“…every single one of us can do something: it’s in the hallways of your workplace, it’s speaking up for someone who has had the courage to speak up for herself, it’s examining how judgment of your colleagues might be driven by bias. It’s taking a moment to understand, to be intentional, to figure out where each person is coming from, to understand the value of this person and her perspective. And, you don’t know how what you do will influence others.”
Ellen Gibson McGinnis ’82, Partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP; Inaugural Chair, YaleWomen
Read the full remarks of our inaugural chair here, and also view the:
- The YaleWomen Award for Excellence: Purpose and Criteria
- Event Program, including awardee biographies
- Panel discussion video
- Award ceremony video
- Resource List
- Photos from the evening
Award Recipient Citations
Anita F. Hill '80 JD
Brandeis University Professor of Law, Public Policy and Women’s Studies; Chair, Commission to Eliminate Sexual Harassment and Advance Equality in the Workplace
In 1991, you courageously spoke out against sexual harassment with the eyes of the world upon you. You had not asked to be the one to help us navigate the confused and uncharted waters and power dynamics swirling around issues of gender equity and women’s worth in the workplace, and at the intersection of race. With grace, poise and intelligence, you shifted the conversation, changing how we think, how we act, how we speak out. You became a role model to millions, helping them find their voices and the courage to share their truths. Despite undeniable progress, in many ways, the waters remain uncharted and continue to swirl. Yet, you continue to rise to the occasion, demonstrating effective courses of action and leading the effort to achieve equity. You have indeed changed the world, by forcing all of us to listen to the groundswell of women’s voices, and your own, as we work toward gender equity. We thank you for helping us to realize the change that we all want to see.
Anita Hill, it is with great appreciation that we honor you with the YaleWomen Lifetime Achievement Award.
Catherine E. Lhamon '96 JD
Legal Affairs Secretary to California Governor Gavin Newsom; Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
In November 2015, you closed the Gruber Distinguished Lecture in Women’s Rights at Yale Law School with a promise to continue championing civil rights and social justice. You said, “We are carrying our civil rights mantle forward knowing that we need commitment to eternal vigilance, belief that we can do better, and an insistence on better.” Your belief in the promise and the imperative of equality has grounded and guided your life and your career in the private and public sectors. And it propels us in our work toward gender equity. Your commitment to advancing the causes of women is steadfast and inspires us. Your promise is now our promise. Thank you for continuing the legacy of those who came before you and helping to chart a course for others to follow behind you.
Catherine Lhamon, it is with great appreciation that we honor you with the YaleWomen Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ann Olivarius '77, '86 MBA, '86 JD
Chair of McAllister Olivarius; Senior Partner of AO Advocates
As an undergraduate student, you argued that the law needed to establish a minimum standard of institutional behavior to deal with sexual harassment complaints. But, as you wrote in the Yale Daily News last fall, “…laws are only the beginning. It is when the law comes off the page and is internalized in codes of behavior and social norms that it truly counts.” From your undergraduate years until today, you have served as the forerunner in the effort to achieve equity for women. Your work is at the intersection of the courts and culture. It prepared the ground for changing the calculus of the structural power dynamic of society. You have been a force to be reckoned with in exposing and calling for the dismantling of systems that contribute to inequity. Women around the world in the struggle for equity stand on your shoulders. We thank you for your vision, resolve, unwavering commitment and leadership.
Ann Olivarius, it is with great appreciation that we honor you with the YaleWomen Lifetime Achievement Award.
Araceli Campos '99
Chair, Los Angeles County Women & Girls Initiative; Executive Director, Miguel Contreras Foundation
There are more than 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. More than half are women and girls. By focusing on the systemic issues that lead to inequitable gender outcomes and, equally important, applying a gender lens, you have achieved transformative outcomes. You are a catalyst for sustainable gender equity initiatives that improve the opportunities for and the lives of Los Angelinos. Your advocacy dates back to when you were an undergraduate and insisted on educational programs that advance the causes of women and girls. Working in government and social profit sectors, your ongoing commitment to women’s needs and issues informs the conversation, bolsters support for programming and serves a source of hope for constituents in a metropolitan area which is largely a community of color and that is greater in population than many states. Your results-oriented activism continuously changes lives.
Araceli Campos, it is with great appreciation that we honor you with the YaleWomen Impact Award.
C’Ardiss Gardner Gleser '08
Program Officer, Satterberg Foundation; Andrus Family Fund
Philanthropy is often defined as venture capital for social change. The work to which you have dedicated yourself in your personal and professional life, as well as a Yale volunteer, embodies this definition. Your commitment to effect sustainable social impact and social justice for underrepresented and marginalized communities is one of your core life values. Your dedication to the work is unparalleled. You work tirelessly, generally without accolades, and occupy a space that typically does not include women of color. You serve as the advocate for those whose voices are often not heard. And, you are effective. Despite challenges, you have shepherded discussions and insisted on programming around gender equity, changing the norms of our society. In so doing, you have become a role model for little girls everywhere who can now say, because she does, I can.
C’Ardiss Gardner Gleser – CC – it is with great appreciation that we honor you with the YaleWomen Impact Award.
President, Heroica Films; Executive Director, Equal Means Equal
In 2013, at the YaleWomen Global Conference – our inaugural conference – you joined with other Yale women alums, including Joanne Lipman, in a conversation “Having our Say: Women at the Table.” You have seized media as a tool to effect social change on behalf of women and girls, through your mission to write, direct and produce media for women, about women and utilizing women both in front and behind the camera as well as through your films, including Equal Means Equal. Your passion for equal rights spurred you to create the ERA Education Project, and you continue to fight to make the Equal Rights Amendment a reality. Your work has also helped to guide society’s embrace of legislation, policy and programming intended to eliminate gender inequity. As a champion for women, you are helping society to make strides towards fairness and opportunity for all.
Kamala Lopez, it is with great appreciation that we honor you with the YaleWomen Impact Award.
Rebecca Reichmann Tavares '78
Interim Coordinator, UN's Every Woman Every Child Initiative
A life-long advocate for economic, gender and racial equity, and social justice, you have dedicated your life to the plight of women around the world, notably in areas where women’s rights and issues are not primary concerns and where women have very little voice. As an educator, practitioner, philanthropist and United Nations diplomat, you have worked to effect gender equity and women’s empowerment in partnerships at the intersection of government, civil society, and the corporate sector. Your writings and professional pursuits have helped to reframe social norms, highlighting the challenges facing women and opportunities available to us. You continue to use your influence to break down barriers, increase opportunities and build the confidence and self-esteem of women in countries across the globe.
Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, it is with great appreciation that we honor you with the YaleWomen Impact Award.
Vera Wells '71
Retired Executive of National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
In February 2011, women alums of Yale College and the Graduate & Professional Schools met in New York City in the first strategic planning session that would launch YaleWomen. A photo of the group is memorialized in YaleWomen’s Strategic Plan, with your face front and center. During the past eight years, you have continued to shape the growth of this community as we work toward our vision to Connect Women, Ignite Ideas, Transform the World. In a 2009 feature in the Yale Alumni magazine, you noted that coming to Yale in 1969 as a member of the Class of 1971 – the first class of women to graduate from Yale College – “Yale opened up a whole new framework of possibilities for what I might be able to do with my life.” We are the beneficiaries of many of those possibilities. You share openly and frequently the lessons you have learned, wisdom you have acquired and insights which guide you, making us better and stronger in the various spaces, both personal and professional, that we as Yale women occupy. And you always remind us to be mindful of our own wellbeing as we strive to change the world. For many in our community, you are the wind beneath our wings.
Vera Wells, it is with great appreciation that we honor you with the YaleWomen Impact Award.
Thank you to everyone who attended the YaleWomen Award for Excellence panel and awards on March 7, 2019. And thank you to the Yale Alumni Association and for the generous support of our Platinum Sponsor, Haynes and Boone LLP, Silver Sponsor, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and Blue Sponsor, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP.