Turner Leaders Recognized by Cablefax & NAMIC
October 6, 2017
The National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and Cablefax recently named the most powerful and influential leaders that are driving diversity in the communications and media industry, their company and their community. We are honored with so many Turner leaders making the lists. Six of those leaders from different parts of our company and with different roles and experiences share what inspires them to be an example for others.
What influence are you able to use to increase inclusion in our business?
Cynthia Hudson (senior vice president and general manager, CNN en Espanol and Hispanic Strategy, CNN/US): As a Latina woman in media, it is a responsibility to ensure that all minorities are represented in a balanced manner in every aspect of the business both on and off the screen. I have tried to create an environment of diverse thought and ethnicity in my staffing as I believe that this helps to inform all aspects of my work from storytelling to design, and it only enhances the quality of our product.
Drew Watkins (vice president, creative director for the Creative Services Sports Unit (CSSU), Turner Sports): I am in a position where I can monitor and/or weigh in on hiring decisions for both my group as well as some other groups. I like to promote the idea of diversity in hiring when and where I can. Making sure a diverse group of qualified candidates gets the opportunity to be seen is one of the most important things I can do.
How does it feel to know that other people could be inspired by what you’ve accomplished, and use that to drive themselves toward greater success?
Pascal Desroches (executive vice president and chief financial officer, Turner): I’ve always believed that it is important to try and make a difference for others in any way possible. I really enjoy working with Turner’s business resource groups as I believe that a successful mentor empowers by leveraging and building upon the talents and strengths of employees, and it is important for companies to support their talent and create a pipeline to leadership.
Matthew Hong (chief operating officer, Turner Sports): It’s a combination of feeling thankful to be in such a position, along with a sense of motivation and obligation to use the resources at our disposal to continue to connect with and help others.
Drew Watkins (vice president, creative director for the Creative Services Sports Unit (CSSU), Turner Sports): Being an example for others and helping those with the drive to succeed is very fulfilling. People need to be encouraged. People also need to be pushed to go beyond their limits. It helps to have that real-life example of what happens when you follow those paths. I try to be that example.
Who did you look up to growing up as an inspiration, or who inspires you now?
Michael Quigley (executive vice president of Commercial Operations, Content Strategy & Monetization, TBS & TNT): My grandmother. She only had a fourth-grade education and picked cotton for a living in the South. Looking back at her struggles and hard work it’s incredible to look at what she was able to accomplish in spite of the sacrifices she made and what she had to endure and overcome the challenges, especially during that time. Two generations later, I’m here because of my grandmother and her incredible character. It’s a constant inspiration to know that the work I do reflects on her and that compels me to honor her memory by continuing to build on the foundational success that she helped lay for me.
Stephano Kim (executive vice president, digital strategy and operations/chief data strategist, Turner): Growing up, finding role models of success from minority backgrounds in industries like media was extremely rare. It was difficult to believe that I would ever be accepted into a senior role given there were so few minority leaders in top positions at the time. In retrospect, I think I got a lot of inspiration from people like my father and other first-generation immigrants who came to this country with little money but lots of dreams. I watched them persevere despite having to deal with bigotry, racial slurs, and demeaning acts against them. As much as they were saddened and frustrated at times, they continued to work hard towards their dreams and many of them now are seeing the fruits of their labor. As children of those immigrants, I believe we owe it to the previous generations to be successful so that their struggles were not in vain. I think that’s inspiring, and it’s what gives me drive.