From Mini-Mocks to “The Foley Artist,” Danielson’s creative strategic vision—powered by the in-house digital creative team she leads—spurred CC Digital’s 108% increase in viewership and 139% increase in engagement during the past year, while Comedy Central’s YouTube Channels saw more than 100 million views. She’s working the same digital magic at sister nets Paramount and TV Land. “It is essential to empower women with business confidence,” she says.
What specifically does your company do to support and elevate the women who work there?
Viacom goes beyond hiring policies and provides women with an equal opportunity to have a truly impactful seat at the table. From my perspective the commitment to this approach is evidenced by the equal gender representation across the leadership teams of the Digital Studios as well as Comedy Central, Paramount Network, and TV Land.
How can the industry do a better job of recruiting women and ensuring they have a path to senior positions?
It is essential to empower women with business confidence. Many of us work in incredible and creatively driven environments where general business acumen may not be a focus. A true understanding of the business you are in and how it works gives anyone an important edge. Generationally, we are just starting to see equal representation through education in this area so it will take time to have a balanced number of role models and mentors. This makes it critical for current women leaders to be available to help instill confidence within those of the next generation.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
I would tell her to trust that she will see the world truly evolve, affording her amazing opportunities that she may not see as possibilities just yet. By the time she graduates from high school there will be a new television channel devoted to one of her favorite things, called Comedy Central. And—this one would really blow her mind—her own 13-year-old daughter (yes, I have a 13-year-old daughter) will have experienced an African American President and will grow up believing that she too can be the President. Finally, I would tell her that from her first job onward she should contribute to a 401k!