If there’s one thing that scares investors, it’s change. Fortunately for Viacom, which has undergone quite a bit of it during the past year, its longtime controller has a steady hand. Gill-Charest has been instrumental in facilitating organizational restructuring and integrating corporate and divisional controllership to increase efficiency. She also created a staff development program to improve bench strength and foster internal mobility. As the company seeks to take a more holistic approach to its global business, Gill-Charest will be a leader in improving processes throughout the company.
Who is your favorite current female TV character and why?
June/Offred from “The Handmaid’s Tale.” She is strong, but flawed, and not the obvious outright feminist crusader or hero. She accepts the world around her and always leverages her wits and wiles to push at the edges, but never so much as to compromise her ability to survive and even flourish in the world she faces.
What is one way the industry can continue to evolve in ridding itself of gender discrimination?
Do not tolerate bullying as a leadership style. Leading by intimidation not only fosters gender discrimination but eliminates all differing points of view—it goes beyond diversity initiative to organically create a culture that is open-minded to differing perspectives, which is both healthy for business and the right thing to do.
Best advice for relieving stress?
Stop getting stressed about being stressed. Stress is a natural bodily response–it is unpleasant but also serves a real purpose, protecting you from harm and propelling you to action. Just learn to quickly identify and understand your own stressors and find productive, healthy ways to transcend them whether that means building confidence through extra preparation for a challenging project or taking a yoga class to restore balance and perspective.