Gretchen Carlson, the television journalist and author whose fight against workplace sexual harassment helped spark a national discussion about female empowerment and activism, spoke of her journey and her hopes for the future on Wednesday, March 21, at Loyola Marymount University.
As the featured guest for the Alliance of Women Philanthropists’ Inaugural Speaker Series, Carlson joined a question-and-answer session with Robbin Crabtree, Ph.D., dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. LMU First Lady Carol Costello, honorary chair of the alliance, introduced Carlson at the event that attracted students, faculty and staff members, and civic leaders, including First Lady of Los Angeles Amy Wakeland.
“Thank you for sharing your story with us, because your story, like so many others, is one of growth, truth, healing, transformation and empowerment. And LMU takes that very seriously,” Costello told Carlson and those gathered in the Life Sciences Building auditorium.
“I never ever, ever expected to be the face of sexual harassment … but here I am,” said Carlson, who shares her experiences and those of other women who have reached out to her in the book, “Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back.”
“I wake up every morning with this bracelet on my wrist that says, ‘Be Fierce.’ And there are some mornings that I wake up and I don’t really feel like it,” she added. “But I wear this for a reason so that I remind myself that, I have this sense of duty to keep this movement going in the right direction.”
Carlson, who hosted “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” and “Fox & Friends” on Fox News, and was a co-host of “The Saturday Early Show” on CBS News, brought sexual harassment in the workplace to greater consciousness in 2016. She filed a lawsuit that year against Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, prompting other women to step forward with similar accusations against Ailes, who resigned from the network.
Carlson was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people for 2017.
LMU’s Alliance of Women Philanthropists – a community of donors, leaders and decision-makers helping to shape the future of the university – sponsored the event with the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts and Student Affairs, in partnership with the Associated Students of Loyola Marymount University and the LMU Marians women’s service organization.
The Speaker Series will be held each year during March, which is Women’s Herstory Month.