More than 300 Viacom employees piled into the Paramount Theater in Hollywood, California on Friday March 27 to watch a remarkable group of women discuss the challenges and triumphs they experienced during their careers. The event was sponsored by HERE, Viacom’s employee resource group focused on female leaders, which empowers women by facilitating opportunities for personal and professional development, creative innovation and career growth.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman welcomed attendees and highlighted the company’s culture of strong women leaders, which includes half of his direct reports and four directors on Viacom’s Board. Following his remarks, Amy Powell, president of Paramount Television and Paramount Digital Entertainment at Paramount Pictures, moderated a panel titled Beyond Ordinary: The Common Spark among Women who Succeed, inspiring employees to ignite the spark within themselves to achieve even more in their lives. Panelists included:
- Amanda de Cadenet, executive producer and host, The Conversation
- Cat Greenleaf, host, Talk Stoop
- Sophie Watts, president, STX Entertainment
- Cyma Zarghami, president, Viacom Kids & Family Group
The second panel, Shattering Stereotypes: Driving the Conversation to the Next Level, urged those in the crowd to push through traditional stereotypes of women. Meredith Kopit Levien, executive vice president of Advertising at The New York Times moderated the panel, which included:
- Freada Kapor Klein, founder, Level Playing Field Institute
- Dyllan McGee, founder and executive producer, MAKERS
- Shelley Zalis, CEO, Ipsos OTX and founder, The Ipsos Girls’ Lounge
Marva Smalls, Viacom’s executive vice president of Global Inclusion Strategy, thought the event represented an important step forward for Viacom’s HERE group.
“I was inspired by everyone in the room—they truly represent the best of Viacom,” said Smalls. “This is what inclusion is all about: bringing us together, making sure there is a seat and the table for everyone and that we each feel empowered to have our voices heard.”
HERE is one of eight employee-led resource groups that span the globe and reflect Viacom’s extraordinary diversity. The panel was part of a slate of events in March marking Women’s History Month.