Liburd does more than spearhead BET Networks’ strategic and creative brand development. Her cross-business initiatives and consumer marketing efforts break through the clutter with narratives that entertain and empower viewers. She’s glad to work at a Viacom company. “As a black female senior executive I feel seen, heard, empowered and encouraged to pay that feeling forward, which I have the privilege of doing in my service as executive co-chair of HERE, Viacom’s Employee Resource Group focused on women.”
What specifically does your company do to support and elevate the women who work there?
BET is a Viacom company, and within BET and across the Viacom brands, we employ a holistic approach to supporting and elevating women in their careers. We engage in brave, bold conversations about gender and other biases, because we can’t fix the things we’re unwilling to discuss. We employ coaching, mentorship and other intentional efforts to hire, promote and equitably compensate female & diverse employees, and we establish goals around these areas while holding our leadership accountable in meeting them, myself included. Most importantly, we listen to our women. As a black female senior executive I feel seen, heard, empowered, and encouraged to pay that feeling forward, which I have the privilege of doing in my service as executive co-chair of HERE, Viacom’s Employee Resource Group focused on women.
How can the industry do a better job of recruiting women and ensuring they have a path to senior positions?
The media and entertainment industries, like most, were built by, and inherently for, men. By virtue of this, women often must conform to exist within these structures. The media industry, and more specifically those of us in positions to influence it, must continually self-reflect on opportunities to better cultivate the careers of women and dismantle the systems that aren’t equitable for all.
What could that look like? Depends on the company, but some table-stakes measures include assessing the culture and adjusting as needed to ensure that it is women-friendly, employing female-friendly benefits programs, ensuring that women have a seat at the table and are encouraged to share their ideas, and establishing clear and measurable efforts to hire, retain, promote and pay women equitably.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
I would tell my 13-year-old self that your differences are your strength. Embrace them!
Which current shows best reflect the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
“About Her Business” is a docuseries that we premiered on BET HER last month focusing on black women entrepreneurs changing industries with ground breaking business concepts. Research shows that black women have more two- and four-year degrees per capita than any other demographic in the United States. We are leaning into our education to start our own businesses to meet unmet needs in a variety of industries. I love the way “About Her Business” highlights women as bosses!