In 2008, Katie Orenstein founded the Op Ed Project, a high-impact social venture dedicated to radically increasing women’s voices in media, Katie writes and speaks frequently about the intersection of fact and fiction in media and how that shapes our ideas about politics, culture and history. She is a frequent contributor to the op-ed pages of major papers and consults with the United Nations.
Innovating in Field of Work:
Alarmed by the lack of women published on the OpEd pages of the largest newspapers, Katie set out to build a movement to change the world’s conversation. She has done that through a variety of channels from one-on-one mentor/mentee pairings of veteran journalists with experts who want to publish, to day-long training programs that teach women from business, academia, and government how to make their ideas and voices heard.
• Under Orenstein’s leadership The OpEd Project has mobilized hundreds of top journalist volunteers and many thousands of women experts in all fields across the nation and the globe.
• Since The OpEd Project was founded in 2008, women’s representation in an index of top opinion forums has increased from 15% to 21% —a 40% increase for women.
• She received The Diana P Scott Integrity in Action Award, and a fellowship from Echoing Green, which selected The OpEd Project as one of the most innovative social enterprises.
• Katie is positive role model for younger women because she saw a problem and decided to change it AND she is dedicated to making THEIR voices heard in the world.
• Her programs employ powerful exercises that bring to life how hard it is for a room of accomplished, talented women to state proudly and powerfully that they are an expert and then she and her team teach you who to voice your worth. The experience is life changing.
• She was a finalist for the Prize of Promise, designed to identify women of great promise and vision who could become world leaders in their respective fields.
Reinvention / Momentum:
When Katie started the OpEd Project she was focused primarily on getting more women to publish OpEd’s however, her mission has expanded to other media platforms. She is constantly testing new models and tapping new markets of wisdom, including female academics and leaders in corporations.
“The lack of women’s voices in public discourse has affected the quality of our nation’s conversation, the way research is conducted, how stories are reported, and how history plays out – and indeed, what we think history is. As it turns out, the most crucial factor in determining history is more often not the distinction between what is fact and what is fiction, but who tells the story.”