IWF Senior Fellow Carrie Sheffiled was profiled by Sarah Wall on Smart Women Smart Money Magazine
When wondering what Carrie Sheffield has done in her career, it’s almost easier to ask her what she hasn’t done. She’s been a well-respected journalist in print and on TV: her byline includes publications as diverse as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Washington Times. She’s been named a “Future 40” by Maverick PAC, a political action committee for millennial conservatives, and a Most Inspiring New Yorker by the dating app Bumble. Her Twitter has over 28,000 followers, she received a full scholarship to Harvard for her master’s degree in public policy, and she founded her own TV startup network, called Bold TV. Now she’s a fellow with Independent Women’s Forum, a public policy think tank driven by the principle that all issues are women’s issues.
So what is the thread that ties together Carrie’s diverse set of career moves – and helped her find success at every turn? Her answer: “I’m really passionate about having an opinion.”
Today, Carrie has found her voice, and people are certainly listening: her opinions are heard by millions, whether through CNN or Fox News segments or to her thousands of followers on social media. But how did she overcome the challenges brought by poverty in her childhood? Carrie credits three keys to success in her own journey. “Working really hard, not being afraid to ask for help, and not taking anything for granted,” she says.
“When you start with nothing, you don’t have a safety net,” she explains. “You really don’t have any margin for error, so you don’t take anything for granted.” And while many of us might find it difficult to ask for help, Carrie encourages it. “I was able to get Pell grants to help me get through college,” she says, “and for my master’s in journalism, I was able to get a full tuition scholarship at the Harvard Kennedy School. I’m very grateful to the people who set up those journalism scholarship programs. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to attend.”
Carrie’s experiences have strengthened her fearlessness, too. While working in Manhattan as a political analyst, she noticed a dearth of media offerings for the coveted 18- to 34-year-old demographic – the Millennial generation. “I just saw within the media landscape, there was really an opening to reach young people,” she explains. “Looking at the media offerings, I saw an opening for a TV network to serve the most diverse generation America has ever seen. I was really looking to use my media background to build a community.”
Carrie has since sold Bold TV to a foundation, and now she’s pursuing her passion of encouraging other women to adopt that same sense of fearlessness as a fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF). “IWF is all about breaking misperceptions, empowering women, and helping them not to live in fear,” she explains.
Whether it’s in the fellowship with IWF, on a panel on MSNBC, or to her many followers on social media, Carrie is an expert in sharing her thoughts and beliefs with grace, substance, and persuasiveness. It isn’t always easy: sharing an opinion, particularly when it goes against a commonly held belief, takes a large measure of fearlessness. But thankfully, Carrie Sheffield knows a thing or two about that.
Photo by Ryan Corvello for Smart Women Smart Money Magazine