Vikki Neil

Discovery’s hub for digital and social video content creation is buzzing with a pipeline to support the company’s growing global websites, social, TV Everywhere and, not least—its brand-new direct-to-consumer business. Since the Scripps acquisition last year, Neil has only gotten busier, with oversight for the lifestyle brands suite as well as networks including Investigation Discovery. “Ultimately, company reputation is everything and a few smart hires can change the dynamic and the fabric of a company quickly,” she says.

How can the industry do a better job of recruiting women and ensuring they have a path to senior positions?
The best example is having successful women in senior positions and to create an environment that speaks for itself. Ultimately, company reputation is everything and a few smart hires can change the dynamic and the fabric of a company quickly. I’m proud to work for a company that has women at senior ranks, but also throughout in highly important roles.

What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
Never once did it cross my mind that I couldn’t be anything I chose to be, thanks to a very strong mother. I’d probably tell myself to worry less, be strong and don’t give up. Chances are you won’t be the smartest in the room, just work harder, be open-minded and nice to people.

Which current shows best reflects the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
Female role models are everywhere you look in television today and it’s truly inspiring. I personally love the heroine roles that you see females play in dramas like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the amazing power of female friendship in “Big Little Lies,” but I still watch classics like “Murphy Brown” and “Murder, She Wrote.” My current favorites from our Discovery family are female led series like “Good Bones” on HGTV and “Girl Meets Farm” from Food Network. Perhaps the most important TV being made though is for young girls and boys, my son loved “Sherriff Callie,” “Dora the Explorer” and “Doc McStuffins.” I love seeing these female cartoon characters that represent girls in the power positions at such a young age.

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