Mina Lefevre

Lefevre’s efforts have reinforced the company’s commitment to creating a user experience that prioritizes community building and creating conversation on the platform. She led the charge on a three-year extension deal for the platform’s “Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith” series while also building a slate of remote-based programming to air during the pandemic. Lefevre believes true allyship requires an all-in commitment from companies. “To really gain momentum and foster an environment of allyship, make Diversity and Inclusion a business goal for the company and ultimately within every vertical in the company, and task all employees to set their team/individual goals with D&I in mind,” Lefevre says.

What is one of your proudest moments during the pandemic? Shifting creative of “Red Table Talk” topics to reflect life during COVID. The shows were incredibly strong and we saw deep, meaningful engagement from fans connecting and sharing their stories. 

How has your leadership style changed during the pandemic? The biggest shift for me in leading a team during the pandemic has been the blurred lines between myself and my team’s professional and personal lives. As a working mom of two, even before the pandemic it could definitely be a juggling act to keep these two distinct worlds separate. With that understanding, it has become more critical than ever before to be a leader who is empathetic to my team’s home life situations—whether living alone and isolated from family/friends, working full time while also overseeing virtual school for children, worrying about an at risk loved one, living with front line workers, worrying about financial losses due to COVID, etc.—I have endeavored to make sure the humanity of my employees during this time is not overlooked.

If you were a teenager attending virtual classes right now, what advice would you give yourself? Always make sure your voice is heard – as hard as it may be, force yourself to set-up 1:1 time or begin email communications with your teachers to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with lessons. Expressing these questions, either within or outside of your virtual class, to your educators is a crucial component to make sure you get the most out of your education. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out and attempt to make connections with your classmates, which may prove valuable presently as well as in the years to come even after your education concludes. Lastly, recognize that this is an unprecedented time and all your feelings (bored, anxious, annoyed, etc.) are valid. Just remember it will not last forever and give yourself a break.

What is the biggest factor needed to eliminate gender inequality in the workplace? Gender inequality is a multi-nuanced issue, but in my opinion to truly strive to eliminate it you need a concrete commitment from an organization. Specific goals oriented in achieving gender parity must be infused throughout an organization as well as goals that will ultimately affect every team’s ultimate bottom line (i.e. commitment to hiring more female leaders, working with more female producers/creators, etc.). To reach gender parity, these goals must not be an afterthought, but concrete principles that guide the entire organization from the top down.

How can companies best foster an environment of allyship? To impactfully foster an environment of allyship you need commitment and action from every facet of the organization, from the top down. Adding Diversity and Inclusion to the bottom-line success metrics within an organization should be a given, in addition to other Diversity and Inclusion programs and bias trainings. To really gain momentum and foster an environment of allyship, make Diversity and Inclusion a business goal for the company and ultimately within every vertical in the company, and task all employees to set their team/individual goals with D&I in mind.

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