A key reason Viacom brands continually deliver culturally relevant and entertaining content across all platforms: Day and her team of 400-plus. This past year they grew Viacom Digital Studios’ video views 17% year-over-year while increasing watch time 85%. Day would like to see more opportunities for women, especially in the digital space. “Digital platforms are a great place to support this type of early career development, especially since the budgets are typically lower than traditional television and there is more room to experiment,” she says.
How can the industry do a better job of recruiting women and ensuring they have a path to senior positions?
We are fortunate to work in an industry where women occupy a number of senior roles across many companies and serve as mentors and advocates to rising stars, but there is a lot more to be done in ensuring that women are equally represented at the top. At a high level, the industry can support women by providing increased flexibility during and after pregnancy, in addition to encouraging women to stay in the workforce to grow their careers while raising children by offering accommodating hours and remote work, on-site childcare and generous maternity leave benefits.
Specific to the digital landscape, the industry could focus more on identifying young, creative female talent and encouraging opportunities for them to gain critical experience in producing, directing and writing. Digital platforms are a great place to support this type of early career development, especially since the budgets are typically lower than traditional television and there is more room to experiment. There’s also an opportunity to provide more training for female professionals in business, including management programs to give these young women the skills and confidence they need to lead large, diverse workforces.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
Be a hand raiser—offer to jump in and own a project that you think needs to be done, even if it’s outside of your comfort zone. You can’t wait for new opportunities to be handed to you.
Which current shows best reflect the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
There are a few great women’s roles out there right now. In “PEN15” we see rising, female comedians who are killing it both in front of and behind the camera. There’s “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a “modern” funny lady who has dreams beyond just raising a family. Another example is “A Little Late with Lilly Singh,” which showcases a self-made YouTube star bringing her talent and personality to late night television.