Victoria Anderson

That Anderson is a trailblazing female attorney working in the male-dominated world of professional sports is all the more impressive considering she wasn’t trained to be a sports attorney. This year, she negotiated the multi-million-dollar, multi-year deal that made Mediacom the primary sponsor of ACF Fiorentina. She also served as senior in-house litigation counsel when the North American Soccer League filed an antitrust lawsuit against Major League Soccer and the United States Soccer Federation. Having seen no role models like herself on TV when she was a kid, Anderson really appreciates shows like HBO’s “Insecure” and Starz’s “Run the World.” “Both shows highlight the Black female experience and accurately tackle nuanced situations that reveal the challenges and successes of being both African American and a woman in a predominantly white male society,” she says.

What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs three years ago?
My primary job responsibility for Mediacom is to negotiate and draft Affiliation Agreements. With the growth of direct-to-consumer subscription services, our business model is rapidly evolving, changing how deals are negotiated.

My best advice for fostering open, honest communication…
My best advice for fostering open, honest communication is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Recognize that we are all a product of our life experiences and sometimes what we hear is not exactly what the other person is saying. Don’t be too quick to judge, to be angry or to be offended. Instead, listen, ask questions, and delve deeper. In my experience, knowing the listener is trying to understand the speaker’s point of view encourages candor. He or she may not agree, but with understanding the parties can progress toward resolution.

Favorite current show that you feel embraces D&I?
HBO’s “Insecure” and Starz’s “Run the World.” Both shows highlight the black female experience and accurately tackle nuanced situations that reveal the challenges and successes of being both African-American and a woman in a predominantly white male society. What I like most about these series is that the characters are unapologetically authentic. They are successful, funny, ambitious, fashionable, loyal and sometimes confused. The secret these series reveal about their characters is that many African-American women navigate careers, dating, friendships and familial obligations very much in the same way as their white, Asian and Latina contemporaries. These characters and their stories are not the characters I saw or the stories I could watch on television when I was growing up, but the industry’s initiative to embrace diversity and inclusion now provides a platform for writers and producers who look like me to develop characters and tell stories that are reflective of the life I’ve lived.