Williams-Fauntroy’s role expanded in 2020 to include legal and business affairs for all 10 lifestyle brand networks, highlighted by HGTV, Food Network and TLC. We have her to thank for endless entertainment in TLC’s “90 Day Fiancé” and spin-offs, co-leading in-house production and deal counsel. Williams-Fauntroy serves as a national board member of NAMIC, as well as co-chair and executive sponsor to the company’s Black Cultural Alliance group. “I love this work; it has a positive purpose to me and I take it seriously with the hope that our company and our industry will value and celebrate the beauty of diversity,” she says.
The conversation about racial injustice in 2020 has been… necessary, gut-wrenching and eye-opening, yet, thankfully the conversation sparked new levels of engagement and prompted positive action and accountability aimed at inclusiveness and eradicating racism.
In what ways can companies best show a sincere commitment to diversity and inclusion?
Companies should, among other things, implement programs that increase the recruitment of diverse candidates and that support the development and career progression of diverse employees – but they can’t just establish the programs – companies must document their successes and constantly monitor the effectiveness of the programs; they must put actions behind their words. Other examples of ways to show commitment are to ensure that job descriptions are shared with industry organizations that reach a broader candidate pools of people of color and women (such as NAMIC, WICT and many others) and require hiring managers to complete unconscious bias training to expand their comfort level with working with others who aren’t from their same background. Finally, companies must ask hard questions about their company culture (and maybe make changes) to ensure that employees feel that they are a part of an inclusive work environment.
How have you been a champion of diversity & inclusion in your professional life?
Championing diversity and inclusion has been a life-long, personal and professional passion for me. I love lifting up and celebrating my Black culture and heritage at work and have done so by, among other things, serving as a leader and executive sponsor of our employee resource group, the Black Cultural Alliance, for many years. Additionally, I regularly serve as an official (and unofficial) mentor to many early and mid-career employees from diverse backgrounds including specifically establishing mentoring relationships with Black women. I’m a national Board member of NAMIC, representing Discovery and I continue to speak publicly both in large and small settings at Discovery about the importance and need for inclusion, equity and diversity. Most recently our company has established working groups to tackle ways to improve diverse representation in our company and I am one of the co-leads for our global recruitment task force. I love this work; it has a positive purpose to me and I take it seriously with the hope that our company and our industry will value and celebrate the beauty of diversity.