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Pat Mitchell

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Pat Mitchell is the president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio) in New York and Los Angeles and the International Media Center. Mitchell came to the Paley Center from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), where she was the first woman and first producer and journalist to hold the position of President and CEO. Previous to PBS, Mitchell achieved success both in front of and behind the camera as a reporter, news anchor, talk how host, White House correspondent, and documentary producer. She was a special contributor to NBC’s Today and CBS’s Sunday Morning.

We want to understand how each of us walks out of here not doing it alone, but it doing it collectively.

How do we get women lined up with each other?

We’ve heard from a lot of young women, and I hear from a lot of young women who come in and out of my life, there is still this huge disconnect between women and power inside our own minds, and bodies and hearts. We have a disconnect of head and heart on this issue.

What connects them to seeing power as a positive thing?

All of us here are seeking somewhere, somehow to tap into the power to change the reality of either our own lives or the lives of women around us. So let’s agree that there’s a good power. So using that power to change a bad reality.

Part of the reason that women aren’t in that group, and a lot of other groups, where decisions are being made today is that we will still move away from power.

There’s nothing that feels better than tapping into the power that each of us has to make a difference. If you ever feel it, and you see a life changed or someone’s situation improve or your community better, that’s a power you want to feel again….We do have the power. And we just change the nature of it by going out together and making a world a better place.

And where the decisions are made, they are made by a patriarchal set of values, and unfortunately those are values that fail to recognize a couple of essential things, and I think these are things we need to repeat...If you change girls’ lives, you do change the country, you change the community, the family first, then you change the state, as Jane did, then you give a model for other states and other countries. But this is evidence – this is fact-based evidence. Nobody needs to debate this – go to the world, go to Harvard University, go wherever you want, you can find research. If you change a girl’s life you change the future of our country.

If we are going to change girls’ life, then give her a right to resist violence, give her a right to safety, to security, to finding her own voice, to education, to real education.

But now we can’t have girls running these countries without shared power, because it’s not sustainable, so how do we teach boys that message...Empowering girls and keeping boys connected to their head and their heart.

You have a voice as a consumer of the media. Never forget that...It’s not right that a woman’s network does stories about girls behaving badly. It’s not right that CNN does endless stories about Paris Hilton when there are people dying. It’s not right...We have the power.

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