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Arianna Huffington, whose Huffington Post has become a media force, received her award from Barbara Walters. She cheekily urged women to “sleep their way to the top” _ by enriching their sleep-deprived lives with some more shuteye.

She also regaled the crowd with the story of a failed relationship that set her career on an upward path. “Everything good that happened to me happened because a man wouldn’t marry me,” she said.

The lifetime achievement winner was Gloria Steinem, whose award was presented by Anita Hill, 20 years after the Clarence Thomas hearings.

“There’s no one on earth I’d be more honored to get an award from than Anita Hill,” said Steinem, 77, who credited Hill with “changing the consciousness of our country.”

“I can’t wait to see what you all do,” Steinem called up to the balcony, filled by girls from youth groups from across the city. She told them to remember that “Life is one big surprise. You can prepare, but you can’t plan.”

Also honored: Lea Michele of “Glee,” who recalled how just a few years back, she’d been struggling, and hearing “No” a lot. She told the young girls to forget that word _ and to “Use your voice, in positive ways.”

Esraa Abdel Fattah of Egypt was given the Women of the Year fund award, for her key role in mobilizing Egyptians on Facebook during that country’s Arab Spring revolt. “I will see a woman as leader of my country one day,” she declared.

And speaking of international relations, former Secretary of State Condolezza Rice was there, to present an award to the wife of her former boss, Laura Bush, and the Bush daughters, Jenna and Barbara.

Making a cameo in a video was former President George W. Bush. “The truth of the matter is that Laura Bush was the greatest first lady ever,” he said with a grin.