ABC News Appoints MaryAlice Parks ’04 as White House Correspondent
ABC News made history 47 years ago when it assigned the first woman, Ann Compton, to cover the White House for a TV network. This year ABC made history again when the news division named an all-female line-up of White House correspondents, including Annie Wright’s MaryAlice Parks ’04. The move showcased a commitment across the company to elevate new voices and shake the status quo.
“I am proud of ways I have personally fought for greater gender parity and diversity of all forms in my newsroom too – through mentorship, hiring and advocacy,” MaryAlice shares. “It has not always been easy. News and television are still today industries largely led by men. As a young reporter and new manager, I was surprised how often I found myself one of only a few women in decision-making rooms. And yes, I continue to struggle from time to time with sly or condescending comments from male colleagues as is too often still the case for many in corporate life today.
But I am grateful to work alongside powerful and brilliant colleagues who support one another and constantly look for ways to improve our story-telling and advance our journalism. When the network announced my new role, I thanked all of the women (and a lot of men) at ABC who have become like my family to me and for years told me to pull up a chair, speak up, and make my opinions heard.
Sound familiar? I give credit and thanksgiving daily too to the all-girls education I received at Annie Wright and those who continue to see the need for all-girls education today. My years at Annie Wright helped make me the fighter that I am; helped me learn to love myself and my neighbors in a way that anchors me; and helped me develop my voice and find the best way to use it.”
An edited version of this article was included in the winter 2020-spring 2021 issue of Strength.