Hallmark Leader Profiles | Q & A With Michelle Vicary About Promoting Diversity and an Inclusive Workforce
Michelle Vicary Executive Vice President of Programming, Crown Media Family Networks
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS: Cablefax’s Most Powerful Women in Cable • Launched three new movie franchises: “Emma Fielding Mysteries,” starring Courtney Thorne-Smith; “Darrow & Darrow,” starring Kimberly Williams; and “Fixer Upper Mysteries,” starring Jewel.
Q: What has been the biggest positive Crown Media has seen from having diverse leadership?
A: Having a diverse mix of voices and perspectives — not just among senior management but throughout the whole company — contributes greatly to the quality and depth of our programming.
We want our content to resonate with viewers of all ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, which means it is critical that our employee base reflects that diversity. Ultimately, diversity is attracting a much broader range of viewers and is helping to drive our ratings to record levels.
Q: How have you begun to incorporate diverse roles into programming and behind the camera?
A: We have a great family of talent that we have worked with for years. But over the last 18 months, our focus on widening the net and increasing diversity in our programming has become a major priority.
To that end, we are actively pursuing a more diverse range of talent both in front of and behind the camera. We have multiple projects in development now with some of the entertainment industry’s most beloved stars who represent a variety of ethnicities and cultural perspectives and we are working toward expanding in this area even further.
Q: What advice would you provide other women striving for leadership positions in their career?
A: First and foremost, stay true to who you are, work hard and do what you love. Now more than ever before, women are feeling increasingly empowered in the workplace and I encourage young women looking to advance in their careers to embrace this and ask for what they deserve.
Q: How do you personally help play a role in supporting an inclusive workforce?
A: I love hearing ideas and input from colleagues at all levels and from different backgrounds. I try to cultivate a workplace environment where everyone feels like their voice and opinions matter.
Learn more about Hallmark Corporation's commitment to diversity & women leadership by viewing the full 2017 Caring In Action Report here.