It may not surprise you to hear in this “Me Too” era that the world of television news is not always kind to women. Already a cutthroat industry of fierce competition, disproportionate emphasis on appearance and grueling schedules, longevity is rare, especially if you happen to be female.
However, journalism is an industry that, now more than ever, needs women to tell their stories, to show their faces and to fight for their seat at the table. Which is why when I think of women I admire, Denver7 anchor Anne Trujillo is one of the first who comes to mind.
Yes, for more than 25 years, Anne has been the face of Denver’s ABC affiliate, winning more Emmys and awards than anyone can count for her exceptional journalism in Colorado. But it is what she does behind the scenes that also makes her a hero in my book.
More than a decade ago, I walked into the Denver7 newsroom, a terrified young reporter, worried that I wasn’t ready, carrying all of the racking self-doubt with which young women too readily saddle themselves. I had just finished one of my first reports, when Anne approached me. “You did a great job on that story,” she said with an encouraging smile. In that time when compliments from others had seemed few and far between, I felt an inexplicable flood of relief, gratitude and confidence. “The main anchor thinks I’m good enough. Maybe I am?”
Since then, Anne has been teaching me through her example every day: A truly strong woman uses her strength to support other women. I am fully aware that women such as Anne paved the way in this still typically male-dominated profession.
Over the years, Anne and I have sometimes been the only women in editorial meetings, and I have watched her fight for stories about women, champion diverse hires and raise awareness about equal treatment over and over again. She takes her responsibility as a “voice for the voiceless” seriously.
As so many women are expected to do, she juggles the personal and the professional in a way that makes me stop and stare, somehow managing to host Politics Unplugged and also host bridal showers (including mine) with the same level of grace and style. She was a working mother and is a working powerhouse, never resting on her laurels, but reaching on her way to bring others along with her.
So many people have asked me what Anne is like behind the scenes, and I think the answer is simple. She is as amazing and as strong as she seems. And she knows that women need women to make it.