While the nexus of media and policy is not for the faint of heart, it’s this sweet spot where Herrera-Flanigan is most at home—and where she excels. The former DOJ senior counsel is a powerhouse both inside the Beltway and at Univision HQ. “If we are truly to be successful it cannot be just a “woman” issue or the case of women helping women,” she says. “Some of my strongest advocates and mentors throughout my career have been men.” Social impact is of great importance to both Univision and to Herrera-Flanigan, who also heads the Univision Foundation.
What specifically does your company do to support and elevate the women who work there?
On my first day on the job, several of my fellow women executives grabbed me for coffee and told me that I had to consider joining our Women’s Leadership Council Steering Committee, our woman-focused ERG, to make sure that we are doing everything we can to mentor and help younger women who are at the company. That say’s everything about the company’s approach to women—we are here to help each other so we can all succeed.
How can the industry do a better job of recruiting women and ensuring they have a path to senior positions?
If we are truly to be successful it cannot be just a “woman” issue or the case of women helping women. Some of my strongest advocates and mentors throughout my career have been men who saw my potential not because of my gender but because of my brains, my talent, and, hopefully, my authenticity. The industry has to embrace diversity and inclusion as a business proposition not as a niche check the box exercise.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
My husband likes to say I have a type A+ personality. When I was 13, I was probably a type A+++ personality. I would tell myself to relax. Smell the roses. Break the rules a little bit and laugh at yourself as much as you can. It is the same thing I say to two my two kids daily.
What changes, if any, has your company enacted since the dawning of the #MeToo movement, and what results have ensued?
I have noticed in Corporate America generally that there is increased awareness, training, and education efforts in response to the #MeToo movement.
Which current shows best reflects the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
On the news side, Univision has always been breaking barriers for women – whether it be with the first national woman news anchor or the first Afro-Latina news anchor. I love that about the network. I’m also thrilled to see how on the entertainment side we’ve seen a change from the “damsel in distress” stereotypes to women leads in telenovelas who are strong, independent, and often in charge.