A note from Samantha Barry, Glamour editor in chief: At the very first Women of the Year Awards, in 1990, Glamour’s legendary editor in chief Ruth Whitney took to the stage at the Rainbow Room in New York and saluted the women who lit up the year. The “doers,” as she called them, the “darers,” and the “defiers.” Women who, as that year’s special Women of the Year print issue also declared, “took charge, spoke out, risked their lives, made a difference.”
Those very sentiments have formed the beating heart of Glamour’s annual celebration ever since. But Women of the Year is so much more than just one spectacular night each year. The awards have become a living, breathing history—mapping out the evolution of women’s power. Which is why, as we approached our 30th anniversary, I wanted to take this moment in our heavily digital, often fleeting world to create a permanent testament to our honorees, with our brand-new women’s empowerment book Glamour: 30 Years of Women Who Have Reshaped the World.
I am forever blown away by our honorees’ achievements in the years that we recognized them, and also by their legacies beyond—including the incredible Shonda Rhimes, whom we honored in 2007, and who with her roster of shows (under her production company Shondaland) is one of the most influential and important storytellers and producers in Hollywood history. In an exclusive excerpt from Glamour’s new book, the producer of Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, and Bridgerton shares her lessons on how to be a leader. I dare you not to be inspired.
It took a long time for me to feel successful. I felt unsteady and unsure, like everything could end at any moment, for years—I think until, maybe, season 10 of Grey’s Anatomy. I wouldn’t call this feeling impostor syndrome, because impostor syndrome is feeling like you don’t belong or deserve to be there. I didn’t feel that way. But people who sit back and go, “I’ve made it,” have always made me nervous. To me, a healthy sense of fear and nerves make sense.
The first time I felt truly comfortable, I was being inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame, in 2017. For me, success is more about realizing that the race can stop being run, that I could stop worrying that if I slowed down somebody would think my career hadn’t worked out or I haven’t done a good job.