In her first full year at WarnerMedia after spending 14 years at CAA, she’s been busy working on building up the company’s commitment to inclusion. She most recently developed a companywide event “Empathy, Understanding & Action: A Conversation on Race” in the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the following protests. She serves on the board of Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and is also a founding member of “TIME’S UP”. “I think that we have to reject the false choice that is often made between excellence and inclusion. Being inclusive does not require any compromise in quality of talent,” she says.
In what ways can companies best show a sincere commitment to diversity and inclusion?
I think a multi-pronged approach is necessary and the elements should include:
- Set diversity goals for every level of the company structure and tie compensation/performance review to progress.
- Analyze and correct any gaps in pay equity across race and gender.
- Evaluate and disclose ethnic and gender diversity data of the company regularly
- Increase partnerships with diverse organizations.
- Provide mentoring, coaching, and continuous development to employees from under-represented groups.
- Create a diversity and inclusion position reporting directly to the CEO.
- Invest in maintaining strong employee resource groups.
- Offer robust development and training on issues of equity (not just unconscious bias)
What initiatives in our industry best embrace diversity?
I think we have done a good job on the pipeline programs, recruiting, etc. which is why we see more diversity at lower levels. However, we seem to abandon that investment once people are in the door and that needs to be revisited.
What are some of the tough conversations this industry needs to have?
I think that we have to reject the false choice that is often made between excellence and inclusion. Being inclusive does not require any compromise in quality of talent. Talent is evenly distributed across the population; it’s only the opportunities that have not been.
How have you been a champion of diversity & inclusion in your professional life?
I think there is your work and then there is your life’s work. I suspect my life’s work is making storytelling more inclusive: from starting Latina magazine to working as a producer on films to representing diverse talent at CAA to my current role at WM. Each of these roles had an explicit connection to making storytelling (and storytellers) more inclusive.
Which current shows (on linear and streaming) best embrace diversity?
I am a huge fan of voices such as Mindy Kaling and Micaela Cole that I think our industry would have overlooked only a decade ago.