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Elle Magazine, Chief celebrate women in leadership in DC

Jahns Chave
Sara Austin, Vinoda Basnayake, Carolyn Childers.

Elle Magazine and Chief, a private membership network for women in leadership, kicked off White House Correspondents’ Dinner weekend in Washington, D.C., with a special event honoring women on Friday night.

The Friday event at Ciel Social Club near Capitol Hill was attended by lawmakers, Biden Administration staff and journalists from a variety of D.C.-based publications.

“We’ve filled a room with incredible, powerhouse women and a few good men to celebrate the long awaited return for White House Correspondents Dinner weekend festivities. Chief and Elle Magazine have a shared mission, which is to support women and to celebrate women, all women, from all backgrounds as they innovate in their fields, as they pave the path for future generations,” Elle Magazine’s executive editor Sara Austin said during remarks at the sundowner event.

Proof of vaccination was required to attend the event and guests mostly remained maskless throughout the evening.

“It is so inspiring to be surrounded by such amazing women that are leading governments, newsrooms and companies. Chief was founded in 2019 with the mission of driving more women in positions of leadership and keeping them there. Women have always been powerful, but we really want to amplify that power and really create a ripple effect in companies and organizations to drive even more women into positions of leadership and power,” Carolyn Childers, co-founder & CEO of Chief added.

The attendees mingled at an outdoor deck overlooking the Capitol and exchanged stories of their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is so nice to be out socializing and talking to people again. I work for a female-founded, female-led company with a female majority board and so, my team and I advocate for women’s empowerment and digital safety online. I very much appreciate mingling with and talking to other female leaders in the D.C. area,” Vice President, Global Public Policy and Social Impact at Bumble Lisa Roman told The Hill.

Those in attendance also shared their excitement at going to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday and remarked at the COVID-19 protocols in place.

“I unfortunately have had COVID. I do feel like now I have a little less anxiety than I did prior to having COVID-19. But I am comforted by the fact that to attend the dinner you have to produce a same day negative test and you to show proof of vaccination. So that does actually provide me some level of comfort,” Roman added when asked if she was feeling anxious about attending the WHCD dinner.

Others in attendance included Deputy Communications Director, Office of the Vice President Rachel Palermo, owner of Ciel Social Club Vinoda Basnayake, Director of Policy and Public Engagement for the Second Gentleman Zaina Javaid, Executive Editor of ELLE Magazine Sara Austin and CEO of Chief Carolyn Childers.

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