Name: Kathy A. Johnson
Title: President, NAMIC
Age: “Guess!”
Years in Industry: 20
Years left in Industry: “Guess again!”

 

Why Her? Johnson’s mission is simple: Show cable executives that hiring a diverse workforce isn’t just a matter of morals and “doing the right thing,” it’s a matter of remaining competitive and serving an increasingly diverse marketplace. Is that message getting through? Yes and no. To be sure, Johnson’s evangelism has convinced many CEOs to implement new programs and put a diversity agenda higher on their operational priority list. But still others seem to pay lip service to the idea of diversity without doing much to make it happen. And while this year’s NAMIC was perhaps one of the best in recent memory—complete with excellent keynotes and panels that really dug deep to uncover the root of lingering workplace diversity problems—many of the most senior cable executives (you know, the ones who really control the resources and, like the late Jim Robbins, can flip a switch and make diversity an instant priority) simply weren’t there. Johnson, however, has done an excellent job getting diversity in front of those decisionmakers… and making the case that it’s in their best interest to pay attention. The truth is that things have gotten much better in cable in recent years, and the pressure for cable’s leaders to outdo each other in diversity hiring has become a healthy competition since Johnson took over NAMIC in ’06. And with her at the helm, we suspect things will only get more diverse from here on out. We’ll be watching.  MG

 

I knew the cable industry was for me when: “I realized that it was young, energetic, entrepreneurial and philanthropic. It’s one of the few industries that supports internal advocacy organizations.”
Top personal achievement in 2007: “Being selected to pay tribute to my (late) father in the forthcoming book, ‘Daughters of Men: Portraits of African American Women and Their Fathers’.”
In my free time, I like to: “Travel, read, go to the movies.”
Favorite restaurant: “Mix in Las Vegas; The Spice Market in NYC”
Favorite city: “Salvador, Bahia”
Favorite song: “Just about anything by Marvin Gaye.”
Favorite TV show: “Brothers & Sisters”
Favorite movie: “This year, it’s The Namesake.”
I wish cable would: “Walk more of the diversity talk.”
Favorite piece of tech: “iPhone”
My perfect vacation goes like this: “Surf, sand, good food, shopping and a healthy dose of sightseeing and culture.”
The world would be a better place if: “We were more open to accepting diversity of thought, people and ideas.”

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