Turner hosts the Executive Leadership Council’s first regional Women's Leadership Forum

On September 14th, more than 60 women members of The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) gathered at Time Warner Center in New York for a day of networking, learning and reflection at ELC’s first-ever Regional Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF). Turner partnered with The ELC, the preeminent membership organization for the development of global Black leaders, for this half-day event, themed “Increasing the Visibility of Black Women Executives in Broadcast and Digital Media.” The event convened top business and media-industry experts who offered their insights on ways to navigate today’s complex media landscape to promote to personal and professional branding.

Donna M. Wilson, Head of D&I Multicultural Marketing at Johnson & Johnson and Vice Chair of The ELC, delivered welcome remarks, followed by Turner Chairman & CEO John Martin who acknowledged the importance of representation in the media and noted Turner’s role in increasing diversity on television. “We’ve set goals for diversity and inclusion throughout 2020. By 2020 we intend to increase diversity among our writers, producers and creators,” said Martin.

The ELC’s EVP/COO Brickson Diamond provided an overview of the day’s agenda, which kicked off with a session titled “Expanding Opportunities for Women of Color as Subject Matter Experts in Front of the Camera,” moderated by Diahann Billings-Burford, Executive Director, Cultural Investments at Time Warner, with Nima Ahmed, Director of Programming at CNN, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former Mayor of The City of Baltimore, and Dr. Janet Taylor, a frequent media contributor and television personality. The conversation focused on ways black executive women can advance their commercial, social and geo-political power and influence through the media.

Brickson Diamond later moderated an interactive session titled “The Business of Television, Dollars & Representation,” with Molly Battin, Chief Brand Strategy Officer at Turner. Molly discussed her career journey, the many challenges and opportunities facing the television industry in today’s digital age, and the business of media. Molly and Brickson challenged attendees with a hands-on exercise in developing a business strategy and allocating marketing dollars to promote the new TNT series “Claws.”

Leilani Brown, Chief Marketing Officer at Starr Companies, moderated the final session of the day, “Expanding Opportunities for Women of Color Behind the Camera & Among the Executive Ranks at Media Companies,” featuring D’Angela Proctor, TV One’s Head of Original Programming, and Valerie Meraz, Turner’s SVP of Content Acquisitions & Strategy. Both executives gave insights on where ideas for content originate and what decisions are being made behind-the-scenes that shape the narrative of black women in the media.

The conversation throughout the day was intended to introduce and expose women ELC members who are not in the media industry to opportunities that will enable them to position themselves as subject-matter experts across broadcast, digital, print and social media.

For more information on Turner’s efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in the media industry, please visit: https://www.turner.com/diversity