Overholt helps influence how women are viewed at ESPN, by sports fans and across the industry. Her publishing empire expanded in 2017 to include espnW’s first foray into book publishing, with Julie Foudy’s “Choose to Matter” and Kate Fagan’s “What Made Maddy Run.” She also launched several digital franchises under the espnW brand and led ESPN The Magazine’s ninth annual BODY issue, which was shot only with iPhones. Overholt capped things off by serving as the head of ESPN’s annual award show The ESPYs. She draws inspiration from Madeleine Albright. “She owns her contributions and stature, while clearly inviting other women and men into the circle,” she says.
Who is an inspirational woman you admire, and why?
Madeleine Albright. I’ve seen her speak twice in the last several months, and each time I am struck by the way she challenges us all to be better than we are. She is brilliant without being jargony or off-putting. She is very funny—but without being too self-deprecating. She owns her contributions and stature, while clearly inviting other women and men into the circle. It’s a very impressive thing to see, and a standard to which all of us can aspire.
Do you see any potential backlash to the Me Too/Time’s Up movements?
Whenever there is a challenge to the status quo, there will be pushback. Change is hard. We must continue to focus on the importance of hearing from women and men who have experienced abuse or been marginalized, and commit to creating a workplace and an industry where all can flourish.