Vicky Free

As marketing chief, it’s on Free to make sure the brand delivers on its promise to “respect, reflect and elevate.” That means taking a look at current events and stepping in when appropriate. In the wake of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, she helped launch BET’s #DeEscalateDon’tKill campaign, giving viewers and employees a platform to share emotions. On a scale of one to ten, Free would give the industry “a five, at best” in terms of diversity. “It seems that executives of color in the cable industry still do not get the stretch assignments that allow for full inclusion at the decision-making table. Unfortunately, as our industry continues to consolidate and shrink, it appears that executives of color are the most vulnerable,” she says.

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