Through 11 years at ESPN, Richardson has been key in the growth and maintenance of ESPN’s diversity initiatives. Under his leadership, the network launched several recent diversity initiatives including a Women’s Leadership Conference, nine Employee Resource Groups and an Executive Diversity Council. He’s recently been proud of the company’s efforts to make its workplace equal and welcoming to all. “There is more being done to address the gender and diversity equality pay gaps and to ensure that our work environments are free from harassment than ever before,” Richardson says. “Heightened awareness and vigilance against these issues ensures we remain an industry of choice.”
What’s a recent example of a step forward for diversity in the industry?
The industry is embracing diverse storytelling and taking steps towards investing in fresh perspectives on real human stories. I’m very proud to work for Disney & ESPN who have been leaders in this movement, which includes the success of “Black-ish,” “Fresh Off the Boat” on ABC and many of our ESPN 30 for 30 documentary films, among many other examples.
In what areas should the industry step up its efforts with regard to diversity and inclusion?
The cable industry has been committed to diversity ahead of most others. That said, there is still more that can be done, including increasing diverse representation at senior levels and continuing to enable diverse voices the opportunity to be heard.
What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs. three years ago?
There is more being done to address the gender and diversity equality pay gaps and to ensure that our work environments are free from harassment than ever before. Heightened awareness and vigilance against these issues ensures we remain an industry of choice.