Above & Beyond

City & State’s Above & Beyond Awards celebrates women leading New York

The annual ceremony united industry professionals to recognize 50 honorees.

Keynote speaker and New York City Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi speaks to guests at City & State’s Above & Beyond: Women Awards ceremony at Sony Hall Wednesday night

Keynote speaker and New York City Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi speaks to guests at City & State’s Above & Beyond: Women Awards ceremony at Sony Hall Wednesday night Sunny Sequeira

“What is it about women in positions of power that allows problems to be solved at a much faster pace?” asked New York City Deputy Mayor of Operations Meera Joshi at City & State’s annual Above & Beyond: Women Awards Wednesday night. “I have no scientific proof, but here's my assessment: warmth.” 

Joshi delivered the keynote at Sony Hall in Times Square as the event closed out Women’s History Month by drawing dozens of executives, advocates and professionals together to celebrate the women being awarded for their contributions to New York.

Joshi pointed to warmth’s ability to create genuine connections that, “allow us to be vulnerable enough to share crazy ideas without fear of reprisal. It's in this safe space that true genius is born. Warm genius is how we do business.” 

Her speech highlighted some of the accomplishments of the night’s honorees and recounted unique situations women leaders face – being ignored, excluded and mistaken for interns – to emphasize the honorees’ resilience. 

“In those moments, which may have been the culmination of many moments, you dug in and said no,” Joshi said in her remarks. “You inserted yourself, you spoke up, you stayed at the table. Most importantly, you knew that from that day forward, you would never see an inch, you would only move ahead with dignity. Look at where it's taken all of us.” 

She concluded by encouraging the women in the room to share their experiences and insights with one another. Joshi also made a point of asking the audience to ensure that the women they know have time to shine, as “we check our egos at the door, and if it's really busy and important, we completely forget that we left them there and continue to smartly make headway.” 

Her keynote continued by mentioning how, “we're shocked and sometimes too tired to even muster up the energy to be shocked when a man takes credit. When you see this happening, and you have the ability to control the situation, find that woman worker bee in the background who hasn't asked for anything and put her on the stage. The world needs to see what strength and ability really looks like.” 

Joshi was introduced by Ingrid Lewis-Martin, chief advisor to Mayor Eric Adams, who noted another common factor among the women being awarded. 

“At the end of the day, no matter what we do, it cannot be about us,” she told attendees at the event. “It has to be about the betterment of others. If you see tonight's honoree, that is what they all do.” 

The night opened and closed with words from Yvette Buckner, president of Buckner Group, who began handing out awards by shouting out, “Who’s ready to celebrate women tonight!” 

Among the organizations represented were Kasirer, New York State Public Employees Federation, Avōq, Community Mainstreaming, Community Offshore Wind, The Coney, The Jewish Board, New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center, NYSTEC, Volunteers of America, Long Island Contractors’ Association, Abrams Fensterman, Acacia Network, Community Housing Innovations, The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, Goddard Riverside, Good Shepherd Services, United Federation of Teachers, Trucking Association of New York, Rockabill and Ponce Bank.