Kathleen Finch

You’d never know Finch grew up without a television with the amount of hits that have come out of her networks. She manages one of the largest portfolios of cable channels in the US with 10 networks, and near-seamlessly shifted to remote productions during COVID-19, with 400 self-shot episodes premiering during the pandemic. Highlights include the smash success of the “90 Day Fiancé” franchise on TLC, which helped lead the net to be the No 1 ad-supported cable network with W25-54/18-49/18-34 in 2020 to date. Not to mention the two Emmy nominations, one for HGTV’s “A Very Brady Renovation” and another for Food Network’s “Amy Schumer Learns to Cook.” Discovery has a 25% share of women viewers watching in the US on any given night, and Finch believes in elevating women all around her. To eliminate gender inequality in the workplace, she says companies need to hire more women in leadership roles. “Especially non-traditional roles—and having THEM pay it forward by hiring more female rising stars,” she says.

What is one of your proudest moments during the pandemic? Our incredibly talented teams across the Lifestyle portfolio brainstorming and launching 400 self-shot episodes and 70 series, and delivering some of our highest ratings yet.

How has your leadership style changed during the pandemic? As a working parent myself, I’ve always been empathetic to the added challenges of parents balancing home and work, and during the pandemic those challenges have only increased. Having a view literally into people’s homes each day has shined a light on the need for balance…seeing kids heads in the background of zoom calls has been a real mood booster for everyone and as a leader, it’s been a great reminder of employees’ needs for flexibility and understanding.

What is the biggest factor needed to eliminate gender inequality in the workplace? Hiring more women in leadership roles – especially non-traditional roles – and having THEM pay it forward by hiring more female rising stars. It’s one of the many reasons I’m so proud to work at Discovery…the strength of female leadership at the company already and the commitment to continuing to grow in this area.

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