Lee is winding down yet another strong year. Under her vision and leadership, the “2015 BET Awards” drew more than 13 million total viewers, and the third BET Experience at L.A. LIVE drew 152,500 fans over the four-day event, a 36 percent increase over 2014. BET Nets performs well behind the camera, too. The Directors Guild of America ranked the company as the No. 1 network for diverse hires. “I am so proud of the work that we do every day in front of the cameras and behind-the-scenes,” Lee says. “Our programming team is committed to telling our stories in an authentic way by making diversity a priority in every aspect of our production process.”
Where are the biggest growth areas for women in cable?
In August, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) released its annual report analyzing the number of women and minorities who were hired as directors for primetime TV across broadcast and cable series as well as original content series made for the Internet. The study included more than 3,900 episodes produced in the 2014-15 network television season and the 2014 cable television season from more than 270 scripted series. I was thrilled that BET Networks was ranked at the top of the list as the #1 network for diverse hires and was recognized as “the best network for female and minority directors.” The DGA study highlighted the network’s three shows that put us at the top of the list—Being Mary Jane, The Game, and Single Ladies—all with 100% minority or female directors. I am so proud of the work that we do every day in front of the cameras and behind-the-scenes. Our Programming team is committed to telling our stories in an authentic way by making diversity a priority in every aspect of our production process. We will continue to expand opportunities in the industry by hiring talented directors from all walks of life. And we will continue to deliver compelling content that entertains and empowers our audience. We know there is more work to do to reflect the true diversity of our audience in the U.S. and around the globe—and we are proud to be the network that leads by example.
What’s the most important aspect of mentoring?
One of the most important aspects of mentoring is helping people to remember to be true to themselves, their values, their beliefs, and what they want to accomplish. If you’re true to yourself and your values, you always make the right decision. That’s something that I’ve learned over the years. You have to listen to your inner voice and be true to that. Sometimes that’s difficult if you’re trying to sell a product or get ratings and you want to do well at your job—but you always want to be true to yourself.
Your favorite trick for unwinding?
My favorite way to unwind is with a spa treatment.