not actually a narcissist, you don’t need to worry about “being” narcissistic, only “appearing” narcissistic and you’ll probably be accused of that anyway, so whatever.

Write a fortune you’d like for all women to receive in a fortune cookie.

You already know what you want.

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

Flying. Not because it would be awesome, just because I really hate driving.

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