Chicago Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens Thursday, March 3, 2016. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune)

Q&A with Heidi Stevens

Heidi Stevens is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Her column, Balancing Act, offers a feminist perspective on family, career, pop-culture and politics. We are thrilled to be honoring her with an Ally Award for her powerful, feminist voice in journalism.

Q: What inspired you to become a champion of Women Power?

A: The same mission that inspired me to become a journalist; I want to give a voice to people who might not otherwise have one and tell people’s stories in a way that helps all of us better understand the world around us and the people who inhabit it. We hear far more from men than we do from women—both as writers and as subjects. I am trying to change that by seeking out women who are doing important work and fighting the good fight and then sharing their words as far and wide as I can.

Q: What do you love about what you do?

A: I love talking to women who are making the world a better place in big and small ways—from authors like Anne Lamott and Luvvie Ajayi to activists like Gloria Steinem and Gaylon Alcaraz to Lily Alter, the sophomore from Oak Park who collects feminine products for homeless girls and women. Their stories give me a road map for how to live and how to raise my kids.

Q: What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

A: I’m eager to see where the momentum that took root at January’s Women’s Marches takes us. I think a lot of women—and men—were shaken awake by last November’s election results, and it’s been exciting to watch more citizens actively engaged. Emily’s List says 4,000 women have reached out to them about running for office since Election Day—quadruple the number they typically hear from in a year. People are contacting their representatives. People are protesting. People are donating time and money. We didn’t quite get a woman elected to the White House, but we’re not sitting back quietly while a man who brags about forcing himself on women takes up that space.

Q: Why do you support liftUPlift?

A: liftUPlift does the difficult, important work of finding and vetting women who are running businesses, selling services and creating products that are worth our time and money, in a moment when a lot of us want to make sure our spending lines up with our values. I also love learning stories of women following their dreams and living out their truths, which liftUPlift does a fantastic job of highlighting.