Akash Gupta

Gupta helped grow Discovery’s digital business by more than 100%, largely by focusing on the company’s TV Everywhere and DTC projects. He’s been busy this year, merging former Scripps Networks’ and Discovery’s digital businesses to create one unified business. In 1Q19, its TVE GO apps averaged 1.95 billion monthly minutes and 45.3 million app users. Gupta worked to build a diverse team in the Discovery office, which now comprises close to 50% women and 30% minority groups. “Discovery actively promotes diversity both within in its employee base and in the content, it serves to its consumers,” Gupta says.

What does your company/organization do to ensure all employees feel included?
Discovery actively promotes diversity both within in its employee base and in the content, it serves to its consumers. Regarding the former, we are proud to foster the development of employee resource groups that support veterans, women, ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ community. Groups such as the Multicultural Alliance, Black Cultural Alliance, Discovery priDe and Discovery Women’s Network provide the necessary resources for every employee to forge strong relationships and feel a sense of empowerment at their place of work. Regarding the latter, not only do Discovery’s networks showcase different slices of life around the world, the company also generates regional content manned by global headquarters in Milan, Singapore, Warsaw and others.

How can diversity be better incorporated into the recruiting process?
I believe those involved in the recruiting process should be extremely aware of any unintended biases. For example, it would be great if initial screenings could be name blind. Also, ideally, recruiting should not rely on one person but be facilitated by a diverse team to eliminate any potential biases.

Which current television show/s best embrace diversity?
Discovery’s content reflects the diversity of its audience and, true to its guiding principles, allows people to push the boundaries of their own realities and explore the myriad of cultures and people across the world. The two best examples of Discovery embracing diversity in its content are firstly, TLC shows such as “I am Jazz” and “Little People Big World,” and secondly, the OWN Network, which houses series such as Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed drama “Queen Sugar.” Discovery’s content spans categories of race, gender, beliefs, lifestyle, age and region. The Travel and Food channels by their very nature embrace the rich heritage of various cultures and their cuisines. Discovery Channel and TLC celebrate people who may be different from the mainstream in their lifestyles and beliefs with content such as “Alaskan Bush People,” “My 600-Lb Life” and “Breaking Amish.”

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