Elaine Frontain Bryant

Since taking the reins of the A&E programming department, Bryant and her team have reinvented A&E and grown the network into cable’s premium nonfiction content destination. As a testament to her talents, in April 2019 A&E became the only top 10 cable network to grow vs. 2018, and A&E’s April audience saw the biggest impression gains in all of cable. She encourages recruiters to “create opportunities for women to grow in management positions. Send women to training. Make sure they have a voice.”

What specifically does your company do to support and elevate the women who work there?
A+E Networks has a number of women in senior leadership roles. Women executives at all levels of the company are involved with formal and informal mentorship programs. Mentoring is an important part of the company’s corporate culture, and A+E has a history of women supporting one another.

How can the industry do a better job of recruiting women and ensuring they have a path to senior positions?
Just do it! Hire women at all levels. Look around the room—are women represented on your company’s board? On your management committee? At meetings? If not, then work in partnership with your HR department to formulate a program. Create opportunities for women to grow in management positions. Send women to training. Make sure they have a voice. A great example is Lifetime’s Broad Focus Initiative, which was created and designed to provide women with more opportunities to write, develop, produce, and direct content for the network

What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
Follow your dreams. Know that being yourself is the best way to be.

Which current shows best reflect the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
On camera, I loved Emily Watson’s scientist in “Chernobyl,” although I hear that character was an amalgam of many real-life scientists. She was smart, fiercely brave and full of integrity. I love Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s inventive approach to “Fleabag” and “Killing Eve.” I look forward to more from her creative voice.

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