The writer/director was the big winner at the 23rd annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) prizegiving, taking home the Golden Gate Award for "her contributions to LGBT visibility" as well as a trophy for her medical series Grey's Anatomy.
Washington stepped onstage at the event to heap praise on her TV boss, and revealed she embarked on "the greatest, most wonderful ride of my career" when she was cast in Rhimes' new political thriller Scandal.
She told the crowd, "I'd actually never met Shonda Rhimes before I went in to meet with her for the role of Olivia Pope in ABC's Scandal. When I got off the elevator at Shonda's office, I saw a huge sign that said Shonda Land and I thought, 'Whoa! I don't know if this is gonna work out!' To witness the vast world that Shonda has created was intimidating...
"Throughout my career, people have asked me what my dream job would be and today I have it... I'm not sure that I will ever come up with a better boss. Working in Shonda Land makes me feel like the luckiest broad in showbiz."
The San Francisco, California ceremony was the third held in 2012 following celebrations in New York and Los Angeles earlier this year (12).
The GLAAD Media Awards recognise and honour media members for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.