Variety’s 4th Annual Power of Women

What is Power of Women?

Variety hosts a yearly exclusive event celebrating the Power of Women and their impact on philanthropic and charitable causes. The event honors a select group of women in entertainment who, through their efforts, have made a significant difference to their chosen causes.

400 invite-only guests made up of Hollywood insiders and A-list talent come to celebrate, support and pay tribute to the philanthropic efforts of these amazing women yearly.

What is the purpose of Power of Women?

Variety’s Philanthropy Bazaar provides an interactive area for guests to engage with the participating brand sponsors and the featured charities. The goal of Variety’s Power of Women is to inspire and encourage people from all walks of life to get involved, give back and make a difference.

4th Power of Women Award and Speakers

Variety’s 4th Annual Power of Women Event Presented by Lifetime was held at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 5, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

“I’m not afraid of none of y’all,”a resplendent Queen Latifah declared from the stage at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel as she was feted as part of the fourth annual Variety’s Power of Women luncheon.

Rapper/Actress/Producer Queen LatifahLike all of the speakers at the event, presented by Lifetime, Latifah emphasized the collective might that showbiz femmes wield in their professional and personal lives. And she, like others, urged the women in the audience to link arms to “support one another and lift one another up.”From the earliest days of her career as a rapper, Latifah said it always pained her to see “women tearing each other apart.” She credited the influence of her mother and grandmother as the role models that gave her confidence to achieve her goals, even those that seemed unattainable to a girl from a rough part of East Orange, N.J.

“I’ve never been intimidated,” she said. “We are that powerful. And we’re just the ones who happen to be on the stage.”

Latifah was honored for her work with the Lancelot H. Owens Scholarship Foundation, founded more than 15 years ago in memory of her brother, who died in a motorcycle accident at the age of 24. The other 2012 honorees — are Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Felicity Huffman and Warner Bros.

Queen Latifah holding her awardActress Halle Berry holding her awardJessica Biel(L-R) Warner Bros. President of Worldwide Marketing Sue Kroll, Actresses Queen Latifah, Felicity Huffman and Jessica Biel, Katherine Heigl

Sue Kroll — also connected with the crowd in telling personal stories of how they got involved with passion-project charitable orgs. Katherine Heigl was recognized with a separate kudo from the American Cancer Society for her work in raising awareness and funds for medical research.

(L-R) Warner Bros. President of Worldwide Marketing Sue Kroll, actresses Queen Latifah, Jessica Biel, Felicity Huffman, Katherine Heigl, and TV Personality Maria Menounos 

Jessica Biel spoke of being moved during her trips to Africa on behalf of Charity: Water, the non-profit org devoted to providing clean water in third-world countries. (Presenter Jennifer Garner hailed Biel’s dedication by asking the crowd:

“Anyone else who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for their organization, please raise your hand. I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface of what we can do to provide this basic human need,”Biel said.

Actress Jessical Biel and Jennifer GarnerJessica Biel

Heigl choked up as she recalled being 16 and learning that her mother was facing breast cancer. After enduring grueling treatments, Nancy Heigl beat back the disease and has since offered support and counsel to other women diagnosed with cancer. Heigl read an eloquent letter her mother wrote to a young femme talent agent dealing with breast cancer.

L-R) Warner Bros. President of Worldwide Marketing Sue Kroll , actresses Jessica Biel, and Katherine HeiglCancer charities are also the focus for Huffman, who was recognized for her work with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and its Stand Up 2 Cancer fundraising initiative. “Allowing me to be part of a solution gives me hope,” Huffman said, noting that her sister has faced breast cancer.

Katherine HeiglBerry spoke at length of turning the devastation of being arrested for a hit-and-run accident 12 years ago into what she vowed would be a lifelong commitment to work for the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence intervention program.

Through a series of mishaps, as Berry explained, she was arrested after a car accident and as part of her sentence served 300 hours of community service. She chose to do so at the Jenesse Center, and after her first exposure to the L.A.-based org, she told its exec director: “I will never leave this place.”

Actress Halle Berry speakingThe impact of working with women who are trying to rebuild their lives has been life-changing for Berry, who said that she herself had been exposed to domestic violence. It put the ordeal of her arrest in perspective.

“I realized why (the arrest) happened to me,” Berry said. “It was God’s way of saying, ‘You are not doing enough.’?”

Warner Bros. Pictures marketing chief Sue Kroll was recognized for her work with Film Independent. (She was intro’d by Ben Affleck, who dubbed Kroll “the Ethel to my Lucy.”)

Actor Ben Affleck introducing Sue Kroll

Actor Ben Affleck and Warner Bros. President of Worldwide Marketing Sue Kroll embraceFor an exec who works on blockbuster tentpoles, the exposure to emerging talent and smaller-scale films has been gratifying. She hailed the org’s commitment to foster diversity among future filmmakers through its development and outreach programs in communities where budding writers, helmers and actors have little access to filmmaking resources.

And working with a non-profit that is so devoted to promoting the filmmaking arts has taught her something about herself.

“My mission in life is to get people to see a wide variety of movies made by a stunning array of people from all walks of life,” she said.

Warner Bros. President of Worldwide Marketing Sue Kroll and actor Ben AffleckDreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider also urged showbiz femmes to commit to their charitable passions in her opening remarks. Snider, a Power of Women honoree in 2011, referenced her experience working with City Year, an org that helps keep at-risk students from dropping out of school.Snider noted that charitable activities are a good antidote to what she admitted was a “periodic tendency to self-absorption,” something she thought about last week during the Yom Kippur holiday.

She got a laugh from the room in confessing that the self-reflection process during the holiday allowed her mind to stray to such pressing concerns as “What is it with the crevices under my eyes?”

Prior to Snider’s remarks, host Maria Menounos also gave a pitch for showbiz femmes to link arms and “strengthen our community.”

She urged attendees to become “friends and allies and work together to improve the lives of others.”

Event host Maria Menounos speaking 

DreamWorks Co-Chairman CEO Stacey Snider

Other guests and attendees 

Terri Seymour

Stacy Keibler (L) and Maria Menounos

Tia Mowry-Hardict

Actress Paula Patton and Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah and Bailee Madison

Queen Latifah

Actress Paula Patton and Halle Berry

Actress Paula Patton

Actors Olivier Martinez and fiancee Halle Berry

Event host Maria Menounos speaking 

Lifetime’s Nina Lederman, actress Queen Latifah, and Lifetime’s Tanya Lopez

Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner, Justin Timberlake and Halle Berry

Event host Maria Menounos and actress Jessica Biel

Jennifer Garner and Jessica Biel

Jennifer Garner

Dania Ramirez

Maria Menounos and Halle Berry

For more information on Variety’s Power of Women and other events, visit Variety.

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3 thoughts on “Variety’s 4th Annual Power of Women

  1. This is a wonderful post. I’m new to your website but I do like what I see. I think associations and organizations that support and promote women empowerment need more recognition in our society. I’m glad you are highlighting them. Thank you.

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