The final deal doesn’t come together until Walker gets involved. He serves as chief legal officer for BET Networks and oversees all aspects of the company’s legal affairs related to the development, production and distribution of original and licensed programming throughout the network. Included under his wing is litigation, content protection and antipiracy, and digital exploitation. Walker, a Stanford Law School graduate, feels that diversity shouldn’t be about simply fulfilling a quota: “Industry leaders must recognize that diversity is neither window dressing nor a numbers game. Supporting diversity means to assertively lean into the richness of resources and talent that diversity brings and putting those resources to work.”
How do you define diversity?
For me, diversity is an ever-evolving balance of perspectives, voices, visions, backgrounds and what we would call when I was in college “ways of knowing”. These differences enrich and elevate our collective efforts to problem solve and improve our condition in the world. It’s just as in nature, nothing can remain static and survive. Disruption and change is a necessary element of our capacity to progress. In the corporate arena, diversity plays this role.
How can cable better support diversity?
Industry leaders must recognize that diversity is neither window dressing nor a numbers game. It’s not, “Well since ___ (fill in the group) constitute such and such percentage of the general market, we need so many for this department and this many for that department” and then it’s business as usual. No, supporting diversity means to assertively lean into the richness of resources and talent that diversity brings and putting those resources to work toward achieving the company’s goals and mission, which in turn, are informed by the presence of diversity within the company. This means ensuring that the workforce at all levels has the benefit of diversity and not simply diversity based on ethnicity, race and nationality but reflects the disabled, vets, diverse gender identities, religions and geography both presently and for the foreseeable future. It means consistent outreach, career development and mentoring. Diversity requires more work but the payoffs in terms of relevance, engagement, innovation and authenticity makes it a bargain.