Lucas is brand new to the job, but we’re anxious to see her influence on the Hallmark channels, which have faced criticism over the years for a lack of diversity in programming. She has a strong track record that includes stints as CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta and CEO of TV One. When it comes to diversity, Lucas calls for senior leaders to advocate for those who are unlike themselves. “We must reflect the audiences we seek to attract, which are younger and more diverse. Diverse people and perspectives need a seat at the table,” she says.
The conversation about racial injustice in 2020… is encouraging and exhausting. I was racially profiled in my predominantly white neighborhood of 20 years. My neighbors’ support was encouraging. Our conversations can be exhausting; however, worth it.
In what ways can companies best show a sincere commitment to diversity and inclusion?
If senior leaders can sponsor and advocate for those who are unlike themselves, we will see real change. We must reflect the audiences we seek to attract, which are younger and more diverse. Diverse people and perspectives need a seat at the table. I am thankful for those who have helped me achieve my goals. Not one of us have gotten here on our own, so let’s broaden our aperture and seek out those who deserve a chance, but may not look as you do.
What are some of the tough conversations this industry needs to have?
I believe everyone should read “White Fragility” and “How to be an Anti-Racist.” I’ve seen these books transform lives and spark meaningful dialogue that may make people uncomfortable but moves the conversations forward. Beyond personal enlightenment, it is the actions that follow that can make a real difference: hiring, mentoring, and promotions.