Actor and activist Geena Davis (pictured) and former Mattel CEO Jill Barad will be honored at the Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment gala in February, where Davis will be receiving the Changemaker Award and Barad will take home the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The theme of the gala, taking place on February 19 in New York, is WIT Changemakers: Playing it Forward, where the focus will be on honoring female execs who are creating positive change and passing that on to future generations.
Davis is an Academy Award-winning actor, as well as the co-founder and chair of the Bentonville Film Festival. She is also the founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. (She spoke last year’s Kidscreen Summit on gender equality in children’s film and entertainment.)
During Barad’s two decades at Mattel (and three years spent as CEO in the late ’90s), she grew Barbie from a US$320-million business to a US$2-billion global brand.
At the WIT gala in 2016, Spin Master, Hasbro, Moose Toys and Walmart were all honored, with Mattel taking home the Game Changer Award for the evolution of the Barbie brand. Neither of the awards Davis and Barad are receiving were given out last year.