Under Overholt’s guidance, ESPN’s digital and print journalism have won numerous industry accolades, including a 2019 Peabody. Her focus recently widened to include taking on a larger role in the television side of the business, such as the College Football 150 initiative and the “SEC Storied” documentaries. Overholt applauds the female leaders at ESPN, saying, “Create a safe space for important conversations among women at the company, and also spin those conversations forward into action.”
What specifically does your company do to support and elevate the women who work there?
Our Executive Women’s Forum is a powerful voice for women at ESPN. Founded by former CFO Christine Driessen, I have been impressed to see the way this group of senior female leaders at our company create both a safe space for important conversations among women at the company, and also spin those conversations forward into action: partnership programs to support rising women leaders; launching allyship and executive roundtable conversations with male leaders to engage them in supporting women at ESPN; even hosting challenging conversations with our president Jimmy Pitaro and his direct reports, to ensure that important discussion about corporate diversity and the inclusion of women and people of color continue to be front and center in their decision-making conversations.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
“Hold onto the certainty and the fearlessness that you feel in this moment.” At 13, I didn’t know there was anything I couldn’t do. My imagination was as big as the universe, and I knew in my soul that I could learn anything, try anything, be anything. So, I would tell her, “Remember how this feels—and someday, when you need it most, draw on this feeling when you need it to fuel you.”