PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Arizona Foundation for Woman is honoring former Fox News anchor and Miss America Gretchen Carlson with its Sandra Day O'Connor Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday, June 11.  

Gretchen Carlson

File photo: This Oct. 31, 2019 photo shows former Fox News personality Gretchen Carlson during an interview in New York. Carlson received a reported $20 million settlement from Fox News in 2016 after she sued the network, claiming the late Roger Ailes, then head of the division, demoted then fired her when she rejected his sexual advances.

The award celebration is a virtual event this year. While guests will be admitted at no cost, they will have the opportunity to financially support the foundation through raffles and an auction. 

"Be Fierce" by Gretchen Carlson

"In 'Be Fierce,' Gretchen shares her own experiences, as well as powerful and moving stories from women in many different careers and fields who decided they too weren't ready to shut up and sit down. Gretchen became a voice for the voiceless."

Carlson, who wrote a book called "Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back," talked to "Good Morning Arizona" about the honor, her connection to Arizona, and her new passion as an activist. Carlson is committed to being a voice against harassment in the workplace, hoping to see an end to mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts and make non-disclosure agreements illegal. 

"Never did I imagine in my wildest dreams that I would become one of the poster people for sexual harassment in the workplace," she said. "This is a pervasive epidemic for women in all professions across our society .... That's why I have vowed to help women who are coming up behind me. If there's ever been a time for women's voices to be heard, though, it's now. ... I think, more than ever, women feel empowered to know that if they speak up, they're not going to be alone."

"Arbitration and NDAs are the two ways that women have been silenced over the last couple of decades with regard to discrimination and harassment in the workplace," Carlson explained. She hopes to change that with a nonprofit she co-founded called LiftOurVoices.org.

"I want to be a beacon of hope for all the other women out there who have not been able to go back to work simply for having the courage of coming forward," she said.

Gretchen Carlson, 77th annual Golden Globe Awards

File photo: Gretchen Carlson arrives at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. 

Carlson's experience was the basis for a Showtime miniseries called "The Loudest Voice," and the movie "Bombshell."

"Be Fierce," which was published in 2017, is Carlson's second book. "Getting Real," a memoir of her time at Fox News, came out in 2015.

The Arizona Foundation for Women, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, also is honoring former Arizona's Family anchor and reporter Christi Paul with its Voice of Women Award. Paul now anchors CNN New Day every weekend morning and reports for HLN during the week.

Since its inception, the Arizona Foundation for Women has raised more than $2 million for women's causes and organizations in our state. 

Click here to register for the event. Carey Peña, another former Arizona's Family anchor and reporter, is hosting.

Arizona Foundation for Women
Olivia Fierro anchors 3TV's Good Morning Arizona weekdays alongside  Scott Pasmore. 
 
 

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