Guthman helped make BET a top cable destination for African American viewers. She brought “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” to the network and has sought programming for offshoot net BET HER that depicts African American women in ways seldom seen on television. Having a female majority on BET’s senior leadership team helps her do that. “We are deliberate in our effort to provide an inclusive culture where all voices are heard and everyone feels opportunities are within reach regardless of gender,” she says.
What specifically does your company do to support and elevate the women who work there?
It starts at the top. The makeup of our senior leadership team, clearly signals to the rest of the organization that BET values the contributions of its female leaders (we’re in the majority here). From there we are deliberate in our effort to provide an inclusive culture where all voices are heard and everyone feels opportunities are within reach regardless of gender.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
Your hard work will pay off. Send thank you notes. Don’t perm your hair and by the way, you’re gay.
Which current shows best reflect the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
In “How to Get Away With Murder,” the role of Annalise Keating played by Viola Davis is very interesting. There’s so much depth to her character—a complicated, unapologetic mix of high intelligence, sexiness, unpredictability and mystery.